How to Clean a Puncture Wound on a Dog

10 - 15 Minutes
3 Day


If you own a dog, accidents are going to happen. It simply goes with the territory; over his life, he is going to have more than his fair share of cuts, scrapes, and puncture wounds. Knowing how to take care of minor injuries at home properly will help your pup to heal more quickly or, if you need to get him to a vet for a more serious injury, it can buy you the time you need. Knowing how to care for a wound can also help prevent infection that could cause serious injury. 

Dog's Perspective

Chances are pretty good that if your pup has a minor puncture wound he probably doesn't even know it exists or he does, he thinks licking it will fix the problem. And in time this natural, instinctive behavior may work. But, left unnoticed, the wound could easily become infected, leading to serious conditions such as gangrene setting in. Your pup certainly doesn't need to have that to deal with--proper care is very important. 

Caution & Considerations

  • Be sure you check your pup from time to time for injuries or if he starts licking at one area excessively.
  • It is possible for puncture wounds to seal themselves and in doing so, seal in dirt that can lead to infection.
  • If the wound or the area around it is warm to the touch, your dog develops a fever, or stops eating, and acts like he isn't feeling well, these are all signs he may have an infection and needs to be taken to the vet.
  • Small puncture wounds should be left uncovered to promote faster healing.
  • If the damage seems more than just a small puncture, or you cannot get it to stop bleeding, take your pup to the vet or animal hospital emergency room while someone covers the wound with a soft cloth and holds pressure on it.
  • Be sure your clippers or shears are nice and sharp, so they don’t add insult to injury by ripping the hair around the wound out instead of cutting it. 


While it is quite normal for dogs to suffer a number of puncture wounds over their lifetime, how well your pup recovers from such an event depends on your knowing how to treat the wound. As you can see, caring for this kind of wound on your pup is no different than doing the same thing for one of your kids. Well, except for following up with smelly dog treats to reward him for being a good boy.

Success Stories and Grooming Questions

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