How to Wrap a Dog’s Paw (And Other Dog Wound Care Tips)

Four Minutes Jul 27, 2022

No dog owner wants to think of their pooch in pain. Unfortunately, dog paw wounds are all too common. While bumps, scrapes, and breaks happen, they can get worse if not properly treated. Fortunately, learning how to wrap a dog’s paw is not that difficult!

A safe, clean, and properly applied bandage may be very important in the healing process and could prevent a dog paw infection. Properly applying a dog paw bandage might help prevent bleeding and additional injury, along with providing some pain relief for your dog.

If you’ve never had to treat a dog paw injury, putting together a doggy first aid kit is a good place to start. The following items should be included in your pet first aid kit:3

●      Antiseptic

●      Sterile pads

●      Adhesive bandage/tape

●      Gauze

How To Clean a Dog Wound

If you can see a swollen dog paw or if your dog is limping, bleeding, or in some other way has clearly injured their leg, you can use the following step-by-step instructions to care for the wound until you can see your veterinarian:4

●      Start by looking for foreign objects in the wound, such as bits of glass. Carefully remove them with tweezers. Swishing the paw in cold water can also help dislodge any particles. Deeply-lodged debris should only be removed by professional veterinarians.

●      Clean and disinfect the wound area. Use gentle disinfectants like betadine or a mild antibacterial soap.

●      If there’s bleeding, apply pressure with a towel until it stops. If the bleeding still continues after 10 – 15 minutes, take your dog to an emergency clinic right away.

You should schedule a vet visit regardless, ideally within 3 days of injury.4 They’ll be able to take a closer look at the wound and prescribe medication, like antibiotics and painkillers, to speed up the healing process.

How to recognize a dog paw infection

An injured paw is bad enough, but an infection can make matters much worse.4 While changing your dog’s bandages, inspect the condition of their footpads. Look for swelling, discoloration, a liquid discharge, or a foul odor. Any of these could indicate an infection or compromised blood circulation. If untreated, both could become permanent damage. That’s why it’s so important to consult your vet as soon as something seems off.

How to Bandage a Dog’s Paw

Once you’ve cleaned and disinfected the wound, the next step is to bandage it:4

●      Put a nonstick absorbent pad over the wound.

●      Wrap a gauze bandage over the nonstick absorbent pad.

●      Wrap a layer of adhesive tape over the bandage.

●      Roll cotton over the gauze pad followed by stretch gauze.

●      Change your dog’s bandage frequently to allow the wound to remain clean and free of bacteria.

You can prevent your dog from chewing on their bandage with an anti-lick spray. Take note of your pup’s toes when you change the bandage for signs of infection.

Dogs don’t have the benefit of talking about a stressful week out over a cup of coffee with us. Instead, your dog may get into all sorts of mischief like marking curtains, scratching door frames, and destroying pillows. Calming treats for dogs are affordable options that can help you and your family manage puppy stress. Here’s what you should know about calming treats and how to curb your dog’s anxious behavior.

Reasons Why Your Dog Might Need Calming Treats

Are you distressed when your pup follows you around whining on the way to the bathroom? Are they howling when you leave for work in the morning? These could be signs of separation anxiety and stress.

You should chat with your vet immediately if these behaviors persist to rule out physical ailments. Sometimes other misbehaviors, specifically nipping or biting, are a sign your dog is experiencing pain or discomfort.³ If this isn’t the case, your veterinarian will discuss lifestyle issues like diet, exercise, and environment. There are a few instances where a calming treat may help your dog handle their feelings, especially if it’s creating added stress on your life.

Your dog is hyperactive (or bored)  

True hyperactivity in dogs is rare; it’s more likely that your dog has nowhere to get their energy out. A dog’s play time needs vary drastically based on age, size, and breed so if your pup is stuck in the house all day, a walk once a day may not be enough. If you’re wondering how to calm a hyper dog, consider more intentional training and diet changes.⁴ Adding calming chews into your dog’s regimen to supplement other lifestyle changes can help your friend mellow out, but make sure to talk with your vet for a proper diagnosis if more exercise and diet changes don’t work. Your veterinarian may prescribe calming medicine for dogs to help treat their hyperactivity.

Your dog is experiencing anxiety

A dog’s environment is key to their happiness. It can be easy to figure out when your dog is anxious if it’s during events like birthday parties and firework celebrations. But when they’re doing something like suddenly biting their legs over and over or sulking, the reasons may not be as obvious. According to Merck’s Veterinary Manual, there are three primary sources of anxiety in dogs,⁶:

  1. Fear-related: If your dog is an anxious ball of fur, this one is easy to figure out. The source of their fear may be loud noises or people.
  2. Separation: Your pal may just miss you too much. Separation anxiety often looks like barking insistently, destroying furniture, urinating and defecating in the house, or scratching at the door when you leave.
  3. Age-related: Dogs experience health issues when they get older, just like us. Cognitive dysfunction syndrome impacts a dog’s memory, learning, perception, and awareness (think of it like Alzheimer’s for old puppies).⁷ The anxiety they are experiencing may be a sign their mind is on the decline.

Work closely with your vet care team to determine the source of the anxiety. They will guide you through critical lifestyle changes and point you toward the anxiety treats that could bring relief.

How To Keep a Dog Paw Bandage On

Keeping the bandage on your dog can prove to be quite challenging, even if you have followed the suggested steps correctly. To keep the bandage in place, here are a couple of tips to consider:

●      Keep it dry.

●      Do not leave your pet unsupervised outdoors.

●      Consider placing a cone on your dog to prevent them from removing the bandage.

●      Place a sock or dog bootie over the bandage.

Can Pet Insurance Help With a Dog Paw Injury?

Cleaning and bandaging your dog’s paw at home isn’t likely to cost an arm and a leg. Vet visits are another matter, however. Wound treatment and repair could run you between $800 and $2,500.5

No pet parent wants a bill to get in the way of the treatment their furry family needs. With a dog insurance policy, you could be reimbursed for some or all of the cost of emergency treatment.2 With MetLife Pet Insurance, you can customize your plan to meet your unique needs.1 Learn more about how dog insurance can protect your pooch.

Protect those Paws 

Coverage in 3 Easy Steps

Nothing in this article should be construed as financial, legal or veterinary advice. Please consult your own advisors for questions relating to your and your pet’s specific circumstances.

1 Pet Insurance offered by MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is underwritten by Independence American Insurance Company (“IAIC”), a Delaware insurance company, headquartered at 485 Madison Avenue, NY, NY 10022, and Metropolitan General Insurance Company (“MetGen”), a Rhode Island insurance company, headquartered at 700 Quaker Lane, Warwick, RI 02886, in those states where MetGen’s policies are available. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC is the policy administrator authorized by IAIC and MetGen to offer and administer pet insurance policies. MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC was previously known as PetFirst Healthcare, LLC and in some states continues to operate under that name pending approval of its application for a name change. The entity may operate under an alternate, assumed, and/or fictitious name in certain jurisdictions as approved, including MetLife Pet Insurance Services LLC (New York and Minnesota), MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions Agency LLC (Illinois), and such other alternate, assumed, or fictitious names approved by certain jurisdictions.

2 Provided all terms of the policy are met. Application is subject to underwriting review and approval. Like most insurance policies, insurance policies issued by IAIC and MetGen contain certain deductibles, co-insurance, exclusions, exceptions, reductions, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. For costs, complete details of coverage and exclusions, and a listing of approved states, please contact MetLife Pet Insurance Solutions LLC. 

3 ”Dog First-Aid Kit Essentials,” American Kennel Club

4 ”First Aid for Torn or Injured Foot Pads in Dogs,” VCA Animal Hospital

5 “Pet Emergency Statistics and Veterinary Costs,” Preventive Vet