How to Stop Dog Wound Licking

Looking after a dog wound can be problematic, because dogs tend to lick their wounds to relieve pain and remove any irritants.

The saliva of dogs may contain a lot of harmful bacteria that may infect the wound. Wounds are warm and moist environments that are ideal for bacteria. The dog may also remove the possible sutures or stitches.

Excessive licking will slow the healing process, so you need to stop your dog from licking his wound.


The easiest way to prevent wound licking is to use bandages. These offer dog wound care and protect the area from infections. Dog saliva may infect the wounds, but the dog may also get infected when playing outside.

A covered wound may take longer to heal, but leaving it uncovered may lead to other complications.

The downside of bandages is that many dogs can't stand them and they will try hard to chew and bite them off. You may use some tape to make sure the bandages stay put, or try a different method to stop dog wound licking.

If the wound is on the dog's torso, you may use a dog t-shirt to cover the wound. Dogs react better to t-shirts and these are more difficult to remove than bandages.

Topical Products

If the dog tries to remove his bandages, you need to apply some topical products on the bandages. Some products may be applied directly to the wound, but talk to the vet before applying any topical products to ensure they won't cause wound irritation.

The dog will not like the taste of the bitter tasting bandages and he will stay away from the wound. The topical products should have bitter flavors such as bitter apple, lemon juice or cayenne pepper.

Neck Collars

In case the dog chews off his bandages and the topical products are not good repellents, the single way to keep him from licking his wound is to use a neck collar.

The collar, also known as an Elizabethan collar or lampshade collar will limit the dog's access to the affected area. The collar will be placed around the dog's neck.

The collar will also stop your dog from scratching his face, in case there are injuries in this area.

However, the collar will be very uncomfortable for a dog and it takes a few days for him to get used to the collar and regain his balance.

A neck collar can stress your dog and he may even stop eating. Remove the collar when you are able to watch over your pet.

The main disadvantage of the neck collar is when the wounds are on the front legs of the dog; he can easily have access to these if the collar is not big enough.

Stopping dog wound licking may be done in different ways; some may work while others may be unsuccessful for your dog. The most important thing is to keep your dog away from infecting his wounds.