Home Remedies to Stop Dogs from Licking Their Wounds

Posted on
July 8, 2020
a puppy resting its head on the floor as it recovers from a wound
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It can be a difficult time if and when your dog injures itself or gets an injury. When the time comes to take care of your dog’s wound, it is important to know how to clean the wound and prevent it from licking it which can cause even more problems. This article will both detail some home remedies for cleaning a wound, as well as solutions for how to prevent your dog from licking the wound. These will include both home remedies for solutions that will deter your dog from licking, as well as techniques that are failsafe ways to prevent licking from occurring. This article will delve into the following:

  • Best ways to clean a wound
  • Home remedies to prevent your dog from licking their wound
  • Techniques to deter your dog from licking their wound

Small white dog in the grass
If your dog gets injured, you want to make sure that its wound does not get further infected by cleaning out the wound thoroughly.

The best ways to clean a wound

These include antiseptics that are good for cleaning out minor wounds

The following home remedies are good ways to clean out your dog’s wound that is small enough for you to do so without having to take your dog to the vet. A simple saline solution is probably the simplest yet most effective way to clean out your dog’s wound. To make this home remedy:

  • Mix 1 cup boiling water with ½ teaspoon of salt
  • Stir until fully dissolved
  • Make sure you let the solution cool before applying to your dog’s skin
  • Wash the wound repeatedly

You can wash the wound with a syringe, and doing so repeatedly not only disinfects the wound, but also removes any debris from the area. If you plan to continue to use a saline solution, make a new mixture with each use so bacteria doesn’t collect in the water.

Chlorhexidine is a common skin disinfectant that you can use to clean out your dog’s wound. It is known to kill the types of bacteria and yeast that commonly lead to infections in dog wounds. 

  • Use a 2% or 4% solution
  • The lower the concentration, the safer it is for your dog

Hydrogen peroxide is a controversial disinfectant for dogs because if it is used in too high of a concentration, it can kill helpful tissues. On the other hand, any disinfectant, including saline solution, that is too concentrated can cause more harm than good. Therefore if you are going to use hydrogen peroxide, make sure it is only on a minor wound, and make sure you properly dilute it.

  • For each part of 3% hydrogen peroxide, use 3 parts water
  • For example, mix one tablespoon of 3% strength hydrogen peroxide with 3 tablespoons of water

A turmeric paste used topically can be an anti-inflammatory agent, reducing pain and swelling,  as well as act as a disinfectant. Create a paste by:

  • Mix ¼ cup turmeric and ½ cup water in a saucepan
  • Stir on low heat for several minutes until combined
  • Allow it to cool and thicken before applying
  • Store in the fridge
  • You can add a bit of raw honey to increase the mixture’s antimicrobial benefits 

A dog with its tongue on the floor
Once you have cleaned out your dog's wound, you want to make sure that they avoid licking it. Over-licking can both further the wound's problematic nature, as well as cause more harm to the wound.

Home remedies to prevent your dog from licking its wound

One of the best thing you can make at home is bitters

While you can buy bitters at the store, you can also make it at home with a few common household ingredients. Bitters are a taste deterrent spray which discourages your dog from licking things it is not supposed to be licking. This is especially helpful when it comes to a wound that your dog is tempted to lick but should not be licking because it causes more harm than good. 

  • Pour 2 cups of apple cider vinegar into an empty spray bottle (or you can substitute the vinegar with lemon juice)
  • Add 1 cup of white vinegar
  • Secure the spray nozzle, and shake well to mix

The next steps will ensure that your dog is taste-adverse to the mixture and that it will react in the proper manner to the bitters. If it seems that they like one of the mixtures, try the other one and vice versa.

  • Apply a small amount of the mixture onto a tissue
  • Place the tissue in your dog’s mouth to allow it to taste the bitters
  • You will be able to tell if your dog doesn’t like the taste, as it will spit it out and sniff it
  • By connecting the bad taste with the smell, it will discourage your dog from licking when you spray it on the wound
  • Be sure to consult your vet before spraying it on an open wound, as there may be an allergic reaction or other infection that is causing your dog to lick
Dog lying in a field with its tongue hanging out of its mouth
After you have tried bitters on your dog's wound, you may need additional backup techniques to deter your dog from licking its wound. The bitters may have helped some, but not completely. Or the bitters were a great success and there is no need for you to read on!

Techniques to deter your dog from licking their wound

These can include e-collars, bandages, and boots

Once you have cleaned out your dog’s wound and used bitters on it to prevent it from licking, you can try these techniques for even more success. Additionally, you can use the bitters in conjunction with other techniques, as it will prevent your dog from trying to take a bandage or boot off.

Elizabeth collars, or e-collars, can be a handy tool for your dog. It will completely prevent them from licking their wound, as their head is separated from the rest of their body. It may be annoying both for you to look at as well as for your dog, but it can lead to a more speedy recovery.

Bandaging your dog’s wound can lead to it not thinking about licking the wound since it can’t see it. Even if it does try to pry off the bandage, spraying bitters on the bandage can be an easy fix. Make sure you are changing the bandage when it gets wet, and every one to two days otherwise.

Boots can be used over bandages or dressings. This is specific to a wound on your dog’s leg, but it can be very useful if that is the case.

Finally, using Fauna Care silver spray is a surefire way to help your dog’s wound heal better and quicker. It is perfect for cuts, abrasions, hot spots and general wound and skin care.  The silver and zinc combination kills bacteria and fungi as well as provides a deodorizing layer of protection. The easy to apply, no-touch application provides a long lasting moisture barrier for continuous healing in active situations.

You want to make sure your dog has the best whether it is injured or has a minor wound. By knowing how to take care of your dog, you will ensure that it will heal and be well on its way.

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Posted on
July 8, 2020

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