The Art of Recovery: Postoperative Home Care

Oreo from Florida with KONG

It’s not all fun and games when you’re a pet parent. One of the toughest times for you and your dog can be post-surgery. Proper home care is critical to avoid complications and speed recovery, but what if your dog just wants to play?

One of the most important requirements for successful recovery–activity restriction–is also one of the most difficult to follow. Limitations can be for a day or weeks, depending on the surgery. Here are some tips to help you and your pet endure restricted activity periods:

  • Prepare a comfortable, safe place for your best friend to rest and recover.
  • Use a crate to keep them quiet and calm. Place the crate in a room with the family so your dog doesn’t feel isolated and alone.
  • Alleviate stress and boredom by providing a stuffed KONG toy in the crate. This will help keep your pup focused and stimulated.
  • Once your dog is feeling well enough for light activity, feed them using interactive food puzzles, like the KONG Wobbler. This will help ease them back into activity and keep them occupied for longer periods of time.

When possible, it’s important to introduce the KONG and Wobbler prior to surgery. You’ll have more success with them after surgery if your dog is familiar with these tools and already understands how to solve the puzzles. It’s also important to monitor your dog’s behavior, appetite and water intake. Proper nutrition is vital during recovery. Feeding your dog the right nutrients can help ensure they heal properly. Stuffing your KONG with foods high in protein, fiber, electrolytes and vitamins A, C, and D will support your dog’s immune system and rapid healing. Try this healthy recovery recipe during your dog’s restricted activity period:

Rehab Remedy

  • Cooked diced chicken breast (rich in protein)
  • Cooked brown rice (excellent source of manganese, and a good source of selenium, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, and niacin (vitamin B3))
  • Any flavor Pedialyte (excellent source of electrolytes)
  • One piece of American cheese (high in calcium and phosphorous)

Mix equal parts chicken, brown rice, and Pedialyte in a bowl. Stand the KONG upright in a cup and plug the small hole with the piece of cheese. Fill KONG with mixture and freeze. *Please note that ingredient amounts will vary based on the size of your KONG.  

How have you gotten your dog through the recovery process? Share your pictures and stories with us using #KONGdog.