What Can Keep Dogs From Licking Treated Cuts?

Uncomfortable as they may be, E-collars can protect your pup's wounds.
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Your pooch can accidentally cause more damage to herself by licking and tending to her wounds. A few different, simple methods can help keep her away from a treated cut. In addition, keep her on a leash during healing to help prevent mishaps or additional damage.


Bandages are among the top ways to keep your pup from licking her wounds. They also can help keep dirt and other material out of the treated cut, which can help prevent irritation and infection. Most bandages for dogs are wrap bandages, some are self-adhesive and others use a clip or tape. You can generally find these at pet supply stores or your vet may give you some extra ones. Your pooch may be on a mission to get to that cut, however, and may start chewing on the bandage to remove it. Bandages are ideal for wounds on the legs, paws or tail.

Your Old T-Shirt

Wounds on the chest, belly, sides or back may be best covered with one of your old T-shirts or even a doggie shirt. The shirt should never be constrictive around your pup's chest or abdomen and shouldn't rub the treated cut. If a shirt is too big, you can tie it in a knot around your dog's abdomen to keep it from dragging or interfering with her walking. Your pooch will have a much harder time trying to get rid of the T-shirt than she would bandages. You can also use a T-shirt over a bandage or wrapped cut.

The Cone

Elizabethan collars are ideal for keeping your pooch away from wounds. They resemble a lampshade that goes around your dog's head. Because of the wide cone shape, your dog can't get her tongue anywhere near a wound on her body except for the front legs and paws, but she'll still be able to eat and drink. Pups tend to be a little stressed out during the first day or two of the E-collar, but most dogs get used to them rather quickly.


Several topical products exist for the sole purpose of keeping your pooch away from her cuts. These typically have a bitter taste that most dogs hate, such as bitter apple or lemon. Before applying these products, check with your vet first. You can also apply these to bandages to keep her from biting them.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.

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