The development of experimental models of cardiac transplantation in animals has contributed to many advances in the fields of immunology and solid organ transplantation. While the heterotopic vascularized murine cardiac transplantation model was initially utilized in studies of graft rejection using combinations of mismatched inbred mouse strains, access to genetically modified strains and therapeutic modalities can provide powerful new preclinical insights. Fundamentally, the surgical methodology for this technique has not changed since its development, especially with respect to important factors such as aseptic technique, anesthesia, and analgesia, which make material impacts on postsurgical morbidity and mortality. Additionally, improvements in perioperative management are expected to provide improvements in both animal welfare and experimental outcomes. This paper reports upon a protocol developed in collaboration with a subject matter expert in veterinary anesthesia and describes the surgical technique with an emphasis on perioperative management. Additionally, we discuss the implications of these refinements and provide details on troubleshooting critical surgical steps for this procedure.