Disinfecting and Bandaging Dog Cuts

Dog cuts may occur during fights or can be caused by accidents or sharp objects that your pet may encounter. You need to be able to offer first aid help for cuts, so as to ensure that the wound won’t get infected. There are two types of cuts: open, which are deeper and may bleed heavily, or more superficial cuts. Both types of cuts should be handled in the same manner.

Stop the Bleeding

A cut will typically bleed; if the cut is deep, the bleeding will be more difficult to stop. You need to apply direct pressure on the cut to stop the bleeding. Use some cold compresses, a cloth or sterile gauze. Make sure the compress is sterile and clean.

Keep applying pressure and try not to lift the compress until the bleeding stops and a protecting blood clot is formed.

In case the blood soaks the compress, don’t remove this, as you may tear up the formed clot and start the bleeding again; keep it on the wound and apply additional compresses.

In case the bleeding is severe, you will need to apply pressure on the arteries that supply blood to the wound area. Keep the wound area below the heart level if possible. The main arteries are located in the armpit area (the inside area of the legs, where the legs are joined to the body) and under the tail.

Disinfect the Cut

If the bleeding is stopped, you can continue with the cleaning and disinfecting of the wound. Wait for a few minutes for the blood clot that protects the wound to harden.

Clip the hair around the wound to help you while you clean the wound and to facilitate the healing.

Gently wash the area with antibacterial soap. Try not to touch the clot. You may also use some disinfectant; use a syringe and soak the wound in disinfectant without touching the cut.

Don’t use cotton on the wound, as the cotton fibers may get stuck in the cut.

Apply some antibiotic cream on the cleaned wound.

In case the wound is very deep, you should skip the cleaning stage and apply a bandage, as the wound may need sutures to heal properly. Rush to the vet to get more help.


Clean bandages are needed to protect the cuts. Dogs tend to lick, chew and scratch their wounds and this may facilitate the access of bacteria to the wound. Apply several layers of bandages, to make sure the wound is protected. You should change the bandages 2 times per day.

The bandage should not be applied too tight, as this will stop the blood circulation.

You should also visit the vet, as there may be tissue damage under the cut that can be severe. The wound needs to be monitored; if the dog has fever and the wound looks swollen, red, has a foul odor or pus, this may mean that it is infected. Oral antibiotics will be prescribed to cure the infection.