How To Clean A Dog Wound? Ways To Heal Your Pet Dog's Wounds

Aryan Khanna
Jan 31, 2023 By Aryan Khanna
Originally Published on Nov 01, 2021
Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao
Injured dog receiving first aid at the veterinarian clinic
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.4 Min

Dogs often get hurt chasing another animal, jumping off of heights, or while running in the woods.

If you know how to treat your dog's wound at home, it will come in handy when the time comes. Any cut or wound suffered by a dog needs to be treated as soon as possible or it can get infected in no time.

Dogs tend to become aggressive when in pain; they will need you to calm them down and get the proper treatment. If it's a minor injury such as a scratch or a small cut, you will be able to treat it with ease.

However, in case of a deep cut and you see your dog losing a lot of blood, take your dog to the vet at the soonest moment possible. The most common reason behind a dog's wounds are dogs themselves!

Surprised? Well, dogs tend to play amongst one another but it sometimes turns into an aggressive play or a brawl in a matter of seconds.

The fights lead to scratches or even bites at times.

Chasing or fighting with a cat and getting scratched by sharp sticks while running are some of the other most common causes behind dog wounds. You can identify when your dog has suffered an injury when it keeps licking that particular area of its body.

Dogs have a habit of licking a wounded area/ Unfortunately, this increases the risk of infection and interrupts the healing process. You must thus prevent your dog from licking its wounds as much as possible.

If you enjoy this article, why not also read about how to clean dogs' eyes and how to clean dog ears with vinegar here on Kidadl?

How To Clean A Dog Bite Wound

The most important aspect of treating a dog wound is time. As long as the wound is fresh and your dog has just suffered from it, it should be OK.

The longer the time goes on, the higher the chances of the wound getting infected by bacteria.

If you treat a dog wound at home at the soonest possible moment not only will it be safer for the health of your dog but it will also be more relaxing for it to stay with its owner when it's in pain.

Additionally, a trip to the veterinarian can be costly at times, especially when it's due to an infection or a wound. So if you yourself know how to treat the wounds at home, you will be able to save some bucks.

Dogs suffer bite wounds mainly from other dogs during a fight. If a dog or some animal bites your dog and penetrates your pet's skin, then it is a matter of concern.

When the teeth of another animal penetrate your pet's skin, there is a huge risk of bacteria causing infection.

You must not try and treat such wounds at home but rush your dog to the vet immediately.

Time plays a pivotal role here, the longer the bite wound is left untreated, the higher the chances are of an infection caused by the bacteria.

There might be some amount of bleeding too, but do not let it panic you as bleeding due to a bite wound is a normal phenomenon and can be stopped by a veterinary doctor easily.

How To Clean A Dog Wound At Home

It is not very difficult to clean a dog's wound using home remedies, but if you are hesitant, then book an appointment with a veterinary doctor.

Just like treating a human wound, the first step in this method is to remove any dirt or any other object near the wounded area which could lead to infection. Make sure not to use any strong products such as rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or chlorhexidine.

Some might argue that these products are useful to disinfect the wound but they have a lot of side effects that can inflict more damage than the relief they give.

Now before you start treating your dog, you must understand that it is in a lot of pain and can become aggressive at any point in time. So tie it with a leash and calm it down before you clean the wound.

If the dog reacts violently, it could harm you or anyone else in close proximity.

Now do not rush into cleaning your dog's wound, first stop any bleeding that it is occurring. If the wound is on the paw of your pet, use some antibacterial soap to disinfect the wound and apply some pressure to deal with the blood flow.

Until and unless you stop the blood flow, it can be difficult to clean the surrounding area of your dog's wound. Apply gentle pressure on the area using a clean towel or a tissue depending upon the size of the wound.

Once the bleeding stops, you now need to make the wound clean of all debris.

You will notice that the hair around the wound will cause some hindrance as the strands of hair will stick to the wet wound and make it difficult to clean the wound. Use electric clippers to get rid of the hair around wounds.

The wounds are now ready to be cleaned; use a pair of tweezers to remove any debris that is large enough to be visible and can be removed.

There will exist some particles which cannot be seen by the naked eye; the best way to remove them is to flush the area with some warm water or a veterinarian recommended solution. You can also use a saline solution for this purpose on the wound to remove any small particles of debris.

Now dry off the wounds with a towel or a tissue, you can now move on to applying antibacterial skin cleaners or a solution after consulting with the veterinarian to make sure that the wound does not get infected.

Septicide is a well-known antiseptic cream that is known to be safe for dogs under these circumstances. Once the solution is applied to the skin, make sure that your dog does not lick it.

The wound is now clean and you can move on to applying an antibacterial ointment to not only keep the wound clean but also to ensure that it does not stay open.

The moisture in the antibacterial ointment will assist in the healing process.

The final step is to apply a bandage on the injured wound and start the healing process. A veterinarian often recommends the use of a protective collar in these cases to restrict your pet from licking the wounded area.

So this is the entire procedure of how to clean a wound at home.

Once this process is complete, check the wound daily for its healing process and if there are any signs of infection. If you see no improvement in your dog's skin, take it to a veterinary doctor.

If it does get better, the scab or hardened wound can be cleaned using coconut oil or simply water.

Dog Jack Russell Terrier getting bandage after injury on his leg

How To Clean An Open Wound On A Dog

This might come to some of you as a shock but a veterinarian at times might leave the wound open rather than closing it or stitching it up.

There are various factors that lead to this: the cause behind wounds, meaning whether they are puncture wounds or lacerations; the area of the wound, meaning is it on the paw or the face or the leg; most importantly, whether the wound is infected or clean.

All these factors add up to deciding whether the wound should be left open or closed.

A vet usually decides to keep the wound open if there is some contamination in the area where it has been infected. The wound will then be left open for topical treatment so that there is drainage and that the veterinarian can take out any dead tissues or foreign materials causing the infection.

With the use of anesthesia, the vet will be able to perform surgery. Once the vet has done their job, it is your responsibility to take care of this open wound and to keep it clean.

All you need to do is clean the area surrounding the wound on a regular basis to ensure that your pet does not get infected again. You can use warm water or a saline solution for this purpose.

Additionally, this allows for the growth of new tissue and be helpful for the existing tissue to heal.

You also need to make sure that the wound does not close up too quickly. You must drain out all the infected fluid by massaging the skin of your dog around the wound.

Also, stop your pet from licking its wound; this can hamper the undergoing treatment. The best option is to purchase a vet-recommended protective collar.

How To Clean A Dog Wound After Surgery?

Once your dog has undergone surgery, it is likely to have had a deep cut. The stitches it received need to be taken care of properly.

There are certain instructions you must follow by hook or by crook as abiding by these rules are helpful in recovering from the injury. You must ensure proper cleanliness and remove any dirt settling on the skin of your pet.

If there is no bandage on the injury point, inspect the area at regular intervals to make sure that it is healing properly and that there is no re-infection.

If your dog doesn't have any stitches but has an open wound after the surgery in order to flush out the infected liquid, make sure you do what the veterinarian instructed you to.

Moreover, do not force your dog to bathe as it is not helpful in recovering and could worsen the healing process.

Stop your pet from poking the bandage as it can be harmful. Also, keep the area as dry as possible and do not use any alcohol or Neosporin to clean the wound.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for how to clean a dog wound?

Ways to heal your pet dog's wounds, then why not take a look at how to bathe a guinea pig? Keep your guinea pig bath time a must! or purrrfect facts about the Ragamuffin cat kids will love.

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Written by Aryan Khanna

Bachelor of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

Aryan Khanna picture

Aryan KhannaBachelor of Business Administration specializing in Marketing

A dedicated and hardworking content writer currently pursuing his Bachelor's in Management Studies from St. Xavier's University, Kolkata. Aryan aims to gain corporate exposure and enhance his skills while creating well-researched and engaging content that is SEO-friendly. Aryan is a talented individual who puts in the effort to overcome any obstacle in his way.

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Fact-checked by Pradhanya Rao

Bachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

Pradhanya Rao picture

Pradhanya RaoBachelor of Commerce specializing in Marketing and HR

With a Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from Christ University, Bangalore, Pradhanya's passion for the English language and literature led her to explore the field of content writing, where she has gained extensive experience in writing, reviewing, editing, and fact-checking. She has also earned certifications in Google Ads Search, Google Ads Display, and Social Media Marketing, showcasing her proficiency in digital marketing.

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