It can be quite difficult for pet owners to stop their dogs from scratching their wounds. Dogs have a natural tendency to scratch and lick wounds, which can disrupt the healing process and even lead to infection. But, there are some effective methods and preventive measures you can use to ensure that your dog’s wounds heal properly and without complications.
This article provides practical tips on how to keep your dog from scratching their wounds.
Make them wear an Elizabethan collar (e-collar):
One of the most common and effective ways to prevent your dog from scratching or licking its wounds is to use an Elizabethan collar, also known as an e-collar or the cone of shame. This tapered device fits comfortably around your dog’s neck, preventing his mouth or paws from reaching the wound.
E-collars are readily available at pet stores and come in a variety of sizes to suit different breeds and sizes of dogs. They are also easily available on Amazon.
Keep their wounds clean and protected:
Keeping wounds clean and protected is very important for proper healing. As directed by your veterinarian, gently clean the wound with a mild antiseptic recommended by your veterinarian.
After cleaning, apply an ointment or wound spray recommended by your veterinarian to promote healing and protect against infection. Covering the wound with a sterile non-stick dressing may also provide additional protection.
Use a bandage that is suitable for your dog.
Consider using a dog-friendly bandage for wounds that are difficult to cover with a traditional bandage or for areas where an e-collar is not suitable like the neck, face, and shoulder. These special dressings are designed to be safe for dogs and are often flexible, adhesive, and can be easily applied to wounds.
Dog safety dressings provide a barrier that prevents direct contact between the wound and the dog’s paws or mouth. When applying the bandage, make sure it is not too tight. Otherwise, the wound will not heal well which will ultimately lead to other issues.
Distract and redirect your dog’s attention:
Sometimes it is necessary to divert attention away from the infected area to prevent the dog from scratching the wound. Engage your dog in activities he enjoys, such as playing with a favorite toy or taking short walks in a controlled environment. Mental stimulation through puzzle toys or study sessions can also help shift attention and energy.
Consult your veterinarian:
If your dog continues to scratch or lick the wound excessively despite your efforts, it is very important to consult your veterinarian.
They can evaluate the wound, identify any underlying problems, and recommend appropriate treatment. In some cases, your veterinarian may prescribe medication or suggest additional steps to help your dog not aggravate the wound.
Preventing dogs from scratching their wounds requires protective measures, distractions, and proper wound care. You can effectively prevent your dog from scratching by using an Elizabethan collar, keeping the wound clean and protected, using dog-friendly dressings, diverting your dog’s attention, and seeking veterinary advice when needed.
Remember that the key to your dog’s wounds healing properly and without complications is patience and consistency.