When a physician schedules your precious pup or cat for surgery, it can be a bit stressful on you. While calming yourself down and spending quality time with your furry family member prior to surgery is important, it takes more than that to get your pet ready for surgery.


Fasting is required for any animal who needs anesthesia. Anesthetics lessen your pet's ability to swallow. Pets who vomit from the drugs may not be able to swallow, and as a result, will aspirate the emesis. Potentially, this may lead to aspiration pneumonia, which can be deadly. Some pets may struggle greatly with not having food, but it's important to follow the guidelines to ensure the best outcome for the surgery.

Young animals and pets with diabetes aren't capable of going prolonged periods of time without food; therefore, the vet might suggest they eat a small meal on the morning of the surgery. Because dehydration is a possibility when pets go long periods of time without water, the veterinarian may allow you to give you pet water.

Medication Restrictions

Make the vet aware of any medications your pet is on and how often he or she takes them. Some medications are safe to take before the surgery and may be necessary. Some aren't safe to take before surgery such as blood thinners. Depending on the surgery and when the medications are needed, you may need to provide the vet with the meds.

What to Bring

Ask the vet if there's anything you should bring. For instance, you may need to bring your pet's food since he or she should stick to his or her regular diet, especially after going through surgery. You may want to bring a blanket to make him or her feel comfortable when you carry him or her to the car.

Operating Day

Bring your pet to the facility early enough in the morning that he or she can have testing done if required. Make sure you provide Fluffy with plenty of love on your way to the office. Bring something for you to do while the surgery is going on. You'll want to have your mind occupied rather than stress over something that you can't control.

Prepare a Space at Home

Prepare a room or area for your pet to recover when he or she gets home. Fido needs a quiet, comfortable spot away from other pets and children who may bother him or her. 

Preparing your pet for surgery requires you to start several hours prior to the surgery. However, it's relatively simple to get everything ready. It just might require a bit of mental preparation on your end.