If you see blood dripping or even pouring from your dog’s paw, don’t panic. A large amount of blood is not always indicative of a deep wound. Even a thorn can draw a large amount of blood if your dog steps on it with enough force. The first thing you need to do is to stop the bleeding, which can sometimes take a few seconds or a few minutes, depending on the severity of the injury.


    • Remove any objects that have caused the wound, such as thorns or sticks. You can usually grasp the object with your fingers, but for smaller objects you may need to use tweezers.

    • Trim the hair from the site of the wound. If your dog is short-haired, you may not have to do trim any hair.

    • Press and hold a sterile gauze bandage to the wound. Apply enough pressure to stop the bleeding, but not so much that it causes pain to the dog. If the bleeding does not stop within 10 minutes, call your vet.

    • Clean the wound with a product that contains isotonic saline or chlorhexidine diacetate, such as Nolvasan.

    • Wash the wound with water. Use an outside hose, if possible, to wash all of the dirt out of the wound.

    • Apply a healing ointment.

    • Place two to three gauze pads on the wound. Insert one cotton ball between each toe. Apply medical tape around the gauze pad. Tape the bottom of the foot so the entire foot and toes are covered and the gauze is secured. Apply the tape loosely. The cotton balls and gauze will stay in place as long as the tape covers the top and bottom of the toes.

    • Replace the gauze pads once a day until the wound heals.