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The Best Way To Clean A Dog Wound (With Instructions)

A white poodle standing in a bathroom.

Your dog most likely has a love for energy and life that outrivals your own, and such excitement can sometimes lead to accidents when playing or when they’re outside with you or their dog companions. 

Dog wounds are not uncommon, but they’re rare enough that when your dog gets one it can cause quite a scare. And of course, you’re going to want to take the best care of your dog.

After you take your dog to the vet, because a dog wound could have more serious implications on your dog’s health and you don’t want to take any chances, there are a few simple steps that you need to keep up with once your dog is home.

These six steps detailed down below can be accomplished with just a few supplies you can find at any drug store and pet store in your area. 

A first-aid kid with bandages inside.
All the essential supplies you need. 

Supplies you need

You should think about keeping a first-aid kit for your dog on hand anyway, but if you don’t have that handy and ready to go in your house here is the list of things you’ll need when caring for your dog’s wound.

  • Electric clippers (disposable razors are a last resort)
  • Water-based lubricant (KY Jelly)
  • Warm water
  • Paper towels
  • Antiseptic solution
  • Antimicrobial ointment
  • Gloves
  • A syringe
A blonde poodle on a beach with sand on its nose.
Fur can get in the way, time to trim it!

Trim the fur around the wound

Something that can become a problem when cleaning your dog’s wound is if their fur gets in the way of your work.

Whether or not if your dog has long fur, short fur, curly fur, or straight fur it can get in your way. Sometimes pieces of hair can even get trapped in the wound and increase the risk of infection and pain for your dog.

The solution for this is to shave the area around the wound down so that there is no hair at all to get into the wound.

The best way to do this is to shave your dog with some electric clippers. This is the safest and most efficient way to get rid of your dog’s fur. A disposable razor would work in a pinch but it can be much easier to cut your dog with one, so we suggest using it as a last-minute resort. 

And don’t forget that before you shave, cover the fur in the KY lubricant you bought to make the process as smooth and simple as possible. 

A gray and white great dane lays down in a park.
Debris can cause infections, which is a big no-no. 

Keep the edges clean of crust and debris

Probably the most important part of this process and the one you have to keep up with consistently is making sure that your dog’s wound is free of crust and debris.

When you went to the vet your veterinarian no doubt already looked inside the wound for any outside debris and cleared it. This is good, and an essential part of your dog’s healing as any foreign objects could cause infection.

But now when your dog’s wound is healing, the crust will naturally form around the wound. To make sure that the wound is breathing and free of any things that might catch on the crust you need to make sure it’s as clean as possible.

When cleaning make sure to have gloves on your hands and to clean with a paper towel. You can probably do this once a day as the wound heals, or whenever you see a significant buildup of debris. 

A small white dog lays on its back on hardwood floors.
Medications can come in the form of pills or sprays or ointments. 

Administer all medications as prescribed

Your veterinarian has no doubt prescribed you some kind of medication to put into your dog’s food or an ointment to apply to the wound to speed up their healing. It’s very important to keep up with their instructions on applying this every day.

But what you also might want to do is apply some healing solutions yourself. If your veterinarian says it's okay, you could aid your dog’s wound in healing with some first aid spray or by flushing the wound with a salt solution. 

FaunaCare’s first aid spray is a touch-free application that can treat wounds and prevent them from further infection. It also works on more minor cuts and scrapes your dog might acquire.

If you’re going to go with the salt solution route here is how to make and apply it.

  • Pour out one cup of boiling water
  • Add ½ teaspoon of salt
  • Stir to dissolve and leave to cool
  • Flush with a syringe when needed
A black and brown dog lays down at the vet where a person with gloves on holds their paw.
An early closing of the wound is the worst thing that could happen. 

Massage the skin to prevent early closing

What you want to prevent the most when your dog has a wound is early closing. If the dog wound heals too fast before all of the gunk and infection has been drained out then the wound could become even worse.

To prevent this re-infection of sorts you should be draining your pet’s wound every day by massaging the area around it. This might cause some discomfort for your dog but it’s an essential part of the process you have to keep doing. 

Before you massage the wound you should flush the wound with the saline solution mentioned up above. 

Then, grab a warm washcloth or towel and apply pressure around the outside of the wound to squeeze the pus and the debris out. Have a bunch of paper towels on standby somewhere to clean up any mess that might get on your dog’s fur or the surrounding area.

A black and white border collie chases after a tennis ball.
Following these steps and listening to your vet is crucial. 

It’s not going to be an easy-breezy process for your dog. A wound is painful and no doubt they’ll be in some discomfort throughout. But the goal is to reduce this discomfort as much as possible and begin a healing process. 

If you follow the steps described above and the advice given to you by your veterinarian it won’t be long before your dog’s wound is healed up, nothing left of it but a scar, and they’re reading to head back out into the world full of energy again.

Questions? Email us >

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