Have you ever wondered why dogs lick their wounds? In this article, I’ll look at why dogs lick their wounds and if it is beneficial for them or not.
Why do dogs lick their wounds?
A dog’s instinctive response to an injury is to lick their wounds. The enzymes that are present in a dog’s saliva are beneficial to wounds. It contains protein (tissue factor) and chemical component (Opiorphin) which helps promote the healing process and reduce pain. One big reason why dogs lick their wounds is to relieve pain and heal faster. It’s not just dogs who lick their wounds. Cats and small rodents also lick their wounds. There are however risks involved in allowing them to lick their wounds, especially if it is a large wound.
Dangers of allowing your dog to lick their wounds
Although allowing your dog to lick their wounds helps with the healing process, there are lots of risks involved. There are millions of bacteria in a dog’s mouth and when in contact with an open wound can result in an infection.
The friction from the dog’s tongue on an open wound may also reopen the wound. This slows the healing process and causes more pain for the dog. If your dog just had surgery, you should definitely prevent them from licking their wounds.
How to prevent your dog from licking their wounds
In cases of minor wounds, you can use a bandage, t-shirt, piece of clothing to act as a form of distraction from the wounds. Don’t wrap it too tight on the affected area to avoid slowing the healing process. For more serious injuries, you can also use an E-collar. Things are going to be hard for your dog for a while but it is for their good. The collar is designed to prevent your dog from licking their wounds and if used properly your dog will be healed in no time and then can be taken off.
So if your dog has a wound you are concerned about, you should visit the vet. There are plenty of treatment methods available. If the wound is serious don’t treat it by yourself or use over the counter treatment. Please book in and see your vet.
2 thoughts on “Why dogs lick their wounds”
Oh these are so me interesting facts about dog habits – didn’t know these before!
Oh dear, I didn’t know this, my dog does do it, will make sure I try and stop him