Laboratory animal surgical models are instrumental in biomedical research; therefore establishing healthy defined animal models is crucial to this research. Surgical procedures produce metabolic changes and stress in animals, which can delay recovery and increase morbidity. A goal of post-operative care is to minimize stress in the animal, thereby improving the ability of the animal to heal and recover. Nutritional supplementation and enrichment have been demonstrated to play a role in improving the post-operative recovery of rodents. Proper nutrition and the administration of post-operative diets and appetite stimulants are critical to laboratory animal recovery and survival post-surgery in order to minimize weight and protein loss and ultimately help the animal maintain body weight and return to a normal metabolic state. An overview of the metabolic effects of surgery on rodent metabolism will be presented. Post-surgical nutritional support, stress-free oral dosing methods, edible enrichment for post-operative monitoring, as well as the rational for including these refinements in rodent surgical procedures will be discussed.