What to Do If Your Dog Is Bitten

5 October 2016
 Categories: , Blog


If you own a dog, it is important to know what to do in case your dog is ever bitten. Hopefully you will not need to ever use this information, but it is smart to be prepared, as your dog could easily sustain a bite from another dog or another animal.

#1: Help Your Dog Calm Down

When your dog gets bitten, they are most likely going to be freaking out a little bit. They may be in distress and may be whimpering with pain. The first thing you need to do is reassure your dog that you are there for them. Hold your dog if they will let you get close and touch them. Pat your dog's fur and speak to them in a calm, reassuring voice to help them calm down. You want to make your dog as comfortable as possible because the process of cleaning out your dog's wound is not going to be pleasant for them.

#2: Clean Out Your Dog's Wound

Once you have gotten close to your dog and helped them calm down a bit, you need to start by cleaning out your dog's wound. Dog and other animal saliva can carry many different diseases and bacteria, so it is essential that your dog's wound is properly cleaned.

Run cold water over your dog's wound; try to get them inside of your tub under a hose. Focus on just cleaning the wound area. Do not turn the water on full blast; you want it to be turned on high enough to provide a steady stream of water but not so high that the water pressure on the wound causes your dog additional distress.

When you have used water to clean your dog's wound, you are next going to want to turn to hydrogen peroxide. Hydrogen peroxide is a great way to clean out your dog's wound; however, it is going to hurt just like it does when you use it. You may want to hold your dog and have someone assist you with pouring hydrogen peroxide on the wound. This could cause your dog to flinch or cry out in pain.

Once the hydrogen peroxide has done its job, dry off the wound by very lightly patting a dry towel around the wound to dry it off.

#3: Treat the Wound with Antibiotics

To ensure that your dog's wound does not become infected, you are going to want to apply antibiotics onto your dog's bite wound. You can use the same antibiotics you keep in your medicine cabinet for personal use. Put the antibiotic on right after you finish cleaning the wound. Then, apply the antibiotic again every couple of hours to keep the wound clean. Your dog may lick away the antibiotic cream, and that is why you need to apply it frequently.

#4: Take Your Dog to the Vet

Finally, take your dog to a vet, such as one at Ark Veterinary Hospital. If the wound is deep, your dog may need a prescription for an oral antibiotic in order to protect the wound from becoming infected. Your dog is also going to need to get a rabies shot, especially if you don't know what animal bit your dog. If rabies was transmitted to your dog through the bite, getting a rabies shot will help them fight against the disease.