Dogs and kids seem to be almost attracted to doing things that end up with a variety of bumps, bruises, scratches, and other types of minor injuries. While it may be easy to turn to decorative band-aids and fun treatment options for your kids, it is often more challenging to know what first aid prevention to use and what not to use on your dog.
To help provide some general guidelines, we have put together a list of easy to find first aid prevention treatment options for minor issues your dog may experience. We recommend that anything that seems like it may be more than a scratch or a minor issue be checked by your vet. Many vets now offer the option to text a picture and get a response, allowing you to know if you need to schedule an appointment.
- Antibacterial spray – for minor scrapes and scratches, as well as for bug bites or any type of minor skin allergy, antibacterial sprays are handy and easy to apply. A great option to consider is the Vetericyn Plus Hydrogel, a clear, non-toxic, water-based spray that can be applied directly to the skin. This can be used on most animals and birds, making it a versatile product to prevent bacterial infections in minor skin cuts, rashes, and scrapes.
- Antibacterial ointment – for a longer-lasting antibacterial product, ointments are the ideal option. These are applied just as you apply ointment to a scrape or burn on yourself. Some dogs may lick this product, so covering it with a loose gauze prevents additional irritation of the area by the dog’s licking.
- Hydrogen peroxide – this is the same as you use on your family, and it is an ideal antiseptic to wash out minor skin cuts, scrapes, or scratches. Do not use this product on large areas of skin injury or damage unless it is recommended by your vet.
- Baking soda – making a paste of baking soda and fresh, clean water is a simple way to help to reduce and soothe a bug bite or a wasp or bee bite. Simply apply the paste to the area and allow it to cool and calm the area.
- Oatmeal bath – for a lot of insect bites, including from mosquitoes or other biting insects, an oatmeal bath can help soothe the entire skin area and also calm and relax the dog. If the dog has any signs of a serious allergic reaction, includes difficulty breathing, extreme swelling, or any change in behavior, immediately contact your vet as this can be a sign of a deadly allergic reaction.
- Ice it – a bag of frozen peas or corn is a handy way to cool and soothe bites, scratches, and areas of skin irritation. Apply the frozen vegetable bag, or a wet towel filled with ice, for no more than 10 minutes at a time to help to eliminate swelling and dull any pain sensation.
Do not use human medications such as pain killers, over-the-counter NSAIDs, or Benadryl with your dog unless recommended by your vet. Dosages of even the “safe” medications for humans must be adjusted for the dog’s much lower weight, or severe health complications can occur.