It can be nerve wracking for dog owners to take care of their pet’s wound after surgery or an injury. Dogs are naturally inclined to lick their wound, which is a matter of concern for many dog owners. But the fact is dog’s saliva contains certain antiseptic properties. So, licking wounds occasionally will help remove the dead skin cells from the wound, thus promoting quick healing. But a dog may also lick or chew the wound when the skin around the wound becomes itchy, which then delays the healing process. Dogs may even remove the stitches of a surgical incision by licking or biting. It is vital that dog owners take proper dog wound care to hasten the healing process and alleviate the pain. Boredom and dog behavior problems can result in obsessive licking, resulting in injury and inflammation to the skin.
Dog licking wounds can lead to the formation of sores and also infections as it leads to bacterial growth. In addition, saliva creates an optimum temperature, thus promoting infections. Stopping dog licking wounds can be done in different ways; some may work for you while others may not. It can be challenging for dog owners to prevent the dog from licking wounds. Here are three important ways which will help prevent your dog from licking its wounds:
- Neck collars: An Elizabethan collar, known as an e-collar or lampshade, is an ideal and safe way to prevent dogs from licking their wounds. You can easily get the collar from your vet or alternatively from pet supply stores. Another type of neck collar doesn’t allow the pet to turn its head to get at the injured area. These are firm collars and prevent the pet from contorting and reaching the surgery incision or injured site. The type of collar to be used depends on the location of the wound.
- Topical products: You can also use certain topical products which have a bitter taste over the bandage which prevents dogs from licking the area of application. Topical treatment can include spray products such as chew guard and also lemon juice, hot sauce, or cayenne pepper. The dog will not like the taste of the bitter tasting bandages and this will prevent him from licking the wounds. But you must always consult your vet before using any product as it may cause irritation and add to your dog’s discomfort.
Covering/bandaging the wound: Proper bandaging may also prevent the dog from licking wounds. These offer dog wound care and protect the area from infections .You may use suits that covers the wound on the dog’s torso or a t-shirt. You may have to tape the shirt snugly to keep it intact. Dogs react better to t-shirts and these are more difficult to remove than bandages.