What To Do Right After Your Dog's Been Bitten By Another Animal

Posted on: 4 July 2017


If your dog gets bitten by another animal this summer, you need to know how to respond in the moment and how to treat your dog until you can get your dog to the vet for further medical assistance.

#1 Tend To Your Dog's Emotional Needs

The first thing that you need to do after your dog has been bitten is attend to their emotional needs. They are going to be hurt, confused and possibly in distress. They need to know that you are there for them.

If your dog will let you, pet your dog or hold your dog. These comforting actions will let your dog know that it is okay and that you are there to help them.

Don't scream or yell at whatever animal or owner hurt your dog. Instead, keep your voice calm and talk to your dog in a reassuring tone. If you get angry or aggressive, it is likely that your dog will respond in kind and you will not be able to address your dog's needs.

Try to create as calm and as comforting environment as possible for your dog. If your dog is in an unsafe area, move them to somewhere safe where you can further address your dog's bite wound.

#2 Rinse Your Dog's Bite Off With Water

The second thing you need to do is take care of your dog is treat the bite wound. You never know what the other dog or animal's saliva could be carrying; many animal's saliva actually carries bacteria as well as diseases that can be transmitted to your dog via the bite, which is why you want to clean off the bite as quickly as possible.

To start with, just run water over your dog's bite. If you are outside, run the hose water over the wound. If you are inside, run water over the bite in the bathtub. Be sure to use a steady stream of pressure but don't blast water onto the bite; you want to clean away the saliva, not cause your dog further distress.

#3 Disinfect The Dog Bite

Third, you want to disinfect the dog bite. Although water should get rid of most of the saliva from the wound area, it is not enough to disinfect the wound. The best disinfectant is hydrogen peroxide; it will clean away any bacteria and dirt that is still in the wound.

Just be aware that pouring hydrogen peroxide on a wound is not going to be a pleasant experience for your dog. Your dog may pull away in pain or whimper when you clean the wound.

Once the hydrogen peroxide has done its job, you are going to want to pat the wound area to remove any excess hydrogen peroxide.

#4 Treat The Wound

Finally, you are going to want to put some antibiotics on the wound to help with the healing process and to ensure that your dog doesn't get an infection. The same type of skin antibiotics that you use on yourself will work for your dog.

Be aware that your dog is most likely going to want to like their wound as well, so you are probably going to need to reapply the antibiotic ointment every couple of hours if you are not able to bandage up the wound site.

It is always a good idea to take your dog to the vet after they have been bitten by another animal. Your dog may need a rabies vaccination and your vet may prescribe additional antibiotics to aid in the healing process. If the wound was really deep or vicious, stitches may also be required.