Why Do Dogs Lick Wounds?

Why Do Dogs Lick Wounds

Every vet understands that animal patients are owned to lick wounds. We have actually all seen the damaging force it can be in surgical wound healing. I can recognize an injury that has actually been licked the instant I see it. Not just does licking possibly present infection, but the act of licking can break down tissues and stitch. Many individuals still feel that as a natural response of a dog to an injury, it is a great idea. We likewise understand that mother dogs lick their young puppies at birth and beyond, to stimulate defecation and most likely to clean up the pups and conceal their fragrance.

Why Do Dogs Lick Wounds?

Some individuals have advocated human beings allowing dogs to lick our wounds based upon the anticipation that the canine saliva has an antibacterial residential or commercial properties. So does canine saliva resist the development of infectious bacteria?

A research study finished in 1990 recommended that there might be some bacterial growth inhibition in dog saliva, however only particular to specific stress of bacteria and only small inhibition. E.Coli is a bacterium frequently accountable for neonatal infections and canine saliva had the ability to suppress its growth somewhat. This group of researchers speculated that the bactericidal result against E. Coli and not Staphylococcus might discuss the greater occurrence of Staph infections in injuries (46%) versus E. Coli (9-17%).

A more current study alerts that since of the difference in bacterial plants (naturally occurring bacteria) in a dog’s mouth in comparison to human skin, it is not a good idea to enable dogs to lick human wounds for worry of a zoonotic disease resulting.

Dogs carry many different bacteria in their mouths that will readily transfer into your bloodstream. Worms and Germs describe a dog’s mouth as including “billions of bacteria from hundreds of various bacterial types.” You don’t want those getting in your body, undoubtedly?

Bacteria like Pasteurella and Staphylococcus can be presented from dog’s mouths deep into human wounds, which can cause disastrous infection and hazards to life – there are multiple cases of people requiring amputations following infection after having actually deep wounds licked by dogs.


It isn’t really a smart idea to let your dog lick your wounds and it really isn’t really a great idea to let him lick his own. Despite the idea that there may be bactericidal advantages, the injury triggered by the friction of licking is damaging to the healing process. Your best choice on a wound is to seek advice from a vet for your dog (or doctor for you). Medical evaluation can inform you if the best bactericidal action will come from antibiotics and if bandaging, suturing or surgery is in order.

Of course, I hear often that in the wild no one would go to an injury for a dog and he would lick it, but we have the capability to keep injuries much cleaner utilizing aseptic practices than licking can ever do and dogs in the wild would never ever have surgical incision websites. Keep in mind, in the wild, your individual dog might succumb to a minor injury when it ended up being infected and licking is his only tool.

We understand much better now and we are responsible for our pets’ health and wellbeing. Don’t rely on nature to handle a wound. If you look for medical help, your family pet’s recovery time will be reduced and his pain and suffering better managed. His opportunities of total recovery without long lasting results are much higher with a professional intervention. Letting nature take its course in these cases might indicate death or disfigurement for your dog.

Also read: Why Does My Dog Lick and Chew His Feet?


D. Roberts (Junior Expert)
Pet Health
Leave a Reply

  1. Reyus Mammadli

    Do not let your dog lick your wound. Your mother – a woman – did you really have a head? Let the dog licks itself, its wounds. Do not be silly.

  2. Dick

    It’s hard to stop a dog that wants to lick a wound. You can wear a muzzle, and bandage the wound. But the animal will be very bad because of this.