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Is It Safe to Put Hydrogen Peroxide On A Dog Wound?

person holding dog paw in their hand

Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening. And welcome to my article about using hydrogen peroxide as a disinfectant on a dog wound. This is a pretty specific thing to search for so I’m guessing you are in a bit of an emergency situation. And I will quickly start out by saying that any wound that is bigger than one to two inches should immediately be taken to a vet. In the event that these wounds turn into a more expensive injury, having coverage through a pet insurance plan would help offset these veterinary costs.

And even if the wound is small enough that you can treat it at home, using hydrogen peroxide on a dog wound is somewhat controversial. This is because if the concentration of hydrogen peroxide in the solution is too high it can cause tissue damage. As such it’s a good idea to check and make sure that you’ve checked for and exhausted any other potential household item that might work as a natural antiseptic solution.

Did you click the link? And you checked to make sure you don’t have any other items that will work as a safe antiseptic for your dog's minor wound? Well ok, if you don’t have other options and your dog has a wound that absolutely needs to be treated, but isn’t bad enough to require a vet, the article below will explain how to create a hydrogen peroxide solution that you can use to safely disinfect a dog wound.

Anytime a dog has a puncture wound, or a wound over two inches in length, immediately seek veterinary attention.

When Can’t You Use Hydrogen Peroxide For A Dog Wound?

For Wounds Over Two Inches in Length, And Any And All Puncture Wounds

Nobody likes it when their dog gets injured, but let’s face it, they are energetic, while simultaneously not being too bright, so they get into the occasional shenanigan that leads to them getting injured. If you are in the scenario where your dog has a wound that definitely needs to be disinfected, but it’s not drastic enough to require veterinary care (and you don’t have literally any other options) on hand, you can use a hydrogen peroxide solution to safely rinse the wound. However, you can only use it after diluting it with water. The ratio you want to shoot for is half water at an absolute minimum but a ratio of only 3% hydrogen peroxide is sold in stores as an effective disinfectant. So you can really play it on the safe side to ensure you avoid unnecessary tissue damage. There’s nothing worse than adding extra damage on top of an open wound.

And you really only want to use this solution to clean the wound once. If you keep using it after that initial time it can begin to cause some pretty serious tissue damage.

And if the dog’s wound or injury is from a fight with a dog, cat, or anything with sharp teeth or talons, you are going to want to see a vet regardless. Puncture wounds are easy to overlook, hard to sanitize, and super prone to getting infected. If they do get infected, they will lead to an abscess which will require immediate veterinary attention due to the risk for severe infection they carry.

The issue is that predators teeth are designed to do tissue damage that is intended to lead to death. A puncture wound can oftentimes heal over the top layer of skin first and trap the bacteria down in the wound since it’s hard to clean out a deep and narrow wound thoroughly.

If your dog’s wound doesn’t meet any of these categories, you can go ahead and prepare a solution made up of water and hydrogen peroxide to clean their wound!

Puncture wounds are super easy to overlook and highly prone to infection. If you think your dog has puncture wounds, take them to a vet.

Your Dog’s Wound Meets The Criteria For Being Able To Use Hydrogen Peroxide As A Disinfectant Solution:

How Do You Go ABout Preparing The Solution Safely?

If the wound is small enough that you can treat it at home, then you will first want to pull the hair back away from the wound. If your dog has long hair, it’s not a bad idea to cut the hair around the wound to make it easier to clean and less likely to trap debris. However, if the wound is too sensitive, just pinning the hair back will suffice.

Have the hydrogen peroxide solution in hand, some clean water, and a soft washcloth.

Rinse the wound with the clean water to clear any debris from the wound. Next wet the wash cloth with the solution of hydrogen peroxide and water. Use that wet washcloth to dab around the wound and disinfect it. If it looks ok and it isn’t hurting the dog, you can even rinse out a wound that isn’t too deep with the solution.

Make sure you don’t mix it too strongly, and if it is obviously causing excessive pain to your pet, you should immediately stop using it. But if you mixed it right it should easily be strong enough to disinfect the wound safely. It won’t cause your dog pain or lead to tissue damage.

Bandaging a wound is essential after rinsing it with the hydrogen peroxide solution to prevent future infection.Photo Courtesy Of

What Do You Do After Using The Hydrogen Peroxide Solution to Sanitize the Wound?

Put A Clean Bandage On It Right Away

Once you have the wound clean you want to put a bandage on right away. The whole point of using the hydrogen peroxide solution in the first place is to sterilize the wound. If you don’t apply a bandage then the wound is just going to get filled with bacteria and debris again which will lead to the healing process taking longer at best, and leading to a serious infection at worst.

Another important reason for bandaging the wound is to keep the dog from licking at the wound. Not only do you not want them licking up the hydrogen peroxide solution, you also don’t want their gross dog tongue on their open wound. And they are naturally going to have the instinct to lick their wounds.

The bandage will prevent them from spreading germs and bacteria from their mouth or their paw to the wound. However, if you catch them aggressively messing with the bandage and trying to pull it off, or chew through it, you might just want to put them into the cone of shame until they can learn to be a good dog. The worst thing you can do is let them get the bandage up and then spread a bunch of new diseases and bacteria to an open wound. It can lead to all sorts of problems. A cone helps you avoid that.

Behold the cone of shame! It  will keep your dog from reinfecting their wound after you have sanitized it with the hydrogen peroxide solution!

That’s really everything to know if you are in a pinch and you need to sanitize your dog’s wound with hydrogen peroxide. Remember that you can use it as a disinfectant but you should really only do so as a last resort. And if you do use it, just use it that first initial time when it's an emergency situation but not a vet level emergency. You can clean the wound out one time with it, but if you clean it multiple times with the hydrogen peroxide solution it will cause tissue damage.

After you get through this emergency situation go to the store and stock up on some vet first aid supplies. It’s important to have cleansing sprays and antibiotic ointments on hand for emergencies so that way you can use something safer than hydrogen peroxide. Even a solution of saline or one made from apple cider vinegar can be safer than using hydrogen peroxide.

Thanks for reading, I genuinely hope this article helped. I don’t want any dogs to have improper medical care based on my advice. So any time you are in doubt, at least make a phone call to the vet and see if you need to take the dog in for a trained eye to check them out. Reading an article on the internet might be “doing your own research” but it really isn’t a substitute for a licensed medical opinion.

If anything came out of this article with any certainty it’s that I will always remember how to spell “hydrogen peroxide” correctly from now on after having typed it somany times today. So as per usual, there’s a silver lining to everything.

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