My Dog is Acting Weird After Anesthesia. Is This Normal?

Dogs, like humans, can become ill and require surgical intervention from time to time. 

Fortunately for them, humans have progressed from the practice of consuming alcoholic beverages to alleviate the pain and pressure caused by surgery. 

All of this is made possible by anesthesia, which, unfortunately, has several side effects in some people, including nausea and vomiting. 

These side effects are most common immediately after the sedation has worn off, and they can differ from moderate to severe, but they’re usually only temporary. 

I’m going to go over some basic information about how anesthesia affects dogs, as well as what you can do to make it more convenient for the dog.


Anesthesia and Dogs – What Happens?

Before The Surgery

Prior to administering sedation, your veterinarian will discuss a few aspects of the surgery with you. 

This will include information on the risks, the procedure, the length of time the surgery will take, and the cost. 

The veterinarian will almost certainly require that the dog not eat anything the morning of the surgery. 

Your dog must remain as calm and relaxed as possible the morning of surgery to avoid any complications. 

As soon as you reach the vet office, it’s time to walk your dog into the veterinarian’s office and hand him over to the professionals. 

At this point, your dog will begin to be prepared for surgery by the veterinarian. 

During this period, you will be asked about the dog’s medical history if you have not already provided this information to the veterinarian.

During The Surgery

Although it can be hair-raising and stressful to leave your dog with a veterinarian for surgery, know that veterinarians are well-trained and have performed the same surgery dozens of times.

At the moment of surgery, the veterinarian will be on hand, as will nurses and other assistance if necessary. 

A variety of monitoring devices, such as heart rate and blood pressure monitors, will be attached to your dog.

This will ensure that the veterinarian can monitor your dog’s vital signs at all times, ensuring that he is kept safe and healthy. 

During surgery, your veterinarian will have just about every type of instrument you could imagine to ensure that they are prepared for anything that may arise.

After The Surgery

Once the surgery is completed, your dog will begin to awaken from his snooze gradually. After waking up, the majority of dogs will appear highly groggy. 

They may lose their balance easily, become nauseated and start eating grass, and drool a lot. In the bulk of cases, this is entirely normal and to be expected. 

This, on the other hand, should significantly improve within twelve hours. If you are permitted to take your dog home during this time, you should allow him to sleep with you. 

Allow him to lie down in a comfortable bed in a quiet, dark area. It is also recommended that you do not feed your dog during this period in many cases. 

Inquire with your veterinarian about whether or not water is recommended, as some dogs may become ill immediately after consuming water.

Why Your Dog Acts Weird

For anesthesia to work, it must first put the body and brain into a state of either light or very deep sleep, depending on how much is administered. 

In the equal way that people do, dogs wake up in a world that is extremely foggy. 

Anesthesia can cause some dogs to feel drunk, resulting in them being unable to make good decisions, having poor judgment, acting strangely, and other negative effects. 

This is perfectly common and expected at this point. It is not dangerous, on the other hand. 

Keep in mind that the dog is only acting in this manner due to the anesthesia, not as a result of the procedure.

What To Look Out For

Despite the fact that anesthesia is generally safe and its side effects, while unpleasant to some, are usually harmless to dogs, there is still a risk

As soon as you and your pup have returned home, keep an eye out for a few things. For starters, if your dog starts throwing up and won’t stop, call your veterinarian right away. 

When they are under anesthesia, it is normal for them to become sick to their stomach a couple of times. However, if it continues for several hours, it should be taken seriously. 

If you notice any blood in your dog’s vomit, take him to the veterinarian right away. 

Furthermore, if your dog is in pain, becomes agitated, or refuses to drink or eat for more than 16 hours, contact your veterinarian, and if it is nighttime, contact an emergency veterinarian.

What You Can Do To Help

Provide a Comfy and Dark Area

When it comes to recovery from surgery, the only thing your dog will want is to take a nice, long nap. 

To accomplish this, you might consider moving its bedding to a room that is quiet and dark and placing a glass of water next to their bedside when they reach the age of thirty. 

For the first day, make sure to check in on them at least once an hour, if not more. It’s a good idea to have him sleep close by if he requires any of your assistance.

Stay Joyful

Your dog may be a little moody after surgery. To counteract this, pet him and make him feel good about himself. I do not recommend that children engage in any form of play with toys.

 Please let him know that you are attempting to have some lighthearted fun with him. 

This could be done by playfully grabbing his ear or tail or by simply sweet-talking him. 

You are the one who is most familiar with your dog. However, keep in mind that their mental state can shift while still groggy, so be cautious about how you act in front of them.

Start Slow

Slowly increase your activity level after a day or two has passed or after the period that your veterinarian has prescribed for your recovery. 

If you had previously walked your dog before the surgery, you should walk him a little less at first. 

As an alternative to walking the entire mile, start with a quarter-mile and work your way up from there. During the recovery period, whatever your dog was accustomed to may change. 

The body should not be overburdened during this period.


If your dog exhibits unusual behavior after being anesthetized, rest assured that this is entirely normal. 

It is normal to experience shaking, nausea, diarrhea, and fatigue during the recovery process. Everything revolves around paying attention to the frequency and severity of attacks. 

Having a dog become ill to his stomach twice or three times is considered normal. 

However, if your dog continues to become sick, shake violently, or otherwise fail to respond to your commands in any way, even after several hours, you should consult a veterinarian.

Written by Brian Rucker

Brian Rucker has been a dog lover since childhood. He has had his Lab Mix with Hound for over 10+ years now! They enjoy playing outdoors together. Brian loves sharing his knowledge about all things dog on this website. Read more of Brian's articles.