Treating a Dog Bite: Guidelines from MyCPR NOW


Dog bites can occur unexpectedly and may range in severity from minor scratches to more severe injuries. Knowing how to respond promptly and appropriately to a dog bite is essential to ensure proper wound care, prevent infection, and promote healing. In this blog post, we will discuss the steps for treating a dog bite, referring to the guidelines and insights provided by MyCPR NOW, a trusted resource for first aid and CPR education.

MyCPR NOW's Guidelines for Treating a Dog Bite:

MyCPR NOW offers valuable resources and knowledge on first aid, emergency care, and injury management, including guidelines for treating dog bites. It's important to note that while the following steps are provided as general guidance, seeking medical attention is always recommended for dog bites, particularly if the wound is deep or shows signs of infection. Let's explore the details with the guidance provided by MyCPR NOW.

1. Ensure Personal Safety:

Before approaching a dog bite victim, ensure your personal safety. If the dog is still present or aggressive, move to a safe distance and try to prevent further attacks or injuries.

2. Assess the Severity of the Dog Bite:

Assess the severity of the dog bite to determine the appropriate level of care required. Superficial bites that do not break the skin or cause significant injury may only require basic first aid, while deeper or more severe bites may necessitate immediate medical attention.

3. Control Bleeding:

If the dog bite causes bleeding, apply gentle pressure to the wound with a clean cloth or sterile gauze to control bleeding. Elevating the affected area, if possible, can help reduce blood flow to the wound.

4. Clean the Wound:

Once bleeding is controlled, clean the dog bite wound thoroughly with mild soap and warm water. Gently remove any debris or dirt from the area to minimize the risk of infection. Avoid scrubbing the wound, as it may cause further tissue damage.

5. Apply an Antiseptic:

After cleaning the wound, apply an antiseptic solution, such as hydrogen peroxide or povidone-iodine, to help prevent infection. Follow the instructions on the product packaging and use a clean cotton swab or sterile gauze to apply the antiseptic to the wound.

6. Cover the Wound:

Once the wound is cleaned and antiseptic is applied, cover the dog bite with a sterile dressing or clean cloth to protect it from further contamination. Use medical tape or adhesive strips to secure the dressing in place.

7. Monitor for Signs of Infection:

Watch for signs of infection, such as increased pain, redness, swelling, warmth, pus, or fever. If any signs of infection develop or if the wound does not heal properly, seek medical attention promptly.

8. Update Tetanus Immunization:

If the dog bite wound is deep, contaminated, or shows signs of infection, ensure that the individual's tetanus immunization is up to date. Tetanus shots are typically recommended every 10 years or as advised by healthcare professionals.

9. Seek Medical Attention:

Regardless of the severity of the dog bite, it is always advisable to seek medical attention. Healthcare professionals can assess the wound, provide appropriate treatment, and administer preventive measures for potential complications.

10. Report the Incident:

If the dog bite occurs in a public area or involves a stray or unknown dog, report the incident to the relevant authorities or local animal control agency. This helps ensure appropriate follow-up, including identification of the dog and potential rabies testing.


Proper treatment of a dog bite is crucial to prevent infection and promote healing. MyCPR NOW provides valuable insights and guidelines for treating dog bites, emphasizing the importance of personal safety, wound cleaning, application of antiseptics, and seeking medical attention. Remember, dog bites can vary in severity, and professional medical evaluation is recommended to ensure proper care. MyCPR NOW serves as a reliable resource for first aid education, offering guidance on responding to various emergencies, including dog bites.

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