How Soon Can I Walk My Dog After Neutering?

Dr. Joe Alcorn, M.S., D.V.M.

Dr. Joe Alcorn is founder of Care Animal Hospital in Temecula, California. He has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and his advice has been featured in large publications like Bustle and Martha Stewart.

Home » Blog » How Soon Can I Walk My Dog After Neutering?

“How soon can I walk my dog after neutering?” – This question is on every pet parent’s mind, and today, I will be answering it in detail. Walking your dog too soon after the procedure can lead to serious complications and delayed healing. Here’s a post-surgery timeline I recommend to all pet parents for resuming a normal walking routine with their dogs.

How Soon Can I Walk My Dog After Neutering?

While you may be able to introduce short, slow walks at home after three days, it’s generally recommended to wait 10 to 14 days for full recovery before resuming regular walking routines. This timeline provides ample time for the wound to heal properly and prevent infection or further pain.

Dog walking outdoors

After your dog’s neutering surgery, it’s important to allow sufficient time for the healing process before you start walking them again. Otherwise, it can result in the last thing any pet owner wants: Slow healing, a high risk of infection, or a reopened incision.

A Dog’s Recovery Timeline for Walking After Neutering

Time After NeuteringWalking Recommendation
First 24 hoursDo not walk your dog
2 days afterAvoid walking
3 to 9 days afterLead very short, slow walks inside your home
10 to 14 days afterSlowly increase the length and intensity and resume normal walking routine after a full recovery

When pet parents ask me, “When can I walk my dog after surgery?” I tell them that every dog is different. Dogs that recover immediately can do light walks indoors three to 10 days after the procedure. As a vet, I recommend this timeline for when and how to slowly walk your dogs within the first few weeks after the neutering surgery

First 24 Hours

The dog will be most uncomfortable during the first day after the surgery. They may feel drowsy due to the anesthesia and stitches, so it’s wise to just let them rest and recover instead of getting them to walk. Let them recover their energy, but avoid leaving your dog alone

Two Days After

I generally recommend that dogs take complete rest up to 48 hours after the surgery. While some dogs may regain strength, there’s still a high risk of infection due to the fresh stretches. You also risk the chance of the wound opening and causing bleeding if there’s too much movement. 

After Three to Nine Days

While the incision may be healing nicely at this stage, a vet clinic usually schedules a post-surgery checkup three days after the procedure. Depending on your dog’s energy, you may try reintroducing short walks inside your home at this point. 

After 10 to 14 Days

During the 10-day period, start walking for short distances and resume light exercises with your dog. Depending on your neutered dog’s recovery status after two weeks, a vet should be able to inform you about when you can get back to routine walks. 

Risks of Walking Male Dogs Too Early Post-Surgery

Neutered male dogs live 18% longer than uncastrated ones. Part of that benefit is knowing how to care for your dog to avoid post-surgery problems. 

Dog wearing a cone

The last thing any pet parent wants is to put their fur baby in more pain. Here are some of the risks associated with walking neutered dogs too early:

  • Increased swelling, which would delay the recovery process.
  • Open wound, resulting in your dog getting replacement stitches.
  • High risk of infection at the surgical site caused by going outside and exposing the body to plenty of bacteria.
  • Fatigue, which may cause his muscles to break down.

How Soon Is Too Soon?

The timeline for resuming walks after the surgery varies significantly. Some dogs are ready within a few days while others may require up to two weeks of rest. 

Every dog heals differently. It’s advisable to exercise patience and assume your pet will need around 10 to 14 days before regaining enough mobility and energy.

How Can I Help a Dog Regain Strength After a Neuter Surgery?

Neutering is an invasive surgical procedure that can weaken dogs for a few days. These tips can help your dog regain strength:

  1. Walk indoors: While you can’t go outside, your dog may start walking at home. Limit activities in a safe, controlled environment.
  2. Calm your dog: Castrated dogs tend to have a roughly 8% increase in excitability. Keep your dog calm and prevent them from becoming hyperactive.
  3. Follow the prescribed medication: Your dog needs to take pain medication and antibiotics to prevent infection and relieve post-op discomfort.
  4. Check and clean stitches: Cover the stitches when heading out or doing light movements. Use a damp towel to wipe oozing pus, crusts, or dirt.
  5. Provide mental stimulation: The wait can be frustrating for dogs, especially high-energy ones. Divert your dog’s attention using chew or puzzle toys.

What Should I Do In the Case of Potential Complications?

After the neutering procedure, your dog might keep jumping around or scratching their wound – this is completely normal behavior for them. 

In such cases, there’s a high risk of reopening the surgical site, which may lead to an open wound, increased swelling, and a risk of infection. Trying to manage these issues without a veterinarian’s guidance can be risky and may exacerbate the pain.

Corgi covered in a blue blanket while lying in a gray sofa

When you notice warning signs after dog neutering or have questions, it’s best to contact a vet immediately. My vet clinic is always available for assistance. I can assess the situation, provide tailored guidance based on your dog’s specific condition, and recommend appropriate measures to address the problems.

Related Questions

How Long After My Dog Is Neutered Can I Walk Him? 

You can typically start walking your dog three days after neutering, beginning with short walks indoors. However, to return to your normal walking routine, you should ideally wait for a full recovery, which can take about 10 to 14 days.

How Long Should a Male Dog Rest After Being Neutered? 

For the sake of the dog’s health and proper recovery, male dogs should rest completely for at least two to three days after neutering before attempting any light activity. 

Can My Dog Play Three Days After Neutering? 

Playing or vigorous exercise for a dog after neutering should be avoided for three days. Instead, you can take short walks on a leash or until your dog has fully healed to prevent reopening the incision.

Can My Dog Walk Upstairs After Being Neutered? 

Your dog should avoid going up and down stairs for the first week after neutering. This can put a strain on the surgical area and cause the incision to become sore or reopen.

How Far Can I Walk My Dog After the Surgery?

There is no exact answer to this, as dogs require varying exercise levels. You should be able to walk them as far as you typically would if your dog fully recuperates after 10 to 14 days.

How Can I Get My Dog to Walk Again After Neutering?

When a dog won’t walk after neutering, start with slow leash walks. Work your way towards longer routes each day. But make sure you give them enough time to heal and recover before you start walking them again.


Every dog is different, so there’s no specific one-size-fits-all answer to, “How soon can I walk my dog after neutering?”. It all depends on your dog’s recovery and health status. Whether it’s as early as three days or longer, it’s best to follow the proper aftercare instructions, so your furry friend can recover faster and enjoy long walks again.