Why Do Dogs Lick Their Wounds? Here’s Why They Shouldn’t

Dogs are fond of licking many things from human legs and faces to the furniture, then to the carpets, and even to the pillows. And when it comes to licking their wounds, they do it with all freedom and passion.

Among other reasons, one reason dogs lick their wound is to soothe the pain and discomfort they get from it. However, it is important to note that it is not a good idea for dogs to lick their wounds. They could risk an infection from doing so, and aggravate their wound even further.

In this article, we will see why dogs should not lick their wounds, and how to stop them from licking their wounds. Furthermore, we will also see what a healing dog wound looks like. But before seeing answers to these questions, let’s see why dogs lick their wounds.

Why Do Dogs Lick Their Wounds?

The primary reason dogs lick their wounds is to soothe the pain and other uncomfortable sensations they get from the wounds. Licking blocks these pain impulses sent to the wound site and provides momentary relief to their discomforts.

Their discomforts could arise from the irritations from dirt in an open wound or from the stitches on closed wounds.

In the case of closed wounds, doggies will attempt to untighten the stitches by licking them when they get uncomfortable.

Other reasons why a dog licks their wounds are the grooming nature that instinctively makes them lick their wounds in an attempt to clean the debris from it. While few others may lick their wounds because of behaviors such as obsessive-compulsive disorder which in this case is extreme.

Does Dog’s Saliva Heal The Wound?

Yes, together with other healing factors a dog’s saliva aids in wound healing. The other factors which are the major factor that determines how well your furry friend heals are their health and the severity of the wound.

A dog’s saliva can play a part in wound healing. It has antibacterial and antimicrobial properties and can even attack Streptococcus cani and Escherichia coli. These properties prevent excessive itching on their wounds stopping any further damage to the injury.

Apart from its antimicrobial abilities, dog saliva also contains protease inhibitors and growth factors. These two substances collectively aid cell growth and allow the replacement of damaged cells.

Does A Wound Heal Faster If A Dog Licks It?

The effect of licking a wound on the recovery rate is small. The health of your dog and the effectiveness of treatment solely determine how fast your pooch can recover from injury.

Licking only plays a small part to hasten healing by increasing blood flow to the wounded area as their tongue moves. This action also removes debris and other infectious matter from the wound and can enhance the healing process.

Should I Let My Dog Lick Its Wound?

Image from Darwin’s Pet

No, you shouldn’t let your canine companion lick its wound. Although the action of saliva and licking helps in wound healing, you should not encourage your furry friend to do so.

This is because your canine buddy could get infected from licking pus and decaying cells on the wound. In addition, they could go on to lick excessively and cause further damage to the wound.

Why Is My Dog Licking The Same Spot On Its Leg?

If you observe your dear Fido licking the same spot on their leg, it could be as a result of injury, allergy, or boredom.

If it only licks one spot on its leg, injury from overgrown nails or accidents during play could be the cause.

If it is frequently licking both legs it may indicate an allergy. You should check that your furry friend’s diet has not been recently changed to confirm that it is not an allergy.

In addition, boredom could also make your furry friend lick on a single spot all the time. And in some extreme cases licking on a single spot can be due to a condition known as lick granuloma.

How Do I Stop My Dog From Licking The Same Spot?

The best way to stop your dog from licking the same spot is to treat the injury.

Otherwise, if your furry friend has no injury it could be a sign of boredom. You can stop this by keeping your canine buddy distracted from other tasks.

How To Stop Dogs From Licking Wounds?

There are methods available to hinder dogs from licking their wounds. These methods either aim to prevent them from reaching the wound site or by distracting them. The methods available are the use of cones, collars, bandages, boots, or by distracting their furry friend.

Use Of Elizabeth Collars

Elizabeth collars, also known as “the cone of shame”, resemble the cone head of a table lamp. They prevent doggies from reaching their injury or from removing their bandage.

To use this, you should place the collar on your doggy neck and make sure that the collar edge is over the nose tip.

With this tool, the pet owner must take caution against getting injured by the dog or the dog injuring themselves with it.

They usually slam the cone when they get uncomfortable with it.

Use Of Inflatable Collar

A less aggressive alternative to the cone is the Inflatable collar. They also offer the same function as the Elizabeth collar by limiting the ability to turn and lick.

With this cone, care must be taken not to puncture it, and that it closely fits your doggie’s neck.

Use Of Bandages

At times bandages such as leggings, body tubes, T-shirts are appropriate.

Alongside a bandage, you should also use tape to cover the bandages and keep them intact. Medical tapes are the best for this treatment and unlike duct tape, they are safe on the skin. To remove the medical tape all you have to do is to add little drops of surgical spirit around it.

Use Of Boots

Your furry companions can also wear canine boots or soft shoes around their claws and ankle region. This is useful when the injury is found on the base of their foot.

Use Of Distraction Techniques

This method aims to distract your pet’s attention and get it to focus on other things instead of its wounds.

A way to do this is to use food embedded in ice cubes, a buster cube, or a plastic bottle to slowly dispense food for your pet.

If these methods listed above are applied, and your canine buddy persistently attends to its wound, you should consult with your veterinarian. It could be an indication of underlying pain.

Can Dogs Sleep With A Cone On?

Yes, a dog can sleep with a cone without any problem.

Not only can they also sleep on the cone, but they can even pee, eat, drink, and poop with their cone on.

What To Do If A Dog Can Still Lick With A Cone?

At times after placing a cone on our furry companion, they can still reach the injury because the cone isn’t lifted high enough. To stop this, you should use a towel to raise the cone slightly higher.

Also, to strengthen the effect of the cone, you should apply a spray. A rub in this case to repel your pooch from the wound site will be important.

How To Stop A Dog From Licking Wounds Without A Collar?

There are methods available for preventing dogs from licking wounds without collars such as the use of fabric covered with medical tape, bandages, surgical recovery suits, T-shirts, boxers, distraction techniques, and regular exercises.

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Pete Decker