Dog parks and playdates can be wonderful places to socialize and exercise your pet but, from time to time, pets tangle and things don’t go well. Dog fights can be terrifying and if your pet gets injured, an emergency visit to your veterinarian or emergency animal hospital is in order. 

If your dog is bitten by another dog, it's important to act quickly to ensure your pet's safety and well-being. Dog bites can result in a variety of injuries, ranging from minor cuts and abrasions to more serious wounds requiring immediate veterinary attention. 

Here's what to do if your dog is bitten by another dog: 

Immediate Steps to Take: 

  1. Assess the Situation: Remain calm and carefully assess the extent of your dog's injuries. If the bite appears severe or if there's significant bleeding, proceed to the next steps immediately.
  2. Control Bleeding: If there's bleeding, apply gentle pressure to the wound with a clean cloth or gauze pad to help control it. If possible, try to elevate the injured area in order to reduce bleeding.
  3. Clean the Wound: Use mild soap and water to gently clean the bite wound and surrounding area. Avoid using hydrogen peroxide or alcohol, as they can be irritating to the tissue. If you have a pet-safe antiseptic solution on hand, you can apply it to help prevent infection. Avoid using human products, as they may be toxic to pets.
  4. Visit Your Veterinarian: Get your pet looked at by a professional to assess the injury more clearly and to assist in wound cleaning if you do not have the appropriate products on hand. Longevity Veterinary Center is open for emergencies, as well as wellness care, seven days a week until midnight should you need us.
  5. Watch for Signs of Shock: Watch for signs of shock in your dog, such as pale gums, rapid breathing, weakness, or collapse. If you suspect shock, keep your dog warm and seek veterinary assistance immediately.

Risks Associated with Dog Bites: 

  • Infection: Dog bites can introduce bacteria into the wound, increasing the risk of infection. Common bacteria include Staphylococcus and Pasteurella, which can lead to localized or systemic infections if not properly treated.
  • Tissue Damage: Depending on the severity of the bite, tissue damage can range from minor abrasions to deep puncture wounds or torn skin and muscles.
  • Emotional Trauma: Dog bites can also cause emotional trauma in both the injured dog and the owner. Behavioral changes, fear, and anxiety may develop as a result of the incident.

Dog bites can be distressing for both dogs and their owners but knowing how to respond promptly and appropriately can help minimize the risk of complications and promote healing. Seeking veterinary care is always recommended not only to assess the injury but also if you do not know the vaccination or health status of the pet inflicting the wound. Additionally, consider consulting with a professional dog trainer or behaviorist to address any behavioral issues that may arise because of the bite incident.