How To Lift Dog After Spay | Tips For Safe Handling

When a dog undergoes spaying surgery, it’s crucial to handle them with care and proper technique during recovery.

Lifting your dog after spaying is often necessary, particularly if your pet needs assistance getting in and out of a vehicle or stairs.

Following a spaying procedure, dogs may experience pain and discomfort around their abdominal area.

In this article, we will explore the steps on how to lift dog after spay.

Understanding Spay Surgery

Spaying is a surgical procedure commonly performed on female dogs to remove their reproductive organs, preventing pregnancy and reducing the risk of certain health issues.

Before lifting a dog after spay surgery, it is essential to understand the procedure and necessary recovery period to ensure the dog’s safety and well-being.

The Spay Procedure

During spay surgery, also known as an ovariohysterectomy, the veterinarian removes the dog’s uterus and ovaries under general anesthesia.

This procedure involves making an incision in the dog’s abdomen, which is then closed with sutures, staples, or surgical glue.

The surgery typically takes 1-2 hours, depending on the dog’s size and health.

As spaying is an invasive procedure, providing the dog with proper post-operative care is crucial to prevent complications, such as infection or injury to the surgical site.

Recovery Period

After spay surgery, a dog’s recovery usually takes 10-14 days.

During this time, pet owners should keep an eye on their dog’s behavior, appetite, and surgical site for any signs of discomfort or complications.

The following guidelines can help ensure a smooth recovery:

  • Limit the dog’s physical activity — no running, jumping, or playing.
  • Keep the dog indoors and provide a calm, quiet environment.
  • Monitor the surgical site for signs of infection, such as redness, swelling, or discharge.
  • Follow all veterinarian-provided instructions regarding pain management and wound care.

During the recovery period, pet owners must be cautious when lifting their dogs to prevent putting unnecessary strain on the healing surgical site.

By knowing how to spay surgery works and understanding the critical recovery phase, dog owners can help ensure their pet heals properly without complications.

Assessing Your Dog’s Condition

After your dog has been spayed, it is essential to assess its condition to distinguish the best method for lifting and supporting them.

You will need to analyze two major factors:

Monitor Pain Levels

First, keep a watchful eye on your dog’s pain levels.

Observe their body language, facial expressions, and any vocalizations.

If your dog displays signs of discomfort or pain while moving, it might indicate a need for extra care and support when lifting them.

Some common indicators of pain in dogs include:

  • Whining or crying
  • Excessive panting
  • Trembling or shaking
  • Avoiding movement or touch

Consult your veterinarian if your dog seems to be in significant pain or discomfort, as they may need additional pain management interventions.

Evaluate Mobility

Next, evaluate your dog’s mobility.

Gently encourage them to stand or walk short distances.

Observe their level of balance, strength, and overall coordination.

You may notice:

  • Difficulty standing or sitting
  • Wobbling or unsteadiness
  • Reluctance to walk or reluctance to walk on certain surfaces
  • Limping or favoring one side

These observations will help you determine if your dog requires extra support when being lifted or if it can manage with minimal assistance.

Through careful assessment of your dog’s pain levels and mobility, you will be able to identify the best lifting technique to use after their spay procedure for comfort and safety.

Proper Lifting Techniques

Step-By-Step Guide

Before lifting your dog, make sure you are in a comfortable and stable position.

Consider the following steps to lift your dog safely:

  1. Stand next to your dog, facing in the same direction as they are.
  2. Place one arm under their chest, between their front legs.
  3. Place your other arm under their abdomen, supporting their hindquarters.
  4. Gently but firmly, lift your dog by supporting its weight evenly using both arms.
  5. Ensure you maintain a comfortable posture while lifting to avoid injury to yourself or your dog.

Safety Measures

When lifting your dog after spaying, it is crucial to protect its incision site to prevent complications.

Keep in mind the following safety measures:

  • Avoid applying pressure directly to the surgical site.
  • Always lift your dog gently, and avoid sudden movements.
  • If your dog is large or heavy, consider using a sling or a blanket as support.
  • Monitor your dog for any signs of pain, discomfort, or distress during the lifting process.
  • Consult your veterinarian for specific guidance tailored to your dog’s condition.

Alternatives To Lifting

If lifting your dog after a spay surgery is not ideal or feasible, there are alternative methods to aid your dog’s mobility, such as ramps and dog slings.

These options can provide support and minimize stress on your dog’s body during recovery.

Using Ramps

Ramps provide a gentle incline for your dog to navigate, reducing the strain on their body as they move.

They can be particularly useful for assisting dogs in getting in and out of vehicles or ascending stairs.

To effectively use a ramp:

  • Select a ramp with an appropriate size and weight capacity for your dog.
  • Ensure the ramp has a non-slip surface for secure footing.
  • Gradually introduce the ramp to your dog, using positive reinforcement and treats to encourage use.
  • Assist your dog as needed, supporting them as they ascend or descend the ramp.

Dog Slings

Dog slings are designed to support your dog’s body weight while allowing some mobility.

These devices can help distribute weight evenly, relieving pressure on the surgery site.

To utilize a dog sling during your dog’s recovery:

  • Purchase a sling that is appropriately sized and adjustable for your dog’s breed and size.
  • Position the sling under your dog’s abdomen, providing gentle support.
  • Hold the sling’s handles to stabilize your dog as they move.
  • Monitor your dog’s comfort and adjust the sling as needed.

By employing ramps and dog slings, pet owners can help their dogs during their post-surgery recovery without having to lift them directly.

This eases discomfort and contributes to a smoother healing process.

Tips For Recovery Care

After your dog has undergone spay surgery, it is crucial to ensure proper recovery care.

Here are some essential tips to aid in their healing process:


Administering prescribed medication is critical for your dog’s comfort and recovery.

Your vet may provide pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications.

Follow the dosage guidelines, and administer as directed:

  • Typically, medication is given once or twice daily with food
  • Ensure your dog completely finishes their prescribed course
  • Never give human medications to your dog without consulting your vet

Monitor your dog for any adverse reactions, and contact your vet immediately if you notice any issues.

Restricted Activities

Rest is essential for your dog’s healing process.

Follow these recommendations to keep their activity levels appropriate:

  • Limit exercise to gentle, controlled walks on a leash
  • Avoid high-energy play, jumping, and off-leash running
  • Restrict access to stairs and areas where your dog may be tempted to jump

Implementing these guidelines for 10-14 days after surgery will significantly impact your dog’s recovery.

Speak with your vet if you have concerns about your dog’s activity level or any other aspect of its healing process.

In summary, lifting a dog after spay surgery is important to support its recovery and ensure its safety.

Proper care and gentle handling can minimize pain and discomfort during this delicate time.

By following the above mentioned guidelines, dog owners can ensure a safe and comfortable experience while their pet recovers from spay surgery.

Remember to consult with a veterinarian for personalized advice and specific post-operative instructions.

Before You Go…

Now you know how to lift a dog after spaying.

If you want to learn more, read the following articles too!

Mena Emad, DVM
Mena has a Bachelor’s degree in veterinary medicine. His expertise, passion for animal welfare, extensive knowledge, and experience in the field of veterinary medicine make him an excellent resource for our readers.