Preparing Your Pet for Surgery – The Do’s and Don’ts

The morning of a surgical procedure can be scary for your dog or cat. That is why we want to review with all our clients the best ways to prepare his or her pet for a successful and stress free day.

As an owner, you should be prepared to fill out some brief paperwork when arriving at the clinic. The first form will ask you about preoperative blood work, laser surgery and a microchip. Preoperative blood work is strongly encouraged at any age, but is required for any animal over the age of seven. Laser surgery is a technique the doctor uses in lieu of a scalpel. The laser cuts and cauterizes the skin creating less bleeding, less pain and less scarring. If your pet does not have a microchip, you have the option to microchip your pet while under anesthesia. We will then register the microchip for the first year through HomeAgain. The last decision you would have to make as an owner, if needed, is what type of recovery collar you would like for your pet to prevent licking or chewing at any incision site. We provide six different options for you to choose from for your convenience.


– Ask for an estimate prior to procedure to be financially prepared.

– Discuss with your vet if your pet is on medications and if you should medicate the morning of the procedure.

– Take them out to go to the bathroom prior to arriving at the clinic.

– Make sure they pee and/or poop!

– Be here on time for drop off between 7:30 – 8:30 am.

– Have your phone nearby in case the office calls with any updates on your animal or instructions as to when to pick up.

– Pick up on time so that reception can go over all discharge instructions and any medications in a timely and thorough manner.


– No food after 8 pm, can have access to water.

– Do not overfeed or feed anything different the night before.

– Do not stress! Try to remain stress free and know they are in great hands.

Many owners are concerned about anesthesia. However, anesthesia is very safe. Only 1 in 100,000 animals have a reaction to an anesthetic agent. Anesthetic risk will likely never be eliminated, but there are many things that we as a practice do to reduce risk such as pre-surgical blood work, intravenous catheterization, intravenous fluids, airway management, proper supportive care and appropriate monitoring. Blood tests greatly increase the chance of detecting a hidden problem that could prove to be life threatening under anesthesia. By following these do’s and don’ts we hope that every pet and owner can have a stress free and successful surgery day!