Dogs can jump one to three times their height, an impressive physical feat. When watching dogs jump, they push off with their strong hind legs, extending their body and stretching the abdomen — right where a fresh spay incision is.
Each jump a dog makes after spaying risks tearing stitches and reopening the wound. So, how long after being spayed can a dog jump?
Physical activity, including running, jumping, and playing, must be restricted for 10 to 14 days after a dog’s spay surgery.
By day 14, your dog’s incision should be fully closed and healed. Since soft tissues can continue their healing time past 14 days, continue to be cautious of rough or physically demanding activity for up to three weeks.
Over 80% of dogs in the US are spayed and neutered, making the surgery routine for veterinarians but still very demanding for your dog. This article helps you prepare for spay recovery and prevent your dog from harming the incision. Allowing your pup a speedy, safe recovery.
How long after being spayed can my dog jump?
After spay surgery, dogs have a high risk of injury in the first 10 to 14 days. During this time, keeping a cone on your dog while limiting physical activity, like jumping and running, is essential.
With an abdomen incision, jumping on the sofa or sprinting towards the door can open the surgical incision, painful for your dog, plus a trip to the veterinarian.
Ovariohysterectomy is the most common spay procedure and involves stitching large blood vessels while stitches, or surgical glue, keep the incision closed.
Dogs risk ripping out stitches or separating surgical glue with everyday activities, including:
- Jumping on or off the sofa
- Jumping on or off the bed
- Using the stairs
- Jumping to greet you or a guest
- Rough playing
Supervising your dog closely during the first 10 to 14 days is critical.
Life is full of distractions, like cooking dinner or preparing the kids for school. During this time, keeping your dog in a small enclosed space is best. Safe spaces include:
- A crate
- A fenced-in area
- A small empty room
- A makeshift pen with turned-around sofas
When ready to relax or go to sleep, place your dog on the sofa and bed, and don’t allow them to jump down. Always lift from their bottom and be cautious of the abdomen.
What do I do if my dog jumped after spay surgery?
Dogs will be dogs, and sometimes they slip out of your sight. When you catch your dog jumping up after spaying, it’s important to check their incision immediately.
Your veterinarian will provide care instructions that include examining the incision twice daily, so you should know how the area looked before the jump.
It’s normal for a spay incision to show:
- Mild swelling and bruising
- Trace amounts of bloody discharge
Consult your veterinarian for these non-emergency issues:
- Small openings at the incision
- Discharge other than blood
- Substantial swelling
Signs of a medical emergency are:
- Flowing blood from the incision
- Fully opened incision
To be prepared, search for a 24-hour emergency veterinarian in your area. You can also use online services like connect with a vet by Chewy.
Hopefully, your dog’s incision looks intact with no concern. If so, make a plan to prevent your dog from jumping and potentially hurting themselves again.
How do I stop my dog from jumping and running after being spayed?
Puppies are already wild and active, let alone a puppy of an active dog breed like the Border Collie. So what can you do to prevent running and jumping?
The first step is preventing triggers — like doorbells or knocking. Placing tape over the doorbell or disconnecting a wire will prevent your dog’s prompt reaction to sprint towards the door. While you’re at it, put a note on the door asking to please not knock.
Dogs love to play, so leaving toys around can also spontaneously trigger a dog to run, pounce, and play. After spaying is an excellent time to wash all your dog’s toys, keeping them out of sight until healed.
Now that you’ve controlled your dog’s major triggers, you must safeguard your home. If possible, limit your dog to a small area. You can do this with a movable gate, puppy pen, or furniture rearranging.
For smaller dogs, purchasing or building a furniture ramp when young will train your dog to continue using it as they age. Constant jumping can cause hip dysplasia or a luxating patella (loose knee) later in life. It’s best to have a portable ramp to move it between the sofa and bed.
Stairs are dozens of tiny jumps for dogs, and each one can be dangerous. Always block off the stairs after spaying and carry your dog up and down for the first 10 to 14 days.
What’s the right amount of exercise for dogs after spaying?
Your dog’s body goes through many changes after spaying, including a drop in estrogen. Estrogen is a hormone responsible for suppressing appetite and controlling food intake levels.
With a drop in estrogen and a decrease in metabolic rate, dogs are at risk of weight gain after spaying — although it’s most significant in male dogs after neutering.
Your focus for the first seven days is on maintaining a calm, clean environment and fully restricting exercise. After the first week, a dog can go for a gentle walk, but always on a leash.
The incision must stay dry and clean, so don’t allow your dog the opportunity to roll in grass or mud and play in the water.
After the first 10-14 days, continuing daily walks with your dog is okay but avoid strenuous running, rough play, and jumping. To prevent destructive behavior in active dogs, puzzles or treat dispensing toys can keep their mind stimulated.
A dog parent’s job is challenging after spaying. Making decisions based on intuition will be expected.
By monitoring your dog’s spay incision twice a day, you’ll know how quickly it’s healing. Taking progress photos can be very helpful to look back at day one to notice any drastic changes.
To be prepared for a safe recovery, take the proper precautions the night before surgery. Precautions include:
- Blocking the stairs
- Creating a small, enclosed space
- Using a furniture ramp
- Blocking furniture
- Preventing triggers like doorbells, knocking, and toys
For the first 10-14 days, your dog’s incision is at a high risk of infection and a painful reopening. To help, always prevent your dog from:
- Rough play
It’s your job to stay vigilant, keep an Elizabethan collar or an alternative to cones on at all times, and monitor the incision regularly.
Spay and neutering help to prevent unwanted pregnancies, stop problematic behavior, and eliminate certain health risks, like ovarian cancer. Spayed dogs often have longer lifespans than intact dogs too.
Your dog’s eyes and behavior may show frustration and disappointment, but they will quickly forget about all your restrictions when the two weeks are over and it’s back to everyday life.
We wish your pup a speedy and safe recovery.
Do you have tips to prevent a dog from jumping and running? Share this article and your advice with others to help.