Your dog licks the wound in his body out of instinct. Licking an injury can be harmful as it can lead to another infection. It is best not to believe in myths like “Dog’s saliva can heal wounds as it has antibacterial properties.” Doctors round the corner have been battling to burst the myth. Hence, it is your primary task to stop your dog from licking wounds.
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How Long Will It Take to Stop Your Dog from Licking Wounds?
The faster your dog gets comfortable with the cones and collars, the quicker he will stop licking his wound. You will have to be very patient while creating barriers for your dog. He might not like those, but you will have to make him adjust to the tools by distracting him.
Tools Needed to Stop Your Dog from Licking The Wound
Tools that are necessary for your dog to stop licking the wound are:
What Is the Source of The Wound?
- It is essential to understand the source of the dog wound. Determine whether the wound is caused by self-infliction or an external object.
- If your dog is self-harming himself, then he might have underlying conditions like separation anxiety. You must consult a pet behavior consultant.
- If external objects cause the wound, it is essential to consult a vet before applying anything to the injury.
Steps To Stop Your Dog from Licking The Wound
We have outlined the essential methods and steps to stop your dog from licking wounds:
Method 1: Usage of Collar
Step 1: Measure your dog’s neck carefully
- To measure the thickness, wrap a cotton tape measure firmly around your dog’s neck. You can also use a shoelace or string against a ruler if you have a cotton tape measure.
- Cones and collars generally require a snug fit to prevent your dog from slipping out of them. In addition, different varieties of cones and collars have different sizes. They may have additional measurement instructions for what portion of your dog’s neck is to be measured.
Step 2: Fit your dog with a cone
- The conventional approach for preventing a dog from licking a wound is to use a plastic cone, often known as an “Elizabethan” collar. This is the initial line of defense provided by your veterinarian. Because the dog can see through it, transparent cones are less frightening than opaque cones.
- Supervise your dog while he is wearing an Elizabethan collar. These collars do not allow for peripheral vision and so, your dog may be more clumsy than usual.
- Your dog can eat and drink while wearing the collar, but it may take time to adjust with it, and may not enjoy it. So first, assess if your dog is eating and drinking properly. If the dog repels from eating or drinking while wearing the cone, try an alternative collar or remove the cone while the dog is eating/ drinking.
- In case you won’t be there in the house, confine your dog in a crate, wearing an Elizabethan collar to prevent it from injuring itself.
Tip: As the Elizabethan cone is wide, your dog might have difficulty traversing narrower places around your home. You may need to alter furniture to make room for your dog while it wears the cone.
Step 3: Use inflatable collar if Elizabethan cone does not favor
- The plastic cone can restrict your dog’s movement or make it difficult for him to sleep. Some dogs reject the rigid plastic collar and attempt to destroy it. Inflatable collars are more appropriate for these pets.
- Many alternative collars are ineffective for dogs with long noses and narrow necks, such as greyhounds and Dobermans.
- Certain inflatable collars are readily punctured and so, this option may not be suitable if your dog constantly tries to claw the collar off.
Step 4: Let your dog try for several options.
- Collars and cones come in a variety of styles that may be purchased at pet shops or online. It’s difficult to predict which one your dog will accept the best, unless you try them all.
Step 5: Use brace if your dog rejects using collars
- Some canines are determined to remove the cones from their necks and will go to any length to do it. If your dog behaves likewise, you can try a neck brace similar to those worn by people after experiencing a neck injury like whiplash.
- The length of the dog’s neck determines the size of the brace. Therefore, the brace is not useful if your dog has an exceptionally long neck such as a greyhound, or an extremely short neck such as a pug.
Method 2: Cover the Wound
Step 1: Clean the wound before covering
- To clean the wound, use luke-warm water or a saline solution. Make your saline solution by combining 1 teaspoon (5 mL) salt with 2 cups (500 mL) water.
- Talk to your vet if you can use the saline solution.
- Clean the wound with the solution or soap which your vet recommends.
- Before using any medicinal lotions or bandages, carefully pat the wound dry after cleaning it.
Step 2: Apply ointments and lotions when the vet recommends
- Your veterinarian will advise you to apply a medicinal lotion or ointment to your dog’s wound. Use it immediately after the vet prescribes, and let the cream or ointment dry.
Step 3: Apply the bandage crafted for the wounded body part
- Bandages for dogs come in various shapes and sizes, depending on the size of the wound and its location on the dog’s body. To secure the wound, you need to get a bandage.
- There are specific bandages that look like a sleeve or a boot that can treat wounds on a dog’s legs or feet—this helps to keep the wound clean, as it heals.
Step 4: Spray the covered wound with anti-lick spray
- Anti-lick sprays keep the dog from licking their wounds for its disgusting taste.
Step 5: Change the bandage every 2-3 days
- Remove the bandage and clean the wound. Examine the bandage for any leakage from the wound. If the wound bleeds or is oozing-colored or has a foul-smelling pus, take your pet to the veterinarian — the wound may be infected.
- Your veterinarian may give you various instructions for cleaning and changing bandages on your dog’s wound. Whether you need to differ from those guidelines, check with your veterinarian first.
Note: Never use hydrogen peroxide.
Method 3: Distract Your Dog
Step 1: Take your dog on a stroll with the collars on
- A quiet stroll on a leash can help your dog focus and assist you and your pet in re-establishing your bond. Walks are especially beneficial if your dog is wearing a cone or collar since they allow your dog to acclimatize in a safe environment.
Step 2: Hide dry doggie treats
- Hide doggie treats in and around your home; your dog won’t be able to resist the smell. This works as a distraction.
Step 3: Train new tricks
- If your dog loves learning new skills, this can be a fantastic method to keep your dog distracted from the wound. Choose a trick that will be difficult but that you know your dog will be able to master.
- Avoid techniques that involve a lot of movement, especially if his wound is still healing.
Step 4: Give Kong Toys
- These toys are excellent for engaging dogs. Kong toys let your dog work for their rewards. They’ll be more distracted if they have to work for it for a long time. Make sure your dog observes you placing the goodies in the toy to make it even more effective.
Tip: You can give your dog his favorite toy. He will be engrossed in playing with his favorite toy, which will distract him from licking his wound.
Method 4: Train Leave It Command
- Train your dog the ‘Leave It’ command to refrain him from licking the wound. This comes under basic training obedience, which you must follow from the day if you have added him into your family.
Keep a first aid kit ready which will help you treat minute abrasions.
Home Remedies to Clean Your Dog Before Covering It
You can make bitters out of your essential household ingredients. Bitters are sprays, which helps the dog to keep away from licking, chewing, gnawing. Hence, bitters can be helpful to stop your dog from licking the wound.
- Take 2 cups of ACV or lemon juice in a spray bottle.
- Add a cup of white vinegar.
- Secure the nozzle and shake it well.
The following procedures will guarantee that your dog is not taste-averse to the mixture and that it reacts appropriately to the bitters.
- Spray the solution into a tissue.
- Allow your dog to taste it by placing it in front of his mouth.
- He will either spit or sniff and ignore. This indicates he is deterred by the smell.
Note: Get veterinarian advice before applying it to the wound.
To sum up “How to stop your dog from licking the wound, ” we would first emphasize that saliva cannot heal wounds; instead, it leads to additional skin conditions. Therefore, it is best to rule out the wound if external objects cause it. Then, follow the outlined steps to refrain your dog from licking the wound. Remember to keep him distracted and be generous.
If your dog is self-infecting himself, it is advised that you take him to a pet behavioral consultant, as the behavior might come from an underlying mental health issue.