Dog Keeps Sitting After Neutering or Spaying [What Now?]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

You have just had your dog neutered or spayed and now it is sitting in the corner and not moving.

Let me take a wild guess: You are starting to panic and need some answers fast.

The reasons why a dog keeps sitting after neutering or spaying are hormonal changes, the effects of anesthesia, still experiencing pain, physical toll, discomfort from the stitches, anxiety, post-operation complications, or just being lazy.

In this post, I will share with you the details and what you can do to help it feel better.

Be sure to read till the end to get all the tips to make this work.

Medical Questions? Talk to a Veterinarian 24/7.
Connect one-on-one with a licensed vet who will answer your questions in minutes.

Ask a Vet Now or Schedule a home visit

*Article may contain affiliate links to retailers like Amazon and Chewy. Learn more on our disclosure page.

Dear Dog Owner

8 Reasons Why Your Dog Keeps Sitting After Neutering or Spaying

1. Hormonal change

One of the most common reasons why a dog might continue to sit after neutering is hormonal changes.

After being neutered, the male dog’s testosterone levels drop and his libido decreases.

This can cause behavioral changes such as reduced energy and an increase in submissive behaviors.

Hormonal changes apply to female dogs too.

Find out how long after neutering is testosterone gone.

2. Feeling the effects of anesthesia

The anesthesia used during surgery causes your pet’s muscles to relax, but it doesn’t disappear immediately.

Your pet will still feel its effects for a few hours after surgery.

When a dog is recovering from the effects of the anesthesia, it may feel disoriented and lethargic for some time after recovery.

This is normal and should not be cause for concern.

Doggy says, you might like this too: Splayed Feet In Dogs [Guide]

dog essentials banner in content

3. Still experiencing pain

After the surgery, your dog may have some stiff or sore muscles—maybe even a little bit of bruising.

Not to mention that it now has a fresh wound that feels extremely strange to it.

Some dogs have a harder time recovering from neutering than others, and some experience more discomfort than others.

If your dog seems to be in pain and is sitting more than usual, he may need pain medication or rest.

Doggy says, you might like this too: Pros and Cons of Getting a Third Dog [Broken Down]

4. Physical toll on your dog

Although the surgery itself is relatively simple, it is still a significant one after all.

The procedure can take a lot out of them and makes them not want to move around much.

It’s not uncommon for dogs to sleep a lot more than normal after their surgery, so be patient and keep a close eye on it during this time.

Doggy says, you might like this too: Dog Can’t Open Eyes After Grooming [What To Do Now?]

5. Discomfort from the stitches

When your vet performs the procedure, they’ll use stitches to close up your pet’s incision.

These stitches can be bothersome for some dogs, especially those who are young, small, or very active.

As you might imagine, dogs can be very sensitive to stitches.

You may notice that your dog is licking or biting, or even trying to scratch the incision site with its hind legs, and this is perfectly normal.

You will need some measures to prevent this though (more on this later).

Hey there, sorry to interrupt but I wanted to tell you about an online vet service I’ve been using for years.

An in-person visit with one is great, but it’s not always an option.

Now, thanks to technology, you can speak to one without leaving your home.

Remote access
Avoidance of travel
Reduced stress for pets
Immediate access to experts
Quick response time
Schedule appointments easily

Got something to ask a vet?
Talk to one anytime, 24/7.


* Don’t use this service for emergencies.

Alternatively, a vet can come out to you instead (exclusive to our readers: use THEVETS15 for 15% off).


Thank you. The rest of the article continues below.

Doggy says, you might like this too: Pros and Cons of Neutering a Bernese Mountain Dog

6. Anxiety/stress

Dogs are very sensitive creatures, and it’s possible that these repeated trips to the vet have caused them unnecessary stress.

There are several different ways your dog might act out, including hiding in a corner and sitting down for long periods of time.

That’s because they do not want to move or walk around, or they may feel a little anxious when they do move, causing a ton of confusion for dog owners, especially those going through this for the first time.

Doggy says, you might like this too: Pros and Cons of Neutering a Doberman Pinscher

7. Post-operation complications

Sterilization operations are performed by vets on a regular basis, and the mortality rate is stunningly low.

However, that does not mean it is perfect each and every single time, and complications do happen.

I wasn’t able to find any in-depth studies, but some data suggest that about 10% of surgeries will have complications that require treatment.

These include infection, anesthetic complications, and internal bleeding.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: Dog Foaming at the Mouth and Shaking [When to See a Vet?]

8. Your dog is just feeling lazy

You may not be able to see it, but your dog is probably feeling a bit down after sterilization.

After all, its reproductive organs are now removed and the urge to find a mate is greatly reduced, if not completely gone.

There is not much impetus for it to get up now and search for a partner so becoming lazy is something that can happen during the aftermath of such a surgery.

Guess what? This is just temporary.

Give it some time before resuming your usual activities and your dog should be as before soon!

On the other extreme, you might have a dog that jumps around after spaying or neutering!

Doggy says, you might like this too: Pigeon Chest French Bulldog: How to Deal With It?

How Long Will My Dog Be in Pain After Neutering or Spaying?

To recuperate from either treatment, though, should take roughly the same length of time for both.

Your dog may not act like themselves right after surgery, and they might feel weary or sick.

These are common after-effects of general anesthesia.

The next day, your dog should start acting more like itself again and should not exhibit any signs of pain or discomfort.

The majority of pain experienced during neutering or spaying should subside after a week.

Contact your veterinarian for more information if your pet is in pain or discomfort for more than a few days.

What to Do if My Dog Keeps Sitting after Getting Neutered? Care Tips

What to Do if My Dog Keeps Sitting after Getting Neutered

Fact: Your dog sitting down after a sterilization op should not concern you too much, but what’s more important is how you care for it post-op.

Follow the tips below and pretty soon, you will find your lovely pooch back to normal!

Give it some alone time

It’s best if you leave it alone for a couple of hours so that it can rest and get back on its feet.

You may also want to consider isolating your dog from other pets in the house during this period as they may pick up infections or spread germs around.

Keeping it in a crate or small playpen will restrict its movement and more importantly, prevent the wound from opening up due to excessive activity.

Doggy says, you might like this too: Chlorophyll for Dogs in Heat [Mask Smell?]

Offer a calming treat or supplement

It’s normal for your dog to be a little more anxious after getting neutered.

The surgery can be a bit traumatizing, and it’s not uncommon for dogs to need some time to recover from the procedure.

You can help your pup feel more comfortable by offering him a calming treat or supplement.

Provide your dog with a good place to rest

That means refraining from loud gatherings, yelling children, and rough play.

Make sure your dog has a comfy doggy bed, its favorite stuffed toy, and don’t skimp on the snacks.

Dim lighting and room temperature will also greatly improve the conditions where it is resting.

Separate in-heat females from males

Lucky you to have multiple dogs, but if your boy is getting neutered, you might want to keep them away from each other at least for a month.

Even though its testicles are removed, a neutered dog still has a possibility to impregnate a female dog up to 30 days later.

Not forgetting that females in heat tend to be more aggressive, and any wrong moves might end up in a fight.

Offer small amounts of food and water

Your dog’s appetite might not be normal right after surgery as it may be feeling nauseated from the anesthesia or pain medication that was given during the procedure.

That does not mean it does not need food and water though.

You should offer your dog small amounts of food and water every hour or so until its appetite returns to normal levels.

Keep a close eye for complications

Keep an eye out on your dog for any other signs that it’s feeling ill—such as excessive panting or vomiting, diarrhea or blood in his urine, lethargy, and weakness, and seek medical attention immediately if you see any of these symptoms.

Contact the vet if your dog is not urinating or defecating regularly within 72 hours after surgery.

Be sure to check out the sections below where we highlight some common issues faced after sterilization.

Keep the incision site dry

Just like a regular human wound, it is important to keep the incision site as dry as possible.

That means no showers until the stitches are removed (around 10 days later), avoid wet areas (especially when outside), and no licking.

Get your dog an Elizabethan collar (cone), a recovery suit (onesie), or a dog diaper after neutering.

Take note that the cone you use needs to go past your dog’s nose by 2 inches.

Otherwise, it will not be effective and your dog will still be able to reach the spot.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: How soon after neutering can a dog be groomed?

Check their incision regularly

For at least twice a day, you should check your dog’s incision site for abnormalities.

Here’s what you should look out for:

In females, there shouldn’t be much drainage, discharge, or odor, and there shouldn’t be any swelling or redness.

For males, they may release or drain a little amount of fluid for up to 3 days.

Any bruising should subside as the days go by, as is any redness and swelling.

Limit its activity

Needless to say, this is not the best time to play fetch with Fido.

For the first 7 to 10 days, you want to make sure that your pet is not moving around too much, as this will make it harder for them to heal.

Placing it in a crate, playpen, or small room is the best way to restrict movement.

If your dog is trained to release outside, you may take it out for a short walk, but be sure to clean it thoroughly with wet wipes when you are back.

Feed a regular diet

For the first day or so, your pet is likely to have a weak appetite but that should return to normal very quickly.

It might be tempting to give it extra treats or something special, but I would recommend against it.

Just continue feeding it its regular diet and not make any changes, as this can potentially hide any post-op complications.

Doggy says, you might be interested in this too: Should you neuter an Australian Shepherd?

How Long Should a Dog Not Lick After Being Neutered?

Definitely not before the stitches are removed.

If your dog starts licking after surgery, you need to let it wear a cone collar right away.

Saliva contains bacteria and can cause an infection if your dog is allowed to lick its incision site.

Beyond that, your dog might also attempt to remove the stitches, causing unnecessary damage to itself.

I guess I don’t need to explain this a lot more, so no licking!

Common Issues Faced After Sterilization

Here are some of the most common issues faced by dog owners after a sterilization surgery:

  • Tiny amount of bloody discharge from the incision site
  • Bruising, edema, or redness at the incision location
  • Whining and crying
  • Lethargy for up to 24 hours after surgery
  • Not peeing or passing motion like its regular days

Signs of Infection After Spaying/Neutering Your Dog

This is a situation that no dog parents want to see, but it does happen.

So, when should you be concerned?

Knowing what to look out for is super important as it can help your dog get treatment as early as possible.

If you notice any of the following, consult your vet asap:

  • Bad smell coming from the area of the incision
  • Lethargy that persists for more than 2 days
  • Bruising and swelling that does not go away after 2 days
  • Pus developing or oozing out from the wound
  • Excessive bleeding
  • Vomiting and diarrhea after 24 hours of the surgery
  • Surgical site opening up (stitches coming off)
  • Not eating or drinking for more than 24 hours
  • Reopening of the incision site
  • Physical symptoms such as tremors, non-stop shaking, excessive drooling

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is it normal for my dog to not want to walk after being neutered?

Yes, it is normal for dogs to not want to walk after neutering. They are still recovering from the effects of the surgery, so you might want to carry it around at least for the first few hours.

How long do dogs act weird after neutering?

After a dog is neutered, he may experience some temporary side effects that make him feel off-balance. These symptoms typically clear up within a few days, but they can last up to two weeks.

Will my dog need pain meds after surgery?

It is not always necessary, but your vet might prescribe some commonly used pain medication such as Rimadyl or Torbugesic to help your dog manage any postoperative pain.

Where should my dog sleep after being neutered?

Your dog should sleep in its regular spot, and you can make it more comfortable for it by giving it a few soft cushions, blankets, or its favorite soft toys. Ensure that the area is dimly lit and quiet so that it gets a good rest.

In Conclusion: Dog Keeps Sitting After Neutering or Spaying

The first few days after your dog has been neutered are important.

You will want to be patient with your dog, and give them space until they are comfortable again. Don’t force them to do anything they don’t want to do.

You should avoid any strenuous activity or exercise for at least 2 weeks.

This includes walking, running, and playing games like fetch or tug-of-war until you see signs that the surgery has healed properly.

If you have any concerns about this, contact your veterinarian immediately!

They will be able to help you better understand what is going on with your dog, and how to handle the situation.

Wanna learn more dog care tips? Check out these posts too:

Share this post!
Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Canine Care Central!

no more bad dog breaths banner