Dressing up your dog for Halloween is one thing, and dressing them up after surgery is another. Your dog will wear the Halloween costume only for a night, but the post-surgery shirt will have to be worn for quite some (long) time. And the process of fitting them into the shirt will also be different (difficult). So, how do you make it an easy process while ensuring the safety and comfort of your little fur friend?
Well, here’s how to put a shirt on a dog after surgery in five simple steps.
Keep the right-sized shirt ready before you make the dog comfortable and relaxed. Now, carefully fit the limbs into the sleeves and pull the shirt over the stomach while ensuring the incision is not disturbed. After the wound has been concealed under the cloth, tighten the end of the shirt firmly. And finally, make sure your dog is comfortable in the new dress.
It sounds easy enough, doesn’t it?
How to Put a Shirt on a Dog After Surgery
Let’s go into the details
Have the Shirt Ready
Even before the surgery is done, you can keep the shirt ready. And thereby, avoiding the hassle of finding a t-shirt at the last hour, i.e. post-surgery. Keep over three sets of shirts prepared. And make sure the garment will be comfortable for your little friend.
There are many kinds of shirts and t-shirts available in the stores. And they are all specifically designed for dogs that have been spayed, neutered, or gone through medical surgery. So, you can buy them online or even from your local pet store. Furthermore, getting a veterinarian’s advice on the choice of shirt is also proven to be beneficial.
Now, if you’re someone who doesn’t want to spend money or you’re interested in designing a t-shirt for your dog by yourself, then you certainly have got options. For instance, you can make a DIY dress. All you will need is a comfortable t-shirt and scissors. Measure and alter the shirt to make it fit your dog. Follow this step by cutting the proper-sized holes for the sleeves. And there you have it.
Make sure the dog is in a comfortable position. It is vital for a dog not to feel threatened during the process of putting on a shirt. The dog should enjoy the procedure because once they dislike it, it will be difficult for you to fit them into a t-shirt for the rest of the days. Therefore, make sure they are relaxed and ready to explore in their new dress.
Now, the most accessible position is when they are standing on their four limbs. Here, you will be able to pull the shirt over the body easily. And their limbs can easily fit through the sleeves. However, the problem here is, you may not be able to see where the incision is. So, you will be required to carefully dress up the dog while regularly checking to see where the wound is.
You can also give him treats before and after putting on the shirt. This small action will trick your dog into enjoying the dressing process.
Be Mindful of the Wound
While you are busy getting their forelimbs into the sleeves, be careful not to disturb the incision. The purpose of the garment is to protect their surgery wound. So, try not to make it the reason for worsening the stitches.
Tighten the Shirt Carefully
This step is crucial if you are using a DIY t-shirt for your dog. Most shirts for dogs that are available online are usually designed so that the end of the shirt closes appropriately. And it is nothing like DIY shirts where the end of the cloth is typically loose and open. If it is left like that, the whole function of the garment will go down the drain. The wide opening at the bottom will be unable to conceal the incision. And the dog will go back to his licking routine.
So, to avoid such complications, you can choose to buy shirts specially designed for dogs that went through an operation. But if budget is the problem, then you can always lend your T-shirt to your little buddy. All you need to keep in mind is the loose opening at the bottom. Make sure you tie the end of the t-shirt. And do not tighten it too strong, or else it may suffocate the dog.
For the last step, it is necessary to check whether the dog is comfortable. All these lengthy procedures of dressing up are for them and their benefit. So, at the end of the day, if the dress fitting restricts their movement and makes them highly uncomfortable, then removing the shirt is the only best option.
Check and analyze what the problem was. Was the T-shirt too confining? Where the sleeve holes not wide enough? Was the fabric of the shirt intolerable? Identify these issues. And come up with a better garment that will keep the dog safe and happy at the same time.
And if the dog prefers bottom wear, then you can always fit them into boxers.
How to Choose the Best Shirt?
Dogs have senses as well. They have more physical senses than us. Therefore, if they don’t feel secure and cozy in a shirt, they will not tolerate it. And it wouldn’t be safe for them either, especially in the case when the dog has been recently operated. Therefore, choosing the right shirt for the dog is necessary. So, next time you go shopping for clothes for your dog, remember these key factors-
Material: Cotton is the preferable material for a dog shirt as it is soft, fresh, breathable, and stretchable. The material is easy to watch and dries quickly. Therefore, you can also easily maintain it. However, if you are going for other fabrics, then make sure they are thin and light. Opting for a shirt that allows air to pass through easily is a good choice.
Size: Dogs come in all shapes and sizes. And so do clothes. So, depending on the size of your little fur friend, you should choose which shirt to buy. If the dog is a Chihuahua, then getting a baby or cat-sized garments will do the trick. However, if the dog is a Great Dane, then an oversized T-shirt is suitable.
Among dog owners, it is known that getting shirts that are a little larger than your little buddy is an old trick that is hard to fail. This technique leaves room for any last-minute alteration.
Clean garment: Cleanliness is mandatory. And, in this case, the cloth will come in contact with the incision. Hence, the shirt should be clean and dry at all times. Keep extra sets of garments so that the shirts can be regularly changed and maintained. And thereby prevent the wound from becoming infected and quicken the healing process.
Are Shirts Better Alternatives for E-cones?
E-cones are a great way to prevent a dog from licking its wounds. But not all dogs can be tamed by an e-cone. And surprisingly, most dogs can even break through the plastic Velcro fastened cones. So, if you’re asking me if shirts are better alternatives, then here’s a confident- Yes! You can replace e-cones with shirts without any hesitation.
Benefits of Using a Shirt/T-Shirt
There are several proven advantages of using a shirt for a dog that has been recently operated. They are-
- T-shirts can prevent the growth of infection in and around the incision to quite an extent. They act as a protective layer that keeps the incision dry and clean. They help quicken the healing process.
- Shirts will discourage your dog from scratching, licking, or biting its wound. And thereby prevent any further complications. When a dog licks their wound, it will only worsen the problem and delay the healing process. Therefore, correcting their licking behavior is necessary.
- When the incision is exposed to the bacteria and germs outside, it will cause the wound to itch more. Therefore, with a layer of cloth protecting the stitches, the parasites and germs will not be able to harm your little friend anymore. It will also minimize the irritation around the incision. However, it does not guarantee the complete eradication of the itch. Your dog will have to endure the itchy sensation because it is part of the healing process.
- Having to wear e-cones usually makes dogs anxious. On the other hand, t-shirts are known for boosting the dog’s esteem. Your dog will be happy to wear your t-shirt. And it will be fun for him to imitate you by wearing a dress.
- Shirts are more comfortable for dogs. It allows proper movement and keeps the dog clean and fresh. They can cuddle easily and play with the other dogs without being left out.
- Garments are easy to maintain. And they are less likely to irritate the wound.
I hope the article helps both you and your dog to have an easy time dressing up!
Some of My Favorite Products For Dog Owners
I hope this article has helped you just a bit in everyday life as a dog owner. Being a dog owner for more than 25 years, I’ve tried many different products with varying success, but these products below are some that I can highly recommend to every dog and their owner without hesitation!
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If you’re looking for the most up-to-date recommendations, check out my recommended products section that I’ve created to help every dog owner!