If you’ve opted to have your dog neutered, then you will naturally be concerned to see them jumping up in the days following the procedure. Besides, it’s an invasive surgery that can take a while to heal – and it goes without saying that you want it to heal optimally. So why is your dog reacting in this way? Is it a genuine concern, and is there anything you can do to stop your dog in the meantime? Well, here is everything you will want to know.
So, why does my dog keep jumping after being neutered? Your dog could be jumping after being neutered because of pain or discomfort. It may also be caused by the residual effects of anesthesia or because of the change in hormone levels that occurs after neutering.
You can try to prevent your dog from jumping around for at least two weeks after surgery by providing mental stimulation with the use of toys and positive reinforcement training – but more on these techniques later.
First, let’s explore these causes in greater detail so that you can work out exactly why your dog is jumping.
Why Does Your Dog Keep Jumping After Neutering?
Dogs can keep jumping after neutering for a variety of reasons, including:
Pain or Discomfort
Neutering is a surgical procedure that sterilizes a male dog by removing his testicles. For females (also known as spaying), the ovaries and uterus are removed.
This can lead to pain or discomfort in the genital or stomach areas, which can cause your dog to become more jittery.
Sitting or lying down may be painful for the first few days, so they may jump or move around to relieve the discomfort.
Given the invasive nature of neutering surgery, anesthesia is given to dogs before the procedure.
This can take a while to wear off, which may cause your dog to act out of character. Most of these types of drugs make dogs drowsy and lethargic.
However, they may have the opposite effect on some dogs, which can lead to hyperactivity for a short while.
Change In Hormone Levels
Neutering changes the natural hormone levels in your dog’s body, particularly the amount of testosterone produced.
This can cause some dogs to become more hyperactive after surgery.
Bear in mind that it can take up to six weeks for these hormones to leave the body, so be patient!
Of course, the other option is that you could just have a very energetic puppy!
Neutering is normally performed when a dog is around six months old.
This is the time when your young dog is at his most active and curious.
A surgical procedure is unlikely to slow down many pups this age!
Saying that the time a dog is neutered can vary depending on your dog’s breed and overall health.
There is some evidence to suggest that larger dog breeds such as St. Bernards and Mastiffs should be neutered when they are much older (at least a year old).
This is because bigger breeds mature slower than small ones.
Neutering before the bones have fully developed can increase the risk of bone or joint disease, according to a study conducted at the University of California.
However, this is still hotly debated amongst veterinarians, especially in regard to mixed breeds.
So, you should have this conversation with your vet to determine the best course of action for your pup.
What Happens If A Dog Jumps After Being Neutered?
The occasional small jump after neutering surgery is not a cause for alarm. However, jumping around should be discouraged as much as possible after surgery because it can cause injury or potentially rip out the stitches.
Damage To Stitching/Bleeding
When a female puppy is spayed, sutures or stitches are used in at least four places to hold the internal blood vessels closed.
If these are damaged, they can cause excessive bleeding and may require veterinary treatment to correct.
Neutering surgery for male dogs is much simpler because no incisions need to be made in the body wall.
However, it can still be painful, and the stitches can still come out with vigorous exercise, such as jumping.
It’s a good idea to have a close look at the incision when you first pick up your dog after surgery to see how it should look.
Then, remember to check it at least once a day, especially if your dog is jumping around, to make sure there is no damage.
A tiny amount of red or straw-colored discharge from the wound is completely normal after neutering surgery.
However, if you notice more than a few drops of blood, you should get your dog booked in for a check-up with your vet.
Other symptoms to watch out for include:
- Redness or inflammation
- Swelling around the incision
- A gap in the skin
- Abnormal lumps under the surgery site
- Excessive panting
If you notice any of these signs after surgery, you should contact your vet.
You can apply a compress of warm water to the area, but don’t be tempted to scrub or apply any ointments.
These can cause the sutures to become looser still.
Infection is another worry that can develop after neutering surgery. This is usually caused by a dog excessively licking the area.
To prevent this, you can get an Elizabethan collar that your dog will need to wear for a few weeks until the wound is fully healed.
Your vet should be able to provide you with one. If not, they can easily be purchased online.
How To Stop Your Dog From Jumping Up After Being Neutered
Dogs need to be kept calm after neutering surgery, but this can be difficult to achieve with an overzealous puppy!
The following approaches are ones to certainly try!
Restrict Their Movements
If you can, consider having your dog stay in a crate to restrict their movements. Enrich the crate with a comfy blanket or bed, food, water, a few tasty treats, and chew toys to keep them entertained.
However, remember that crates should only be used for short periods of time.
NEVER keep your dog cooped up in a crate for longer than 6-8 hours.
Puppies should only be confined for up to 4 hours, depending on their age and temperament.
Bear in mind that you will want to ensure your dog is fully crate trained prior to the surgery; otherwise, being cooped up could cause unnecessary stress.
Lots of Toys/Games
Alternatively, you can try to keep your dog’s jumping and running around to a minimum by providing calming toys.
One good option is to fill a Kong toy with frozen food mixed with a little water.
This should provide your pup with hours of fun without the need to bounce around.
Puzzle feeders, interactive toys, snuffle mats, and calm games are also good options. Mental stimulation is key to keeping your dog calm after surgery!
Here are a few fun games you can try with your dog:
The Cup Challenge
Place a treat under one cup while your dog watches you. Encourage him to find the treat.
Once he gets the hang of this challenge, you can move on to using several cups and shuffling them around.
So, your dog has to use his nose and his problem-solving skills to find the cup with the treat underneath.
Place treats in random places around a room for your dog to find.
You may want to make it easy in the beginning until they get the hang of it! This is a great game for scent hounds such as beagles.
Lay an old towel on the floor and scatter some bits of dog kibble or treats over it.
Then simply roll up the towel with the food inside. Your dog will spend ages trying to work out how to unravel the towel to get to the tasty rewards.
The Word Game
Find a simple object such as a cup or a teddy.
Play with the object in front of your dog while repeating its name.
After a while, you can test your dog’s learning skills by laying out a few objects in front of you, including the one you have named.
Then say things like ‘fetch the cup’ and see what he picks up!
Try Calming Music
In addition to training and games, you can consider playing calming music designed for dogs.
Alternatively, you can purchase canine calming supplements.
The latter can be purchased from your vet or most pet stores.
However, be extra wary of supplements if your dog suffers from a heart or liver condition because some ingredients can exacerbate the symptoms.
L-Theanine is a good ingredient to look out for as it has been scientifically proven to have a calming effect on canines.
It is also unlikely to cause any unwanted side effects.
Alternatively, CBD is another excellent option to try.
In addition, you can use this time to work on a few training techniques.
Dogs love to please their owners, and it can be a calm and safe way to stimulate your dog’s brain.
Attach a lead to your dog’s collar and practice walking slowly around the house.
You can also train your dog to sit or lie down for treats. However, you should avoid doing this if sitting or lying is painful for your dog after surgery.
If all else fails, you can speak to your vet about prescribing a mild sedative such as Trazodone to help your dog relax.
Your pup will already likely be on pain meds for up to two weeks after surgery, so make sure you don’t choose a sedative that will reduce the effects or interact with any pain medication.
NEVER give your dog human medications, such as aspirin, because many of these are toxic to canines.
Additionally, you will want to restrict your dog’s access to any areas that could cause injury if they jump up or fall off, such as the back of the sofa.
If you live in a double or triple-story house, you should install a baby gate to prevent them from wandering up the stairs.
On top of all this, you should make sure you are around to offer comfort and fuss.
Surgical procedures can be scary for dogs, so they may want reassurance for a few days afterward.
You can even try offering your dog a soothing massage!
How Long Will It Take For Your Dog To Calm Down After Neutering?
If your dog’s hyperactivity is caused by pain or it’s a side effect of anesthesia drugs, it should wear off in a couple of days. However, dogs are not known for staying still for long periods. So, you will need to work extra hard to keep your dog calm for a few weeks until the surgery wound has healed.
Most neutering wounds take around two weeks to heal. However, this will vary between individuals.
Females are likely to take longer to heal due to the invasive nature of the surgery. So, make sure you keep an eye on your dog and speak to your vet if you’re unsure.
In general terms, you can start taking your dog out for short 10-minute walks 5-7 days after surgery.
However, you must keep them on a lead and make sure it’s a calm, gentle walk. You can then gradually increase the length of the walks over a week or so.
Dogs should not be allowed to go swimming until at least two weeks after surgery because the surgical site needs to remain dry.
Most vets will often use dissolvable stitches after neutering surgery, which usually takes around two weeks to dissolve fully, but it can be longer.
Male dogs should be able to get back to their normal activities around this time.
However, female dogs will need to refrain from jumping until at least 28 days after surgery.
You can then begin to incorporate gentle exercise into their daily routine. Bear in mind that it can take up to 42 days for a spay wound to heal fully, so don’t rush!
Larger or overweight dogs are also more likely to suffer from complications after surgery, so their healing time may need to be extended.
If your dog is jumping up post-neutering, you’re right to be concerned.
You’ll also be right to do all you can to minimize and stop this from becoming too regular in the days following surgery.
Thankfully with the suggestions presented here today, they should set you, and your dog, in good stead.
Other guides you may want to continue reading:
- Dog Not Eating After Neutering [Why & What To Do]
- Do Spayed Dogs Have Periods? [Or Bleed Following The Op?]
- Dog Not Eating After Surgery [Why & What To Do]
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.