There are several good reasons to consider desexing your dog before they are six months old, and these include health benefits, reducing the chance of unwanted litters, and a considerable saving on your local council dog registration fee. As a first-time dog owner who has not had a pet do the desexing process before, there is one important part of the after-surgery period you need to think about in advance, and that is the wearing of the cone of shame. The cone of shame, also known as the Elizabethan collar, is the humorous name given to the plastic device worn by your pet to stop them chewing on their stitches during recovery. The name is funny, but the wearing of it can be frustrating for both the pet and the owner. Here are three tips to help make this process easier on you both.
The cone of shame is a cumbersome device that flexes just enough to allow your dog to walk through doorways, but one area you do need to think about is where your dog sleeps. For example, if your dog is crated at night, the crate always needs to be big enough for your dog to stand up and turn around in. With an after-surgery cone on, that room to move needs to be bigger and wider. Your pet needs plenty of sleeping time after surgery to heal from this process, so moving the dog from their crate to another sleeping area is advised. Consider moving your dog to the laundry room or another room with a door to keep them contained while they heal.
The one time that you must take the cone off is at eating time; otherwise, your pet cannot get their mouth close enough to the food bowl to eat their food and drink their water. Additionally, food and water may run down the inside of the cone making a sticky mess against your pet's fur. However, you must stay in the room with your dog while the cone is off to ensure they don't sneak a chew on their stitches while your back is turned.
The cone must be worn for two weeks post-surgery to give the incision site a chance to heal without infection. There will be plenty of times during those 14 days when your dog's pleading eyes may tempt you to remove the cone. However, as a responsible pet owner who elected for the desexing process to protect your pet, you must ignore those pleading eyes until your vet gives you the okay to do so.
To learn more about pet desexing, contact a veterinarian in your area.