Is your pet scheduled for surgery? If yes it is natural to be concerned about how to prepare your pet for surgery. Lets have a look at few steps to prepare your pet for surgery.


If your dog is dirty you might want to give him a bath a few days before the surgery if possible. Bathing after surgery is discouraged in pets until sutures or stitches are removed.


Fasting will be required any time your pet is scheduled for surgery.  Surgery involves the use of anaesthesia drugs which decrease the swallowing reflex in patients. If anaesthesia induces vomiting in your pets with full stomach during surgery, there is a risk of inhaling the vomit into the lungs which can lead to a fatal condition called aspiration pneumonia.

The time requirements for withholding food might differ by veterinarians and condition or species of the patient. As general a rule of thumb, no food is recommended for adult and healthy pets within approximately 12 hours.  The recommendation may be modified for puppies and kittens as they have smaller energy reserves or pets with diabetes. Rabbits and rodents should not be starved either. Please discuss with your vet for exact fasting requirements for your pet. In order to prevent dehydration, leave water available overnight.  If your pet is currently taking medication do not forget to check with your vet when you should give its last dose before surgery.

Cost of treatment

Make sure you have asked for an approximate cost of treatment when you book your pet for surgery. If you have insurance for your pet, please advise the hospital member of staff likewise. You might want to request a claim form in advance from your pet insurance company and bring it with you on the day of your pet’s surgery to the hospital.

The morning of the surgery

  • Make sure you have allowed your pet time for toileting on the morning of the surgery.
  • Drop your pet off in the hospital earlier than the actual surgery is scheduled for in order to allow sufficient time for a physical pre-surgical examination, running any other tests (blood/urine test for liver and kidney function, x-rays) administration of IV fluids, calculating anaesthetic doses  or starting specific medications.
  • Sign a form of consent on admission and use of general anaesthesia for your pet. Do not forget to review these forms and ask the nurse or the receptionist to explain anything that’s unclear.
  • If your pet is currently under medication, bring any such medications to the hospital where the surgery is being performed even if the medications were originally prescribed from a different hospital.
  • Leave a number where you can actually be contacted to inform you of the outcome of surgery or in case there is any problem with your pet. You might want to get the contact details of the hospital so that you can contact them for a progress report if you are concerned about your pet. 


Phone: 07-5715003 

Affordable Veterinary Care in Tauranga !

SmartVets Animal Hospital

511 Cameron Road, Tauranga, (Between 10th &11th Ave)