Skin & Coat

Treating Your Dog’s Cuts and Scrapes

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Taking care of your pooch’s nicks is not much different than treating the same scratches in humans. As a matter of fact, the most important thing is to determine the severity of the cut or scrape in order for you to identify the proper care or treatment.

More often than not, cuts and scrapes are simple to care for at home. The seriousness of the wound is the primary indicator of the need for treatment. Ask yourself whether the cut is very deep, long, or does Fido have multiple scrapes.

When to See your Vet

You will know a vet visit is necessary if the cut is at least half an inch deep or deeper, or, half an inch long or longer. Though this kind of nick is mildly severe, special care is still required. Usually, this type of cut will need one stitch or more at the minimum. Once you have decided to take Fido to the clinic, do not try to treat the cut yourself. The staff at your vet’s office are well-trained and equipped enough to handle the problem properly.

When to Apply Pressure

If the cut or scrape bleeds profusely, immediately apply pressure with a clean cloth. This way, you can stop the bleeding before you run off to your vet’s clinic. Bear in mind that a dog’s skin hardly ever bleeds excessively unless the cut is very serious. The profuse bleeding will be your warning sign that your pooch needs professional care and treatment.

Minor cuts and scrapes, nevertheless, rarely require a temporary bandage or dressing. Normally, they need nothing more than just a quick inspection, and a thorough cleansing. As a matter of fact, any scratch that has not penetrated Fido’s skin below its surface is considered to be minor in severity.

How to Treat Fido’s Cuts and Scrapes

Once you decide it’s ok to care for your pooch’s wound on your own, just apply a mild antiseptic solution for cut cleaning. Ideally, you should try trimming Fido’s fur away from the injured part in order for you to see the cut more clearly. However, this is not very necessary with just a minor cut or scrape.

Over the next few days, observe the afflicted part for any sign of swelling or redness to make sure that the cut is healing accordingly. Any indication suggesting that the wound is not recovering properly may mean that it’s time for you to go see your vet.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not always a good idea to let your dog lick his own wounds. In fact, too much licking can cause a small, insignificant scrape or cut to become much worse. Do your best to keep your pup’s curious tongue away from cuts and scrapes.

Taking care of your pooch’s nicks is not very much different when treating the same scratches in humans. As a matter of fact, the most vital aspect remains being able to determine the severity of the cut or scrape in order for you to identify the proper care or treatment.

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  1. My pet dog Scruffles has recently joined our family and I want to make sure we can take care of him as much as possible. I really appreciated it when you stated that cuts at least half an inch long need vet care and that these shouldn’t be treated by the owner because we might not be familiar with what to do and try to treat it ourselves in a panic. I’ll be sure to remember the rest of your article while looking for a vet we can easily call in case Scruffles gets into trouble. Thank you!

  2. Avatar Of Lynda Plant-Wells

    Lynda Plant-Wells


    Advice seems a little incomplete – ie how long should a small abrasion take to heal? Should dog be taken to vet if abrasion still weeping after 4 days?

  3. Avatar Of Al Al says:

    My dog keeps scratching his two wounds that I think he made by himself scratching in the first place. He came with one as rescue at 4 months old and no hair has ever grown over it but now its red from his scratching it. Its on his neck- size of a nickel. now, i just found another on his chest/shoulder that is 2 inches long but thin.
    He keeps scratching it and making it bleed. What to do? He is healthy and clean. I wash him in a vet shampoo that has oatmeal in it every 2 months.. He is 10 months old. Great guy but itchy. I put Neosporin on it for awhile and then E Cream and I thought it was getting better but then found this other cut and both are now raw. Could it be the food? I give him Fromm's which I really like.

    • Avatar Of Samantha



      Hi, while I'm not affiliated with this blog my dog had a similar problem that took me a while to figure out what was wrong. Now for my girl what ended up being the problem was that she is allergic to wheat, which was one of the ingredients to the dog food she used to eat. Once I figured out it was the dog food I switched to another brand that was made from corn and the problem went away within a couple of weeks. So what I would suggest doing is changing little things like dog food or even shampoo to see what he is reacting to. If you have already figured out a solution to your problem then feel free to ignore this if not then I hope this was helpful for you. I hope your dog feels better.

  4. I truly love your blog.. Pleasant colors & theme. Did you create this web site yourself?
    Please reply back as I’m hoping to create my very own website and would love to learn where you got this from or exactly what the theme is called.
    Many thanks!

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