Always wear gloves when you’re dealing with bleeding and dispose of soiled dressings in a yellow incinerator bag.
If your pet is bleeding the priority is to stop the blood coming out! It is not a priority to clean the wound.
If the wound is deep or bleeding profusely, do not attempt to clean it as this should be done by the vet in a clinical environment. Ideally all wounds should be seen by a vet, however if the wound is minor and you are not planning to get it seen by a vet, then it should be carefully cleaned before it is dressed.
You may need to carefully trim your pet’s fur around the wound so that you can properly see the extent of the damage. Ideally use curved scissors to do this to avoid accidentally cutting their skin.
A wound can be cleaned using saline or clean water. For very dirty wounds you may wish to use an approved animal antiseptic although a dirty wound should always be seen and treated by a vet.
Do not use Hydrogen Peroxide as this can damage the edges of the wound and it could take longer to heal.
All bite wounds should be seen by a vet so they can properly assess the extent of the damage and your pet is likely to need antibiotics. Find out more about bite wounds.
First Aid for Pets provides this information for guidance and it is not in any way a substitute for veterinary advice. The author does not accept any liability or responsibility for any inaccuracies or for any mistreatment or misdiagnosis of any person or animal, however caused. It is strongly advised that you attend a practical First Aid for Pets course or take our online course to understand what to do in a medical emergency.