First aid tip: How to treat a dog bite

Dogs are not always man’s best friend! Dog bites can produce nasty injuries, especially in young children and babies. As well as the obvious injury caused, dog bites carry an extra risk from infection. One of the most well-known diseases carried by dogs is rabies, carried in infected animals’ saliva. You can learn more about Rabies from the World Health Organization.

First aid for a dog bite

You can treat a dog bite by following the simple first aid advice below.

Step 1: Using clean water (with soap/an antiseptic product if possible) wash the wound thoroughly. Make sure to clean the area around the wound as well.

Step 2: Cover the wound with a sterile wound dressing. If the bleeding is severe, apply direct pressure and call for an ambulance.

Step 3: If there is a risk of infection (ie, you are in a rabies risk area) or the wound appear serious, then seek medical advice immediately. The casualty may require an injection to protect them from the rabies virus.

If you are concerned about rabies, you can find a map of areas at risk online. 

If you are concerned that the dog may still be in the vicinity and poses a danger to yourself then call the police immediately. Do not try to capture or calm the dog down, as this may result in further injury to yourself or others.

The advice above can also apply to any animal / human bites, not just dogs.

John Furst

JOHN FURST is an experienced emergency medical technician and qualified first aid and CPR instructor. John is passionate about first aid and believes everyone should have the skills and confidence to take action in an emergency situation.

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2 Responses

  1. Kteabc says:

    Generally the police are little to no help when it comes to animals at large. City or county animal control is responsible for that but in the event there is no animal control the police would be who to call.
    If a human bite breaks the skin do you have to get shots to prevent any type of illnesses that could have been passed on?

  2. nascarsj says:

    find the owner and see if dog is up to date on his shots if you can’t find owner go to doctor.

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