Calm the dog down. Once you notice that your dog is injured get control of him and calm him down if he's over-excited. Soothe your dog by petting him gently and speaking to him in a low calm voice. Make sure to stay calm yourself even if you're worried. Your dog can read your body language and knows your voice intonations very well. He'll pick up on your behavior and follow your lead.
Muzzle the dog if necessary. You need to keep your own safety in mind when handling an injured animal. Even if your dog is normally sweet and loving he may lash out to protect himself from further pain. If you're at all worried for your safety — if your dog starts growling or snapping at you or if the dog has a previous history of biting when agitated — muzzle your dog.
If you don't have a muzzle wrap a leash or light rope around your dog’s muzzle.
If he raises a big fuss stop and get your pet to the veterinarian as safely as possible.
Protect yourself by putting a blanket or towel over him before moving him to the veterinary hospital.
Address any bleeding you see. While cleanliness is important it's actually more vital to stop profuse bleeding as soon as possible. If blood seems to be pulsing out of the wound the dog likely has an arterial injury that could be very dangerous; pulsing blood should be taken very seriously.
Apply direct pressure to the wound using a clean absorbent material like a towel washcloth shirt gauze or even a feminine hygiene pad.
Keep pressure on the wound for 3-5 minutes before checking to see if the bleeding has stopped. If you keep taking off the pressure you disturb the blood clot trying to form and delay the process.
Apply a tourniquet only if needed and under expert instruction. A tourniquet should be your last resort to control bleeding. Applying one incorrectly can lead to complications that might result in tissue death. Your pet might need amputation if you cut off circulation. If you don't have training in applying a tourniquet to a dog call your vet for expert instruction to go along with this general guideline.
Place a clean towel or pad around the limb (but not around the neck chest or abdomen).
Use a belt or leash to hold it in place. It should be placed above the wound toward the body.
Leave it on for no more than 5 to 10 minutes before releasing the pressure to avoid permanent injury to the limb.
Use enough pressure to slow down or stop the bleeding but avoid crushing the muscle and soft tissue.
Applying the tourniquet should not be painful to your pet.
Seeking Professional Veterinary Help
Don’t wait to see a vet for eye injuries. Any cuts or wounds to the eye could potentially result in permanent damage to your pet’s sight. To increase the odds of a healthy recovery take him to the vet immediately for evaluation and treatment.
Take the dog to the vet for stitches if the wound is more than superficial. If the cut looks severe like it won't heal on its own you need to have a vet look at it. All wounds that penetrate through the skin to the muscle tendon or fat need professional evaluation. After assessing the wound the vet might suggest giving the dog stitches to promote healing.
Seek veterinary help for all bite wounds. Bites usually involve crushing damage to the dog's tissue. This can complicate recovery so bite wounds need flushing and drains which both need to be done under anesthesia by your vet. Animals' mouths are full of bacteria so there's a risk of infection even if the bite doesn't seem severe.
Have the vet drain or debride the wound if necessary. If the wound fills up with fluid instead of healing healthily ask the vet if he or she recommends draining it. Debridement is the removal of damaged or infected tissue from around the wound. Both of these procedures will require the vet to put your dog under anesthesia.
Ask the vet about systemic antibiotics. These medications can treat or prevent infection which slows healing. Your veterinarian should assess the wound determine if there are signs of infection and discuss antibiotics with you if necessary.
Cleaning the Wound
Clip away hair from around the wound with electric clippers. Once you've gotten the bleeding under control you can start the cleaning process. If your dog has long hair you may need to trim it away but do so only if you can do it safely. If you don’t have clippers carefully use blunt scissors to shorten the hair but don't try to get down to the skin with scissors as this increases the chance of further injury. Clearing away the dog's fur will let you a good look at the wound and will keep hair from trapping dirt or irritating the exposed flesh.
Flush out the wound with warm salt water. Add 2 tsp of sea salt to 1 cup warm tap water and stir until it dissolves. Fill a turkey baster or syringe (without the needle) with the mixture then squirt it gently into the wound until it's clean. The tissue should be clear and glistening before you stop flushing the wound.
If you don't have a baster or syringe pour the water directly over the wound.
If the wound is on the paw you can soak the foot in a bowl baking dish or small bucket for three to five minutes. Have a towel handy to dry the paw.
Disinfect the wound. Dilute Betadine (Povidine Iodine) or Nolvasan (Chlorhexidine) in warm water. Use this solution as a final rinse or soak. You can also use these solutions instead of saline when you're first cleaning the wound.
Dry the wound. A sterile gauze is ideal but any clean absorbent material will be fine. Don't rub or scrub at the wound. Instead pat it gently to avoid causing more pain or injury.
Apply an antibiotic cream or spray safe for humans. Be aware that a spray might scare your dog and may even sting for a little bit. Don't use creams and ointments if you have another option as they might attract dirt to the wound. Furthermore your dog will likely try to lick it off so use those products only if you can prevent the dog from bothering the area. You can either wrap the treated area with protective gauze or use an Elizabethan collar.
Be careful that you don't spray anything into the dog's eyes.
Don't use ointments with steroids like hydrocortisone or betamethasone that may interfere with the wound's healing process. Use only antibiotic ointments.
Do not use antifungal creams (ketoconazole clotrimazole) unless instructed by your veterinarian.
If you have any questions call your pharmacist or vet before applying the product.
Check the wound daily. If you see any signs of infection take your dog to the vet immediately. Signs that suggest infection include a bad smell or yellow green or gray discharge.
Accidents happen. Your dog's playful nature and curiosity may lead to cuts scrapes and punctures at some point in his life. Cleaning the wound properly at home will help him heal and may buy you some time if you can't get him to the vet immediately. Proper wound cleaning will prevent infection and help you and the vet tell how bad your pet's injury really is.