How to Care for Your Dog’s Minor Wounds at Home

Genetically, dogs are very curious animals, and they like to explore their curiosity through physical demonstration. They are also inclined to be more playful and love fun activities like running, jumping, climbing, and many others. It can be exhausting for us, but not to them. 

Though these physical activities can be their natural characteristics, accidents occur everywhere, and your dogs are no exception to these. Once in a while, your dog may encounter little scrapes, minor cuts, and other unintentional harm. 

These injuries can range from minor to severe, and if not treated immediately and accordingly, it may put your best friend into some serious danger. Despite the severity of wounds your pet acquired, home remedies still need to apply to at least to give you a moment before visiting the nearest veterinarian. And for minor wounds, home remedies could give them a much faster period to heal and exempt them from obtaining an infection and worsen the condition. 

In this article, we will tackle the steps on how to care for your dogs’ minor wounds in the comfort of your homes. Aside from that, we will also identify the severity of their wounds and when to run for a veterinarian’s help. We will also answer questions like, “What are the things to prepare inside a dog’s first aid kit?” and “What are the medication requires for a dog’s minor wound?”

We will answer all of those below. If you want to find out more of it, continue scrolling and read down below the essential topics related to home care treatment for dog’s minor wounds.

Home Treatment Or Veterinarian?

Before taking care of the wound of your dogs at home, assess first if they really need a home remedy, or require immediate veterinarians’ help. Any types of wounds require quick and abrupt attention even the condition is just minor like scrape or very small cut, for instance.

Dogs naturally lick their wounds, especially of these makes them really uncomfortable. We cannot prevent them from doing their nature; however, their saliva could increase their chances of getting an infection. Us, pet owners, it is our commitment to deterring this from arising. 

If you seem to have doubts as to how your dogs should be treated according to their severity, I strongly suggest scheduling an appointment with a veterinarian to properly evaluate and examine the situation. Do not undertake something, like wound treatment, of you are not sufficiently convinced with your own assessment to prevent more damage to your pet’s wound. You may also get harmed throughout the procedure if you insist on home remedies because, in most cases, wounded dogs may respond aggressively to any medical procedures.

Identifying Wound Severity

There are wounds that require only a home treatment, but in some cases, identifying the severity of their wounds should be the first thing to address. To determine whether a veterinarian is already a must, below is the list of wound types that calls for immediate doctor’s attention.

Deep Wounds

These types of wounds are at least half an inch deep, and even when direct pressure is applied, the bleeding will not halt. If your dogs obtain this kind of wound, then a home medication should not be performed. Call or rush to the nearest veterinarian to seek their expert treatment.

Non-stop Bleeding

If the wound was bleeding and did not cease for at least twenty minutes, a call for a veterinarians help should be a must. These types of wounds are crucial and may cause death to your little best friend. Opting for a home remedy would not attend the wound but rather impose more significant damage to your dog. 

Wounds With Object

Seek for immediate help if after assessment of your dog’s wound and found an object on it, like a piece of broken glass or a huge splinter. Do not attempt to remove the object from the wound or may lead to a more serious issue like heavy and non-stop bleeding. Let the doctor examine it, and they should know how to deal with such an incident. If not treated accordingly, it could lead to tetanus infection or long term healing process. 

Severe Burns

Burns can be treated at home using proper medication; however, with the emphasis on the severe, this type of burns should be examined and treated by doctors already. Large burns can be really uncomfortable and inflict overwhelming pain on your dogs. If you insist on treating it at home, your pet may attack you as they could act aggressively in this kind of situation. 

Bite Wounds

These are considered serious wounds because a bite from another animal can be dangerous to your pet’s health. All teeth of animals are infested with a lot of bacteria, and it could transfer it to your dog’s wound. Typically, if the situation occurs, a veterinarian’s help should be acquired immediately so that your dogs are given a prescribed antibiotic. For bites from stray dogs, immediate anti-rabies should be injected to prevent the infection from the occurrence. 

Exposed Bones Or Tissue

These kinds of wounds are obviously cannot be dealt with by your own hands. It requires expert care. If you demand to treat it at home, it may risk the lives of your pets and could lead to a serious infection or worsen the situation. However, a sufficient first aid should do before taking it to the hospital.

Take note; the outside wounds can look deceiving and may imply serious hidden damage to your dogs. Make sure to appropriately assess the affected area or, when in question, seek professional assistance and guidance. If none of the above mentioned falls upon assessment of your dogs’ wounds, then a home care medication should be applied accordingly.

Treatment Process

Prepare A First Aid Kit

Part of providing the essentials for the dog does not only limit by providing food, water, shelter, and vaccination. It also includes first aid kits solely for your dogs’ usage.

First aid kits are not only essential for humans’ usage, but it could also help your pets, especially in times when they acquire wounds. First aid could prevent from leading the wound severe. 

The best thing to do is to prepare one for your dogs exclusively. Inside the kit should include sterile bandages, tapes, betadine, or any types of solutions for disinfecting purpose and cleaning, bandage scissors, and of course, a hydrogen peroxide.

These are essential contents of your first aid kits, and these are the initial things required when applying first aid treatment and home care remedies. A responsible owner should at least possess one available if anything arises any time soon.

Treatment Application


Before applying home treatment for your dogs, remember that at times like this, when your dogs are much pain, they often act aggressively and will bite when they are in uncomfortable situations, regardless of they are naturally sweet and playful. Hence, muzzle could help to prevent your dogs from moving or unintentionally biting you. 

Stop the Bleeding First

While cleaning wounds is a vital procedure to do, stopping the bleeding should be the initial part of caring for a wound. If there are visible bleeding occur, cease it by applying pressure by placing a clean cloth on top of it and wait until the flow stops by itself. At least ten minutes, avoid constant checking of the wound to prevent it from delaying the cessation of bleeding. 

If the wound is minor, within a ten-minute time frame, the bleeding should stop. If not, seek immediate professional help as applying pressure will no longer prevent the blood from flowing. While waiting for assistance, you may use a tourniquet to slow down the blood until help arrives. It could benefit your dog from losing more blood. 


Of the bleeding that has been put under control, it is time for wound cleaning. Dogs with long natural hair should be trimmed before the cleaning process commence.

Carefully shave the part around the affected area only and, as much as possible, avert the skin injured to deter from creating further damage to the wound. In this way, you can take a better look at the wound and impede the hairs from obtaining more bacteria. 

Regardless if it is a bite wound or scrape, cleaning should be done. By doing this, you only need to run clean water to flush the bacteria away or any visible dirt like sands or twigs, for instance. The reasonable option of water is the tap. It is considered less irritating for the wounds than any other type of water. Before applying any medicated solution, the wound still needs to be visibly clean. 


Opposing to the usual habits of pet owners, hydrogen peroxide is not the proper means for disinfecting the wounds of your beloved pets. It could even result in further damage to the wound tissue and may impede its fast recovery. A diluted betadine solution or chlorhexidine in mild solution should do its job. 

In applying, gentle patting and not hard rubbing is the best way to apply the solution to the wound. In this way, it prevents to inflict additional damage or pain on the wound. 

Application of Antibiotics 

Antibiotics should be applied to the wound before sealing it with a bandage. A small and thin layer of the antibiotics is enough to steer away from the bacteria from developing and attracting the wound. It also helps in the quick recovery process of it. Do not use other creams like ointments with steroid mixture.

Bandage It Immediately 

After executing all mentioned above, it is the moment to cover the wound with a bandage. This is an essential aspect of caring for the wound. Generally, dogs lick the part that has wounds, and to stave off them from infecting it with their saliva or acquiring bacteria around the area of the house, immediately put a bandage. 

If the wounds are open, it should be left as it is. Defying the most common method use for closing an open wound by utilizing a super glue should not be applied. Aside from it can cause a lot of pain to your beloved pets, it could potentially infect the internal tissue of the wound. For open injuries, the best thing to do is to leave it open and wrap it with a bandage.

Regular Checking

Caring for dog wounds should not cease after applying sufficient medication. Continually checking the wound every day to ascertain the treatment is doing its job to the affected area.

If you have accomplished an incredible job, the wound will eventually heal and should demonstrate no signs of infection. Nonetheless, if an infection arises, home care must be stopped and strive for professional assistance already. 

Anticipate that large wounds should require a lengthy time to heal compared to the small ones. For at least a week, a minor wound will begin to exhibit indications of recovery. You may need to patiently wait for large wounds to recover and regularly apply any prescribed medications if necessary.


We cannot avoid encountering wound problems, especially that dogs’ natural personality involves extreme physical activities. Regardless of the severity of the wounds acquired by your pets, either severe or minor, an abrupt and immediate action should be executed as soon as possible.

It could discourage your dog’s wound from getting a serious threat like death from occurring. To ensure that your dogs are receiving the right care and treatment they need, always execute proper wound assessment.

There are many types of wounds, and reasonable examination of it should be performed appropriately because not all wounds are suitable for home care. A handful of it requires instantaneous professional attention.

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Lovelia Horn

I’m a certified crazy dog mom, a physical therapist (for hoomans), writer, animal rescuer, and foster home provider. Together with my hubby Ryan, I’ve fostered and helped look for forever homes for over a hundred shelter dogs in the Southern Illinois area. I mostly work with Puppy Rescue 911, Inc., a certified animal rescue organization based out of Chester, IL (home of Popeye!)

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