First Aid for Dog Injuries

An owner will need to know how to give first aid for his dog so as to prevent any possible complications and to speed up the healing. Dog injuries may be treated at home, provided they are not severe. Even if the injury is severe, the owner must apply some first aid procedures before going to the vet.

Injuries are frequent, as dog get in fights or accidents and may get injured even while playing.

First Aid for Dog Bites and Scratches

Dog saliva is the carrier of a lot of bacteria and viruses and these may be transmitted to other dogs through bites. If your dog was bitten and is bleeding, you have to stop the bleeding and clean the area. Apply cold compresses.

Use a pair of sterile scissors and clip the dog’s hair, to make the access easier to the wound. Use disinfectant such as betadine or chlorhexidine. Instead, use an antibacterial soap.

Dry the area and apply antibiotic ointment to prevent infections. Cover the wound with bandages to make sure the dog doesn’t lick the wound or the ointment.

If the wound is deeper, the vet needs to apply some sutures.

Snake Bites

Snake bites may be fatal for dogs, so you need to hurry to the vet for an antidote. You need to make sure the venom doesn’t spread in the body, so, if possible, keep the bite zone below the heart level.

Apply a tight bandage above the wound.

Don’t wash the area, as water may speed up the absorption of venom.

Eye Injuries

Eye injuries are common in dogs and may be caused by foreign objects, scratches or dirt.

As first aid for eye injuries you need to clean the eye. Use water or a saline solution and apply some drops with a syringe or an eye dropper. Keep in mind that dogs have a third eyelid.

To prevent the dog from scratching the injured eye, make a lampshade collar and visit the vet for further treatment.


If you suspect that your dog may have a fracture, you need to immobilize the joints above and bellow the fracture. If there is also an open wound, apply some sterile bandages.

If you notice any bones that are not in place, don’t try to put them back, as you may create further complications.

First Aid Kit Essentials

Always keep a first aid kit at hand. The first aid kit for dogs must include:

  • Surgical gloves; always use these to protect yourself and the dog
  • Bandages
  • Surgical tape
  • Towels
  • Disinfectant such as betadine or chlorhexidine
  • Antibiotic cream
  • Saline eye drops
  • Ear drops
  • A pair of scissors for hair removal and to cut bandages
  • A pair of tweezers to remove foreign particles from wounds

Make sure that your dog is warm enough, as injured dogs may suffer from sudden temperature drops, especially if they are in shock. On the way to the vet, try to calm your dog and wrap him in a towel to make him feel safe.