How to Clean a Bite Wound on a Dog

15 - 25 Minutes
1 Day


If your dog has been bitten by another animal, especially another dog, you may have many immediate concerns. The first thing you need to do is to clean the wound, so an infection doesn't set in, dirt and grime are removed, and bacteria never has a chance to develop. The biggest trick to first aid, whether you're handling a dog or human, is to remain calm. If your dog has been bitten, be sure to separate him from the other animal first and then treat and clean the bite. Other than needing to clean the wound right away, your role at this moment is to keep your pup calm and let him know he's safe and you will care for him.

Dog's Perspective

Your dog may be anxious, angry, and filled with increased adrenaline or incredibly frightened after such an experience. A soft voice, a treat or two, and some empathy goes a long way when you're dealing with an injury to your beloved pet.

Caution & Considerations

  • Once the area is clean, keep it elevated while your pup rests.
  • If the bite is bleeding, apply pressure to stop the bleeding.
  • Cleaning may induce additional bleeding, but with a gentle wash, it shouldn’t bleed too much more.
  • If you need to clip the fur around your dog’s bite wound, apply a water-based lubricant to keep fur from falling into the bite area.
  • Antibacterial ointment needs to be applied at least three times a day.
  • Each time you check the bite wound, rewrap with clean wrap or gauze.
  • If your dog was bitten by a cat, a wild, animal, or an animal you do not know well, consider seeing your veterinarian for antibiotics and a check-up visit.
  • If you notice swelling, redness, or red streaks across your dog’s skin near the bite wound, see your veterinarian.
  • Dog fights often end with bites on the neck and legs. Be sure to check your entire dog for injuries and bites if you know he’s been in a fight. Some bites may not be as obvious as others, and bites could be far away from one another.
  • If you notice a change in your dog’s behavior after a bite, see your veterinarian.
  • Remember tender loving care goes a long way, but do not hesitate to have your vet help your injured pup as well.


Animal fights can be vicious. If your dog has been injured by another animal be sure to check not only the visible wounds but your dog's entire body or other ones you may not notice right away. If your little guy is seriously injured, get him to your veterinarian right away, but if you are treating him at home do so with gentle tender loving care and a good first aid kit.

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