How do you feel seeing your dog lick his wound? Well, some people will feel disgusted about this, while some may even allow it. Those who permit it believe the myth that dog saliva is loaded with antibacterial properties, which can speed up the healing process of their wounds.
But here’s what you need to know. Allowing your canine friend to lick his wound incessantly could cause bigger trouble for you and the pet. For the record, the antibacterial present in a dog’s saliva is only available in trace amounts. It is also not enough to make the wound heal faster.
So, ensure you prevent your dog from licking his wounds by all means. The reason is that this act can cause more damage to the injured area and slow the natural healing process.
Many vets will prescribe an Elizabethan or e-collar to stop your dog from licking, but many dogs hate wearing the collars. If you want to avoid using one, use these steps to stop dog licking wounds.
Stop dog licking wound
Firstly, let me state that it is much better to act and break the habit of your dog licking an injury, at the earliest. So, when you spot such behavior, you need to step in and make the dog understand that it is doing something wrong.
The reason you should act fast is that allowing such behavior to go on can cause your dog to make a habit of licking his wound. And such an addiction could be more challenging to break. The damage to the injury as a result of the licking may have also gotten out f hand.
We, humans, display such behavior. For instance, most of us enjoy biting our fingernails even when we know the dangers of doing so. Over time, it becomes a habit that would take a much greater effort to stop. But if we had acted earlier, things would have been different.
Anyway, let’s discuss how you can prevent your dog from licking his wounds without using a collar. Don’t worry; they are simple exercises you can carry out yourself at home.
Tell your dog off
No dog will be happy to nurse an injury. It hurts and makes dogs uncomfortable and unhappy. So, the best step they usually take is to lick the wounds. Licking of wounds also helps with blocking the pain receptors. So, if your dog just had surgery, this could be the reason the dog is licking his wound.
Nevertheless, you have to prevent him from doing so. Now, how can you achieve this? Tell your dog off! I know it would not be very easy for people who rarely spend time with their dogs. But if you can get someone to watch over your dog, ask the person to monitor and tell your dog off whenever he starts licking his wound.
Should you yell or hit the dog to stop him from licking? The answer is, No! Just use the word “No” or “stop that” whenever the dog gets in the act. He will understand and start cooperating sooner than you think.
Use barriers for wounds on extremities
When your dog sustains an injury on his paw pad, don’t just cover it up with a barrier. Your first line of action should be to get it treated. In other words, take the dog to a veterinarian to examine and treat the wound. After that, you can go ahead with your plans to use a barrier.
What’s the barrier in this case? It is something that could prevent the dog’s tongue from touching the wound, without causing any harm or worsening the pain. If your dog had the injury on his right or left pad, then you can cover either of them up with a sock and fasten it to his leg with surgical tape.
However, keep in mind that your dog will try to take the sock off, particularly if the injury still hurts and he wants to lick it to soothe the pain. But then, nothing on earth should make you give in to his demand. Let the sock be there; with time, the dog will get used to it.
Use a bandage
A bandage is another form of barrier you can have placed over your dog’s wound to prevent it from licking it. You can also use this dressing at extremities such as tails, legs, or have it placed on the dog’s body or wherever he is injured.
Again, do not place a bandage over an injury that hasn’t been treated. If you are not sure about what to apply to your dog’s injury, visit your vet doctor for professional help. After the treatment, you may add bandages in the injured area to ensure the dog’s tongue doesn’t get to the injury.
It would help if you also remembered to use a fresh bandage on the injured area after bathing the dog.
Apply bitter substances
Your dog may continue licking his wound even after placing a bandage on it. Or it is also possible that you are yet to use dressing, and your dog keeps licking the injury. And in these two scenarios, you aim to stop your dog from licking his wounds.
Here’s a simple step for you. Get a bitter substance and have it applied on top of the bandage. You can also apply it directly to the incision or wound on the dog’s body.
What bitter substance can one use? An example is bitter apple. You may also decide to place anti-lick strips over the dog’s injury too.
Is the bitter apple spray safe? The answer is yes. Besides using it to prevent dogs from licking their injuries or bandaged wounds, dog owners can also use it to prevent dogs from chewing on things. The bitter apple spray contains ingredients that are harmless to dogs.
Some dogs have made licking wounds a habit and are now so obsessed that they can spend the whole day licking while awake. Even when you place a bandage or other barriers on the injured spot, they will still lick the wound.
If your dog behaves in this manner, then he surely needs help. So, it would be best you took him to your vet for treatment. In most cases, the dog might be given anti-psychotic medication or treated with other remedies. Your vet should know what’s best.
Let your dog wear a onesie
Consider dressing your dog in a onesie to help cover up the wound and prevent the dog from licking it. But make sure the onesie your dog wears isn’t too tight for it. It has to be flat to your dog’s fur to make the dog feel comfortable while preventing the dog from licking the wounded area.
You can get a baby onesie for a smaller dog, and a big onesie for a big dog. However, if you are confused about the right onesie to get, visit any pet supply shop nearby to get one and ensure you take the correct measurement of your dog.
Can I make a onesie for my dog? The answer is yes. You can create one at home from used clothes. Cut any cloth you feel would fit your dog correctly and put it on the dog.
Also, if you have a big dog, you can wear him your t-shirt and tie it at the dog’s waist region to prevent it from coming off.
You have to correct your dog whenever he displays an unacceptable behavior like licking his wounds. Don’t bank on the myth that a dog’s saliva can heal his wounds faster. Instead, see a vet and have any injury your dog sustains treated. But before and after the treatment, you need to stop dog licking wound to allow him to heal. Furthermore, you can check out these great dog harnesses as suitable alternatives to dog collars.
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