The dog is a widely-used model for conducting metabolic studies. This is mainly due to its large size and its physiology which is relatively similar to that of humans. Here, we attempted to optimize a postprandial metabolic study protocol used in dogs. Following acclimatization, female mongrel dogs underwent 9 h profiling for time-course baseline plasma data on triglyceride, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol levels. One week later, carotid and jugular catheters were surgically inserted for sampling and infusions. Initial post-operative care, based on the literature (Protocol 1), consisted of analgesia (buprenorphine every 8-12 h and 2-3 doses/day of acepromazine), restriction by Pavlov harness within cages, and a two- to three-day recovery period. Throughout the experiment, dogs received a lipid tracer diluted in 5% bovine serum albumin (BSA). Compared with baseline, animals vomited (n = 6/6) and exhibited high ACTH + cortisol levels (stress biomarkers), resulting in blunted triglyceride peak levels. To avoid these undesirable effects, post-operative care was modified (Protocol 2) as follows animals (n = 19) were given a single dose of buprenorphine and no acepromazine, were unrestrained and free to move within cages, the recovery period was extended to seven days, and the lipid tracer was diluted in 0.002% versus 5% BSA. Using this modified protocol, postprandial plasma-triglyceride and ACTH/cortisol patterns were similar to baseline values. Controlling for stressors, as well as for factors which may alter proper digestion, is critical for all postprandial metabolic studies. Our results show that an optimized postprandial metabolic protocol used in dogs reduces experimental variability, while improving animal care and comfort.