How to Stop a Dog from Licking an Open Wound

It is necessary to stop a dog from licking an open wound as constant licking can slow the healing process and exacerbate the problem by causing severe infections.

It is natural for a dog with an open wound to try to lick the area to reduce the pain and discomfort caused by the wound. However, the mouth of your puppy is not sterile. There are many bacteria present in the mouth and on the tongue of your pet that can be transferred to the wound when your pet licks the open wound. These bacteria thrive in the moist and warm environment of a constantly licked open wound. Hence, it is essential to stop a dog from licking an open wound in order to prevent the wound site from getting infected.

How to Stop a Dog from Licking an Open Wound

  • Trying to stop a pet from licking an open wound is a challenging job as just reprimanding the dog is not going to be successful. Extra measures are required to prevent the wound from becoming infected as a result of constant licking. An application of a topical ointment can prevent the dog from licking the wound. However, the ointment should not prove to be an irritant as this can result in more aggressive licking. Covering the wound with a bandage can stop licking as it can prevent easy access of the wounded area. However, the pet might lick the bandage off the wound and continue licking the wound. Hence, the bandage applied should be such that it can't be torn off the wound.

Using a Collar to Stop a Dog from Licking an Open Wound

  • If mild measures such as scolding, application of a topical ointment or bandaging the wound don't work, it might be necessary to use a collar to stop a dog from licking an open wound. A neck collar can prevent the dog from accessing the wound site. An Elizabethan collar is shaped like a lampshade and reduces the pet's ability to move his head. A neck brace is a firm collar that fits tightly around the neck and impedes the head's movement. Such collars are effective if the wound is on the dog's side or hind legs. However, a persistent pet can remove the collar and reach the wound.
  • There are products available in the market that can administer a mild shock when the site of the wound is licked. This is one way to stop a dog from licking an open wound but isn’t always preferred by pet owners. Depending on the site of the wound and the manner of licking, any of the above measures can be used by you to get your dog to stop licking the wound.