What To Do If a Dog Bites You?

What To Do If a Dog Bites You?

Here’s a breakdown of what to do if you’ve been bitten by a dog, including when to seek medical help:

Is a Dog Bite Serious?

  • Infection Risk: Even minor bites can become infected. Bacteria from a dog’s mouth can cause complications.
  • Unpredictable: While some dogs warn before an attack, others don’t. It’s essential to act quickly for your safety and treatment.

Immediate Actions After a Dog Bite

  1. Safety First: If the dog is still aggressive, secure yourself and others. Confine the dog if safe, otherwise retreat slowly.
  2. Clean the Wound: Wash thoroughly with mild soap and warm water for several minutes. Avoid harsh chemicals that can damage tissue.
  3. Stop Bleeding: Apply pressure with a clean cloth until bleeding stops. Elevate the wound if possible.
  4. Bandage: Cover the wound with a sterile bandage. Change daily or as directed by a medical professional.
  5. Antibiotic Ointment: Over-the-counter options like Neosporin can help, but follow instructions carefully.
  6. Seek Medical Help: This is crucial, even for seemingly minor bites, to assess infection risk and the need for further treatment (stitches, etc.).
  7. Report the Bite: If the dog was unknown or a stray, contact animal control for public safety.

When to Treat at Home vs. Seek Urgent Medical Care

  • At Home: Superficial bites that stop bleeding easily can often be managed at home with thorough cleaning and monitoring.
  • See a Doctor:
    • Deep or large wounds
    • Bites on the face or hand
    • Uncontrollable bleeding
    • Signs of infection (redness, swelling, pus, fever)
    • Unknown dog or vaccination status

Follow-up Care

  • Follow your doctor’s instructions for wound care and antibiotics if prescribed.
  • Watch closely for infection, seeking help if any concerning signs develop.

Key Takeaways

  • All dog bites are potentially serious due to infection risk.
  • Prompt first aid is important, but medical evaluation is often necessary.
  • Don’t underestimate even small bites – proper care prevents complications.

Is Dog Bite Dangerous?

A dog bite is a wound caused by a dog bite. It is difficult to foresee when a dog may bite, and it is even more difficult to determine when a dog is going to bite.

While some dogs may exhibit hostility before to the attack, others may only yelp after it occurs. However, the majority of victims are still unaware of how quickly they carry out their attacks, and others require several minutes to realize what to do.

If it occurs outside of a hospital, you will require a qualified first aider to treat your wounds and stop the bleeding. For those who want to administer first aid in such situations, certification and basic first aid training are essential.

What To Do If a Dog Bites You?

Dog bites have a significant risk of infection and frequently spread pathogens. A medical professional should assess any bite that breaches the skin. So, see below what to do if a dog bites you.

Assure Security:

The safety of you and other people should come first in the event of a dog bite. If the dog continues to be hostile or dangerous, action must be taken to keep everyone safe.

If it’s safe to do so, try to contain the dog with a leash or any other materials that are accessible. To avoid more injuries, though, you should always proceed with caution when attempting to confine a dog.

If the dog cannot be properly restrained, gently and quietly walk away from it to a safe place, making sure that everyone else follows suit.

Clean The Injured Area:

Cleaning the wound comes next after safety has been established. For at least five minutes, gently wash the afflicted region with warm water and mild soap.

To lessen the chance of infection, cleanse the area surrounding and within the incision with care. Steer clear of strong agents like rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide since they can cause harm to the wounded tissues. For complete cleaning, stick to utilizing water and mild soap.

Apply Pressure To Stop The Bleeding:

Apply a sterile gauze pad or clean cloth straight to the site if the dog bite is causing bleeding. Apply steady, light pressure to stop the bleeding.

This lowers the possibility of significant blood loss by encouraging the formation of a blood clot. Reducing bleeding and swelling may also be aided by elevating the damaged area, if feasible.


Cover the wound with a sterile, clean dressing or bandage once the bleeding has stopped or is under control. To preserve cleanliness and shield the wound from possible pollutants, make sure the dressing covers the entire area.

In order to promote healing and avoid infection, it’s critical to change the dressing every day or as directed by a healthcare professional.

Antimicrobial Ointment:

Applying an over-the-counter antibacterial ointment, such as Neosporin, to the wound can help lower the chance of infection. When using the ointment, carefully follow the directions on the product and refrain from using it excessively.

Get Medical Help:

No matter how bad the dog bite was, you must get medical help as soon as possible from a healthcare professional.

Dog bites can cause infections and other consequences by introducing dangerous germs into the wound. Stitches or other medical interventions may be necessary for deep or extensive wounds in order to promote healing.

Report the Bite:

Report any dog bite incidents to your local animal control or law enforcement agency if the dog is a stray or strange breed. In order to stop other accidents, it is essential that authorities evaluate the situation and decide whether the dog poses a risk to public safety.

Succession Care:

After the initial evaluation, always follow any directions given by your healthcare provider. This can entail going back for wound inspections or using prescription antibiotics to treat or prevent infections.

Since infections can arise days or even weeks after the original bite, keep a vigilant eye out for any indications of infection or complications related to the wound. To guarantee proper care and healing, notify your healthcare professional of any concerned symptoms as soon as possible.

How To Treat Dog Bite at Home?

Evaluate the wound as soon as possible. Wash the bite wound with soap and water as quickly as possible if there isn’t any blood present.

If there is bleeding from the cut, use a clean cloth to apply pressure for five minutes, or until the flow stops. After that, give the afflicted region a soap and water wash. The likelihood of an infection from a dog bite can be reduced by thoroughly cleaning the wound with clean water.

To avoid infection and edema, try to keep the affected location above the level of the heart. If the wound is open, place a clean, sterile bandage over it loosely.

Request a copy of the dog’s immunization records from its owner, if at all feasible. Your doctor will use this information to determine what kind of follow-up care is required. Make an animal control call if the dog is a stray. They’ll make an effort to locate the dog and examine it for rabies.

In most cases, you may safely handle a small dog bite at home. Every day, wash the wound and look for any infection-related symptoms, such as redness, swelling, warmth, an unpleasant smell, or whitish-yellow discharge.


Providing basic first aid is part of treating a dog bite. After applying pressure to halt the bleeding and cleaning the wound with soap and water, replace the bandage with a fresh one. Seek emergency medical attention if the bite is deep, on your hand or face, or if you are unable to stop the bleeding.

Aapt Dubey
Aapt Dubey

Aapt Dubey, a devoted canine enthusiast and experienced dog Owner, brings boundless passion to our team. With a heart full of love for our four-legged friends, Aapt is dedicated to sharing insights on dog care, behavior, and training to make every pup's life happier and healthier at ItsAboutDog.com.

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