Dogs are not like people. Dogs can be cuter, funnier, more honest and loving. That goes without saying. But unlike people, you can’t tell your dog to keep that bandage on all the time. We all know how difficult it is playing with an injured dog, but if your dog goes through a surgery or has an injury, you’ll need to bandage that injured limb yourself. Easier said than done, right? With all that fluffy fur, flexible body, and the shape of their paw, good luck trying to keep that bandage from coming off.
To see how to bandage paws, watch our Bandaging Dog Paws video.
To keep the bandage on despite the dog’s best efforts to throw it off, chew at it, and get it dirty, you’ll need a sound strategy. Your strategy should combine good materials, excellent technique, and applying the right amount of pressure to make it tricky even for the pooch to shake it off. For materials, you should have cotton wadding, sterile dressing pads, gauze for wrapping, elastic bandages preferably the ones that are self-adhesive, and an adhesive tape. You can get all these materials online or from your vet clinic.
To achieve your goal of bandaging the dog’s paw the right way and keeping that bandage on you’ll need to apply the right tension. Too tight and it will hurt the dog, too loose and it will slip off a few minutes later. This is vital just like food for sensitive stomach. The golden rule here is to use layers of cotton wads and wrap them with gauze using moderate pressure. When done slip a finger under the bandage. If the dressing grips your finger but allows you to touch the dog’s paw, then you’ve done it right.
Keeping it on
Now that you know how to bandage the paw, you need to know how to keep it on. For starters make sure the dog’s paw is clean and dry. Keep him indoors most of the time to keep the bandage from getting dirty. You can even get them an orthopedic dog bed so they can rest and heal faster. If you have to take the dog out, cover the bandage with a plastic bag. If the dog tends to chew at the bandage check if it’s too tight then use an Elizabethan collar (aka the 'cone of shame'!) to stop him gnawing it off.
Taking care of your dog’s injured paw requires a lot of patience and skill. But if you follow these tips you’ll pull it off and prevent the dog from pulling it off.
We have a number of Dog First Aid videos, including
What you should keep in a Canine First Aid Kit
Emergency Tail Bandaging
CPR for dogs
and How to remove Ticks safely