Dog Licks Pus
  • Matthew Daniel
  • March 20, 2023

Why Do Dogs Lick Pus from Wounds? | Exploring Dogs Behavior

As a dog owner, it’s natural to be concerned when you see your furry friend licking pus from a wound. While it may seem unappealing, this behavior is not uncommon, and there are reasons why dogs do it. In fact, it could even be a good thing for their health!

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Reasons Why Dogs Lick Pus

Dogs may lick pus for a variety of reasons, such as alleviating pain, cleaning the wound, or seeking attention. Here are some of the most common reasons:

Natural Instinct:

Licking is a natural instinct for dogs, and they may lick their wounds to help keep them clean and promote healing. The enzymes in a dog’s saliva can also help to break down and remove dead tissue from the wound.

Alleviating Pain:

When a wound is caught, it can cause discomfort and pain for the dog. Licking can provide temporary relief by releasing endorphins, which are natural painkillers.

Seeking Attention:

Dogs may also lick pus as a way of seeking attention or affection from their owners. They may be trying to communicate their discomfort or distress, or they may simply be seeking comfort.

Risks of Dogs Licking Pus

While licking pus is a natural behavior for dogs, it can pose potential health risks. When a dog licks pus, it can transfer bacteria from the wound to its mouth, and then to its owner or other animals. This can lead to infections and complications, such as:

Delayed Healing:

Licking can slow down the healing process by irritating the wound and introducing more bacteria.


If the wound has been treated with antibiotics, licking can remove the medication and cause the infection to return.

Digestive Issues:

Ingesting pus or other bacteria from the wound can cause digestive issues for the dog, such as vomiting or diarrhea.

For Example:

Excessive licking of a wound or infect area can lead to further irritation or even infection. Additionally, if a dog is persistently licking pus, it may be a sign of an underlying health condition, such as allergies, skin infections, or immune system disorders.

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How to Prevent Your Dog from Licking Pus

Preventive measures can be take to stop dogs from licking pus. Here are some techniques that can be use to prevent the behavior:

Use an Elizabethan Collar

An Elizabethan collar, also known as a cone or a “lampshade,” can be used to prevent the dog from reaching the wound. These collars are typically made of plastic and fit around the dog’s neck, preventing them from reaching their hindquarters or the wound.

Training Techniques:

Basic training techniques, such as teaching the dog the “leave it” command, can be used to discourage the behavior. This technique involves offering a treat or a toy and telling the dog to leave it alone.

Physical Barriers

If the wound is in an easily accessible area, such as the paw or leg, a physical barrier can be used to prevent the dog from licking it. This can be a sock or a bandage, as long as it is securely fastened and does not cause discomfort for the dog.

How to Clean and Treat Wounds with Pus

If your dog’s wound has pus, it is important to properly clean and treat the area to prevent infection and complications. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean and treat wounds with pus:

Wash Your Hands:

Before handling the wound, wash your hands with warm water and soap to prevent the spread of bacteria.

Trim the Hair:

If the wound is cover with hair, use scissors or clippers to trim the area around the wound.

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A short FAQ on Dogs Licking Pus

Q: Why do dogs lick pus from wounds?
A: Dogs have a natural instinct to clean and groom themselves, and their saliva contains antibacterial properties that can help prevent infections and promote healing. Licking pus from a wound is a way for dogs to remove harmful bacteria and promote healing.

Q: Is it normal for dogs to lick pus from wounds?
A: Yes, it’s perfectly normal for dogs to lick pus from wounds. It’s a sign that they’re trying to take care of themselves and promote healing.

Q: Should I be concerned if my dog licks pus from a wound excessively?
A: If your dog continues to lick the wound excessively or if the wound looks red or inflamed, it could be a sign of infection. In these cases, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian for proper treatment.

Q: Can a dog’s saliva make a wound worse?
A: While a dog’s saliva contains antibacterial properties that can help prevent infections, excessive licking can also introduce more bacteria to the wound and make it worse. It’s important to monitor your dog’s licking behavior and seek veterinary attention if necessary.

In Conclusion

Dogs licking pus from wounds is not necessarily a cause for concern. It’s a sign that they’re trying to take care of themselves, and their saliva may even help promote healing. As long as you monitor the wound and seek veterinary attention if necessary, your furry friend should be just fine!

Call To Action

If you have any concerns about your dog’s health or behavior, don’t hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian. They can provide expert advice and ensure your furry friend stays happy and healthy.


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