You might feel silly wrapping bandages around your dog, but bandages can be essential in ensuring your pup has a speedy and uninterrupted recovery. Bandages can prevent infection, stop bleeding, and relieve pain. If you’ve attempted to bandage your dog without getting some helpful tips first, you might have realized it’s difficult not to end up with a mummified doggo. Bandaging a dog requires the right supplies and technique to make it just right.
If your dog has a little accident at home that requires medical attention, it's nice to have something on hand to give treatment immediately. Fauna Care healing sprays are easy to use and effective for addressing the minor injuries your dog could get around the house.
This article covers:
- What you need to get started
- How to bandage your dog
- How to keep the bandage on
Time to stock up on these supplies if you don’t have them already. It’s a bit redundant to have a dog safety kit, when your dogs will be just as happy with human supplies. If you don’t have these medical supplies at home already, put together a kit now for the safety of yourself and your pup!
- Sterile pads
- Adhesive bandages or tape
- Rolls of cotton and gauze
- Household sticky tape
You can also make your own supplies. Bandages can be replaced by sheets, towel strips, or old clothes cut for your dog. Paper products can act as a pad.
Step by Step What to Do
Safety kit, check. Injured pup on standby, check. It’s time to properly bandage your dog. Gather a team if you must to keep your dog as calm and still as possible while you apply the bandages. Be gentle and avoid making your dog spooked and anxious -- it may scare your dog into biting, and then you’ll have two injuries to worry about. Giving your dog frequent praise will comfort your dog and let them know this isn’t a procedure that needs dreading.
Step One: Disinfect
There’s no point wrapping a wound that hasn’t been treated first. The extent of the wound will determine the type of care required, but generally it must always be cleaned and disinfected. The wound may be too serious for home care, and don’t hesitate calling your veterinarian for immediate medical attention if you deem it necessary.
Step Two: Cover with a pad
Once the wound had been treated, place an absorbent pad over the wound. This pad should be sterilized and nonstick.
Step Three: Apply the Bandage
While holding the pad in place, gently begin wrapping a gauze bandage over it. Wrapping the bandage with 100% overlap will be difficult to secure, will likely become too tight or too loose, and suffocate the wound. This should be avoided and instead shift the position of the bandage with each wrap. With each wrap, one-third of the underlying section of bandage should be visible from the overlap. Continue the wrap over onto the dog’s fur on either side of the pad.
Step Four: Secure the Bandage
Beginning to secure the bandage in place requires a layer of adhesive tape or additional bandage over the gauze bandage. Wrap a layer over the gauze.
Step Five: Check the tightness
We don’t want the bandage to be too loose because it will have an easy time slipping off and won’t apply necessary pressure. We also don’t want it too tight, as the circulation to the wound is impared and will bring discomfort onto your pup.
You can test the pressure by placing your fingers under the bandages. Two fingers should fit comfortably underneath. If you can’t fit your two fingers comfortably underneath, or the bandage allows more than two, adjust the tightness of the bandages by rewrapping. Once you approve of the tightness, wrap a tighter (with moderation) layer of adhesive material with your fingers still under the bandages.
Step Six: Make it stay
A strip of sticky tape can keep a bandage in place. Connect it between the bandage and the surrounding fur.
Step Seven: Location of wound
Where you’re bandaging your dog will impact how you go about doing it. Generally following the first six rules, you should also put into effect these extra steps if the wound is on the tail, leg, or torso.
- Tail wound: The steps above don’t change, but make sure to use longer material and secure the bandage on the tail for when your dog goes on a tail wagging spree.
- Leg wound: Between the gauze and adhesive wraps, there should be an additional layer of roll cotton and gauze.
- Torso wound: Use a towel or pillow case to wrap around the dog’s torso. Use pins on the opposite side of the wound to secure it together.
Step Eight: Replace when needed
Keep an eye on your dog and the bandage, and notice when it slips or appears uncomfortable for your dog. Adjust the bandages as needed. The bandage may become dirty, in which case an immediate replacement is necessary.
How to Keep the Bandage On
The next challenge comes with keeping the bandage on. The wound may be in an awkward place that is difficult to bandage comfortably and securely. Or the bandage may be within biting range, and your pup decides it’s time for it to come off. Some of this can’t be avoided, but there are a few things you can do to avoid any unwinding of hard work.
- Keeping the injured area dry before wrapping gives it a better chance of not slipping off. It’s best to keep the bandaging dry as well, which you can achieve by wrapping a plastic bag around the bandage.
- Keep your dog indoors for the time they wear the bandage. When they need to go out for the bathroom, instead of letting them run out into the yard unsupervised, considering keeping them on a leash.
- Consider using an Elizabethan collar to prevent the dog that chews off as fast as you apply. Consult your vet before taking this step.
Wrapping the bandage to get it just right might take a few tries. Take your time, don’t feel bad about trying again, and make sure your dog is faring well during the wrapping. Your proper care of the bandaging means your dog can get back to normal sooner than you hoped!