After-Surgery Warming Rice Socks for Animals

Image shows a white tube sock filled with rice and knotted closed.
Finished rice sock for keeping animals warm after surgery.


The Austin Humane Society has a packet with activities that children can do to help animals in the shelter.  One of them is after-surgery warming rice socks.  These socks are put in the microwave and heated for a minute or so.  Then they are put next to an animal that has just had surgery to keep them warm.  The warmth helps keep the animal from going into shock and makes them feel better as they recover.


Image shows a tray with a long tube sock, a plastic cup and a bag of rice on it.
Set Up Tray for After-surgery warming rice socks.


  • Long, cotton tube socks (without any holes)
  • Uncooked rice, 3 cups per sock
  • Plastic 8-9 oz. cup




First, you get a scoop of the rice using the cup.  Then, you put the sock over the top of the cup.  Next, you empty the rice into the sock and pull the sock off of the cup.  You need to put three cups’ worth of rice in the sock.  Hold the sock up to get the rice down to the bottom.  Then tie a simple knot in the top of the sock to close it.  Don’t try to tie the sock too close to the rice.  You want it to lay flat when it is done.

Here is a slideshow as a visual guide for children to follow:

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This activity is quite easy for a middle school child and easy enough for an elementary school child to do it using just a bag of rice from the store.  It is a little harder for pre-school or special needs children, but they can do it with a few adjustments.  To adapt it for these children, try putting only the amount of rice you want them to use in a plain plastic bag the way you see in the pictures above.  The thin plastic bag helps keep the rice from getting everywhere and helps them use two hands to get the rice into the cup.  Only giving them the amount of supplies they need for each sock helps prevent them wanting to use too much extra rice.  It helps them learn how to measure and control portions.  It also can prevent tantrums over how much to put in.  In addition, these special children may need help with the knot.  If you follow the pictures in this article, you will see how to do it with pre-school or special needs children.

Check with your local humane society or animal shelter to see if they can use these after-surgery warming rice socks.  They are helpful to the animals and don’t cost a lot of money.  A Girl Scout troop, a Boy Scout troop or a school club could easily do these as a fun service project to help animals recover from surgery.

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