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My Dog Has A Sore That Won’t Heal. What Do I Do?

a black and white dog on a rainy day

All sores look different, but you’ll likely know it when you see it. On your dog, it’ll typically look like bumps that are red and itchy. A dog’s sore has to be dealt with quickly to spare your dog some pain and give them the best chance of healing soon. If you notice your dog’s sore isn’t healing, here are a few things you can do to help the healing process along and give your pup some comfort. However, if it looks serious you should contact your veterinarian immediately and get their advice on what to do. 

Give your dog the best care at home with Fauna Care healing sprays. They’re easy to apply and help heal minor cuts and burns. This article covers:

  • Seeing the vet
  • Care at home

First, Talk to the Vet

It can be difficult to tell just how serious a wound can be. Dogs don’t usually want to show you how much pain they’re in, so you’ll have to be extra vigilant to tell if something is really bothering them. You may find a sore from feeling or seeing them on your dog while you play or give them pets. You can also notice it through a dog’s behavior; one of the most common signs your dog will give you is scratching at the affected area with their paws or teeth. Once you find the sore, contact your vet and talk to them about what needs to be done next. They may advise that you bring your dog in for an examination. 

A puppy sniffing a mat outside a building
Put on the leash and collar and get in the car, we’re going to the vet! Once your pup sees the professionals, you’ll know exactly what the problem is and how it can be fixed.

What happens from there depends on the severity of the dog’s sore. The vet may advise you to take your dog home and keep watch over your dog. In more severe cases, your vet will prescribe medicine or talk about procedures that need to be undertaken. 

Care at Home

Once the vet has done all that they can and your dog is back home, there’s still a lot you can do to help the healing process along and ease your pup’s pain. As with all wounds, you’ll have to keep the wound clean and make sure your dog doesn’t interfere with it by removing bandages or licking the wound. 

Keep the Wound Clean

To clean the wound, you’ll need warm tap water and a soft rag or towel. Dampen the towel and gently clean away any debris. You may want to try a salt solution, but to clean an open wound you should never use soap, shampoo, rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, tea tree oil, or any other type of product. All of these products can become toxic and make the situation for your dog worse. 

It’s a common misconception that dog’s saliva has healing properties. On a level this is partly true, however allowing your dog to lick the wound will cause more harm than good. They will likely interfere too much with it and make the affected area sore. Therefore, when it comes to keeping the wound clean, keep your dog’s tongue out of the matter. 


For some sores, bandages may be required. Bandages can be effective at keeping the affected area clean and can also function as a way of keeping your dog from messing with the wound. Putting on a bandage can be difficult however, especially if the sore is on an odd part of the body. You can buy bandages at the store or simply use an old rag or towel. 

A small black dog staring up with a cone on its head
Bandages are one way to keep your dog from licking and biting at their wounds. Another option is the Elizabethan collar that is great for the dogs that don’t get anxious with it. 

Start by putting an absorbent pad on the wound. Then you'll wrap the pad and the affected area with the bandages. Make sure not to make the bandages too tight that the wound can’t breathe, but also too loose so that the bandages simply fall off. To test the tightness, you should be able to place two fingers underneath the wrapped bandages. To secure the bandages in place, continue the wrapping until it includes a bit of fur on either side of the affected area and then use sticky tape to secure it. Do not tape the bandage to the dog’s fur. 

Pain Medication

The veterinarian may prescribe pain medicine to make your dog more comfortable. If anything, you’ll likely be given anti-inflammatory drugs. To make it easier for your dog to eat, try giving the medicine with a spoon of peanut butter or another favorite treat.  

Stay Close

While your dog heals, you don’t want them to get up and down too much. Make your dog comfortable with a dog bed, blankets, and toys nearby. Once your dog is settled, stay close by as you do some work or relax. This will put your pup at ease and will allow you to know immediately if something is wrong. If your dog is prone to running around when it’s time to go out, consider using a leash so they don’t injure themselves further. 

A woman working on her laptop while her dog lies net to her
While your dog takes a healing nap, you can stay close and get some work done!

Discovering a sore on your dog that shows no improvement is scary. Once you realize that nothing you do is making it better, you should always contact your veterinarian first so your dog can receive personalized treatment. You can then talk to the vet about more ways you can help your dog at home. By making sure your dog takes it easy for a little while and keeping the wound clean, that sore will be healed in no time! 

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