Is It Normal for Dogs to Whine after Being Spayed?

Getting your dog spayed is an important duty for any pet owner. Just like with any operation, there’s always some pain to deal with afterward; even in animals. However, you may be wondering what signs of pain are normal after spaying. 

Is it normal for dogs to whine after being spayed? Is it normal for dogs to whimper after being spayed? Answering these sorts of questions can help you and your dog experience a calmer recovery.

Is It Normal for Dogs to Whine After Being Spayed?

Some amount of pain is normal for dogs that have been spayed immediately following their procedure. While some dogs are able to tolerate pain more than others, don’t be surprised if your dog whines or whimpers after being spayed. It’s perfectly normal for dogs to whine after being spayed. 

A dog whining after being spayed

That being said, some dogs will express their pain in many other ways. Dogs won’t be able to tell you how they feel after being spayed, yet, there are still ways for you to know if she’s feeling any pain. 

How Do I Know if My Dog is in Pain After Spaying?

Your dog may not feel any pain or discomfort until after the anesthesia has worn off. They may feel tired and a bit agitated after you bring her home from the vet. This might lead you to believe that they will not feel any pain throughout their recovery. All dogs will have some amount of pain after being spayed, the way they express the pain will reflect on how they’re feeling. 

Some dogs may show some, or all of, the signs below which indicate that they’re in pain:

  • Whine, cry, or whimper
  • Bite or lick at the incision site
  • Resist being held
  • Not wanting to get up
  • Not wanting to eat

These are all normal signs after being spayed, however, if your dog is still refusing to eat after the first day, you should contact your vet and let them know. Your dog should also be willing to walk on their own. If you notice any unwillingness to get up after the first day, contact your vet about this as well. 

How long your dog will be in pain after spaying will depend on how quickly the incision heals. Most incisions will heal within 2 weeks. Your dog will feel the most pain within the first few days. The pain should get better day by day. 

If you see that your dog is still in a lot of pain, talk to your veterinarian, they can prescribe pain relievers if they haven’t already. Never give your dog pain relievers intended for humans. The best thing to give them is the prescribed medication from the veterinarian. 

How Do I Comfort My Dog After Being Spayed?

Aside from pain, your dog may feel sleepy, agitated, and might not be able to balance. There are ways that you can help them feel comfortable so they can have an easy recovery. 

Dog wearing an Elizabeth collar

Buy an Elizabeth Collar

Most dogs will chew or lick at their incision due to pain or itchiness once it starts to heal. This can cause an infection to the wound or even cause it to open. This is costly to fix and it ends up causing more pain to your dog. The best thing you can do in this case is to buy an e-collar that will go around your dog’s head and prevent them from touching the incision.

Yes, these collars can be very annoying to a dog and make it hard to eat, drink and see what’s below them, however, there are different designs that can be less irritating. You can try to look for inflatable designs that won’t go around the head and still prevent your dog from touching their wound. 

Put Your Dog in a Separate Room

Your dog will be easily agitated, tired and in pain coming back from the clinic. Having your dog rest in a separate room away from loud noises and small children can help them sleep easier. They will definitely need to sleep off the pain. 

Make sure the room does not have anything high that she can jump on to. Too much activeness can allow the wound to open. It helps to make them a long, rectangular-shaped bed to lay in so they won’t be curled up. The incision site will be on their abdomen, so rolling into a ball might not allow it to heal properly. It can also make sleeping uncomfortable for them. 

Keep Your Dog Inside For a Few Days

You will want to restrict her activity for the first few days, so she won’t disturb her stitches. Going for a slow short potty walk is ok, just make sure to take it easy. 

How Does a Dog Act After Being Spayed?

Once the pain has subsided and the wound has healed, your dog will feel less agitated and will likely be back to their normal self. Spaying has some positive outcomes on female dogs, such as

A sad dog
  • Less urinating: When a female dog is in heat, she will want to get the attention of male dogs. She does this by frequently urinating and in as many spots as she can, to lead male dogs to find her. Spaying your dog can stop this habit because she will no longer be in heat. 
  • Less aggressiveness: A female dog may be aggressive with other people or other dogs before being spayed. Female dogs tend to fight with one another over male dogs when in heat. Spaying your dog will eliminate this problem. Female dogs also tend to be protective of their puppies and this may make them aggressive towards people. Likewise, a female dog can feel this way if she is not able to get pregnant. 
  • Less running away: When a female dog is in heat, she has the need to go out and search for mates. This makes her more vulnerable to running out the door every time it’s open. She may get lost, injured, or even killed. Spaying a dog takes this feeling away and allows your dog to be calmer.
  • Less pain during ovulation: A female dog may feel pain with each ovulation cycle. You might find that your dog gets irritated at times and not know why. Spaying your dog will completely remove this irritability because she will no longer ovulate. 

These changes might not be seen in all dogs who have been spayed. Some older dogs will hold on to these habits. It’s best to get your dog spayed within the first 12 months of their life. This will enable them from feeling this way or displaying these habits. 

What’s The Difference Between Spaying And Neutering?

Spaying and neutering are sometimes referred to as “fixing” pets by veterinarians and pet owners. Each procedure results in the sterilization of the pet, preventing unwanted pregnancies. Then why do there seem to be two different terms? 

The major distinguishing factor between spaying and neutering is sex. Male dogs are neutered, while female dogs are spayed. While the end result is the same for both male and female dogs, it’s important to note that the procedure is entirely different. 

Is It Normal For Dogs to Whine After Neutering?

So, what about male dogs? Is it normal for them to whine after a neuter surgery? Following a general anesthetic, some dogs cry and whimper quite loudly. Neutered dogs usually feel some degree of discomfort immediately following their procedure. 

It is not unusual for your dog to whine or whimper after being neutered, although some dogs can tolerate pain more than others. A dog’s whining after neutering is completely normal. Your dog is probably okay if he is eating, drinking, walking, and going to the bathroom without any problems. He may be a bit wobbly or sleepy the day of the procedure as the anesthetic wears off over the next 24 hours.

Neuter surgeries cause temporary discomfort that lasts just a few days and should disappear after a week. If your dog seems to be experiencing any pain or discomfort for more than a couple of days, it’s a good idea to contact me for further advice.


Remember that pain is normal after a dog has been spayed, however, you know your dog best, and if you feel that the way she’s acting is unusual contact your vet’s office right away. They should be able to reassure you over any worries you may have. 

Categories Dog

Doctor Joe Alcorn received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Colorado State University in 1981, and founded Care Animal Hospital in 1991 in Temecula, California. He is a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association.