Liquid bandages first hit the medical scene around the 1980s. Since then, they’ve revolutionized how we care for superficial cuts and minor wounds. Initially, they were for surgeons and healthcare providers. But today, you can easily get them at your local drugstore.
A liquid bandage, also known as a tissue adhesive, is a topical product that typically comes in a liquid spray or foam. It’s a unique polymer substance that bonds to skin and dries in minutes.
What’s great about liquid bandages is that they are more effective at keeping wounds safe from bacteria while allowing them to heal effectively.
You might have used liquid bandages on yourself to great success. But have you ever wondered if you can use the substance on your dog?
Dogs are notorious for rejecting traditional bandages. They will lick and scratch at anything you adhere to their body, increasing the risk of infections and other complications. They hate conventional bandages so much that many dog owners must wear a dreaded Elizabethan collar on their furry friends until the wounds heal!
So what’s the verdict? Are liquid bandages safe for dogs?
Can You Use Liquid Bandage on a Dog?
Dog owners rejoice! You can use liquid bandages on your dog to treat minor cuts and superficial wounds. Many vets recommend it!
A liquid bandage is a lifesaver for hard-to-heal areas. They can cover wounds on the tail, toes, ears, and paws. Many dog owners use liquid bandages to protect spots that get considerable movement.
The polymer is flexible enough not to hinder your dog’s movements, making it less likely that they’ll notice it’s there. It protects the wound from harmful bacteria while maintaining moisture balance to promote healing.
Can You Use New Skin on Dogs?
New Skin is one of the most accessible liquid bandage brands on the market. It’s available at many pharmacies. However, you should refrain from using it on your dog. That doesn’t just apply to New Skin. You should avoid using any product made for humans on dogs.
There are a couple of reasons for this.
First, many human liquid bandage products contain alcohol meant to reduce the risk of infection. That’s beneficial for dogs, too. However, many pups will react negatively to that sudden sting.
It’s painful and can cause your dog to lash out. There are other ways to cleanse a wound; using an alcohol-based product like a human liquid bandage can do more harm than good.
Secondly, human products can contain ingredients that irritate or harm your dog’s health. While they’re safe for human use, dogs have different bodies than us. Their skin pH balance is different, and they react negatively to many healthcare ingredients you have no problem handling.
If you want to use a liquid bandage, we recommend going with a product formulated for dogs. They’re safer and purpose-made to work with a dog’s body. There’s no shortage of options on the market today, and you can find some at your local pet store. If not, consult with your vet and look online.
Choosing a Liquid Bandage for Your Dog?
Not sure what to look for? There are factors that differentiate top-quality liquid bandage products from inferior ones. Here are some things to consider.
As mentioned earlier, alcohol can sting! That sting is something humans can handle. We expect the sensation and can brace for the temporary pain. But your already stressed pup? They will think it’s the end of the world!
Minor wounds are already stressful. Adding the sting of alcohol to the mix will only make things worse. Look for an alcohol-free formula to ensure that your dog stays comfortable.
Wounds can continue to hurt after you apply a liquid bandage. That discomfort causes dogs to act out. Many will attempt to lick or scratch at the area to get relief.
One way to circumvent that issue is to choose a liquid bandage product with an anesthetic like benzocaine. It’ll soothe the pain and make things easier for your pup as they recover.
Licking is normal, and saliva has some healing properties. But excessive licking can be a problem. It’ll slow down the healing process and put your dog at a higher risk of infection.
Fortunately, many liquid bandage sprays and foams made for dogs have bitter agents. They make the dried bandage taste awful, discouraging your dog from licking their wounds.
Avoid any product that has harsh chemicals. A liquid bandage will do a lot to promote healing and keep your dog comfortable. But your pup will inevitably lick the area. The last thing you want is for your dog to ingest chemicals that cause them to get sick!
The best liquid bandages are fully waterproof. They should prevent external irritants from getting into the wound while still allowing the wound to breathe for healing. With how much your dog will lick the area, you need a waterproof product.
Finally, go for a fast-drying formula. Ideally, liquid bandages should dry in about 30 seconds to a minute. If it takes any longer, you run the risk of your dog ruining the seal and making a mess.
With a fast-drying product, you only have to keep your dog still for a short while before the protective film forms.
When Should You Use Liquid Banage on a Dog?
Liquid bandages are a fantastic product to have on you when your dog gets injured. But there are times when you should and shouldn’t use it.
The best time to use liquid bandages is when treating small wounds that are less than roughly four centimeters. The damage should be superficial and clean.
Never attempt to use liquid bandages on a deep wound or one with jagged edges. The same goes for puncture wounds or bites.
Liquid bandages aren’t for severe injuries. Anything other than a small superficial wound may need stitches to heal properly. In those cases, go to your vet.
It’s also wise to avoid using liquid bandages on hotspots or wounds that are already infected.
You need to seek veterinary care if there’s any discharge other than blood. Applying a liquid bandage to an infected wound will make it more difficult for your dog’s body to heal. Slight bleeding is fine, but any signs of infection are a no-go.
Before applying the liquid bandage, clean the wound with warm water and ensure it’s free of any debris. Disinfection will help the wound heal and prevent infection.
You can use a liquid bandage on any small cut or scrape. However, it’s best in areas that get a lot of movement. For example, wounds on the ears, paws, or toes are notorious for getting infected because they frequently reopen when your pup moves.
Liquid bandages are flexible enough to prevent that. While you can use these products anywhere, they are most beneficial in those hard-to-heal spots.
To sum up: You can use liquid bandages on your dog, but you should stick to dog-safe products and only apply it to small, superficial wounds. Cuts and scrapes are no fun for dogs. The sooner those wounds can heal, the better off your dog will be.
Liquid bandages work wonders to promote healing while keeping your dog comfortable. Pick up a dog-safe product that meets the mark, and you can have an effective care product for all those little canine accidents.