A cut on your dog can be scary. Lacerations in dogs, which range from small to large and superficial to deep, can happen at any time. For example, they may occur when they are playing too rough with another animal or person or if your pet is running through bushes that have thorns. The following will help you feel better equipped to treat minor cuts on your dog. You’ll also know when a vet’s attention is required and how to keep your pup comfortable in the meantime.
How to Treat Minor Cuts on Dogs
The most common canine cut is from a scratch or scrape that produces light bleeding but does not require stitches. Clean the area with mild soap and water, apply an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin®, and cover it with a sterile gauze pad to help promote healing. Your dog should not lick the affected area.
How to Care for the Cut Until It Heals
A topical ointment (like Neosporin®) should be applied two to three times daily until the cut is healed. You should also change the bandages every 24 hours or when they become dirty until your pet’s wound is healed.
How to Care for Deep Cuts on Dogs
If your pet has a deep cut, is bleeding heavily or if you’re unable to stop the bleeding after 20 minutes of applying direct pressure with gauze pads and elevation, then call your vet for advice. You may need stitches and further treatment including antibiotics.
Your veterinarian may prescribe pain medication for your dog. Pain medication can help reduce the discomfort and make your pet more comfortable.
If you’re uncomfortable handling a cut, then let your vet handle it. Your veterinarian will be able to administer pain medications or stitches as needed.
How to Prevent Your Dog From Scratching a Cut
In addition to following these guidelines for treating cuts on dogs, keep in mind that dogs should not lick or scratch the cut.
Your dog will very likely want to scratch his cut, but it’s important to prevent him from doing so as it could slow down the healing process and increase inflammation in the area.
Here’s how to prevent your dog from scratching a cut:
Use a Cone
Prevent your dog from being able to lick or scratch his cut. You can use a cone collar if necessary. If a hard cone annoys your dog, you may be able to find a soft fabric one instead. Another option is to have your dog wear a soft t-shirt.
Consider No-Lick Sprays
Use a no-lick spray to discourage your dog from licking the cut. These specially-made sprays taste bad and can be used to prevent licking.
Provide extra attention and care for the dog by playing games, walking them around more often, giving treats (in moderation), and keeping their surroundings clean. All of these will help distract your pet from his or her wound.
Make Sure Your Dog Gets Rest
You should also make sure that your pet gets plenty of rest, as rest is a vital part of the healing process.
Our dogs are a part of the family, so we go to great lengths to keep them safe. But accidents happen sometimes – even if you take preventative measures! That’s why it is important for every dog owner to know what they should do when their pup gets cut and learn how serious this can be in some cases. Knowing that there is always help available at your vet will help ease any worry about an injury happening again.
When your dog gets a cut, it’s important for you to know how to treat them appropriately in order to keep their healing time as brief as possible.