How to Help Your Dog Heal

The Dog Trainer explains how post-surgical pain slows healing.

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA
1-minute read

How to Help Your Dog Heal

by Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA

Has your dog had surgery, or been treated for an injury? Or does she have a chronic condition, such as arthritis, that may be causing pain? 

It used to be thought, for instance, that post-surgical pain would induce an animal to keep still and so heal more quickly. But actually, the opposite is true – post-surgical pain slows healing and increases the incidence of complications. And whether pain is acute, like pain from an injury or surgery, or chronic, like arthritis, it diminishes your dog’s quality of life. Your achy old dog won’t enjoy her walks as much. Pain can even contribute to aggression, by making animals defensive and irritable.

So make sure your vet is on board with adequate pain control, and work with him or her to keep your dog happy and comfortable.

Sick dog with bandages lying from Shutterstock

About the Author

Jolanta Benal, CPDT-KA, CBCC-KA

Jolanta holds professional certifications in both training and behavior counseling and belongs to the Association of Professional Dog Trainers and the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants. She also volunteered with Pet Help Partners, a program of the Humane Society of the United States that works to prevent pet relinquishment. Her approach is generally behaviorist (Pavlovian, Skinnerian and post-Skinnerian learning theory) with a big helping of ethology (animal behavior as observed in non-experimental settings).