How to Treat a Dog's Lick Sores

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Things You'll Need

  • Muzzle

  • Clippers or scissors

  • Soap and water

  • Betadine

  • Cortisone cream or Calendula oil

  • Gauze

  • Ace bandage

  • Elizabethan collar


If your dog continues to look like it is bothering him or itching, you can give a small amount of Benadryl. Check with your vet for an appropriate amount.

A dog's lick sores need to be treated as soon as they appear.

Lick sores are common in dogs. They develop when dogs lick a particular spot on their body, typically their leg, until it is red and raw. Lick sores aren't an emergency by any means, but they do need to be treated as soon as possible to minimize the damage.

Step 1

Muzzle your pet while you deal with the lick sores. Lick sores generally become very sensitive and your dog may not be very happy if you are touching them.

Step 2

Carefully trim the hair from the area around the lick sore.


Step 3

Clean the area with soap and water, or Betadine if you have it. Betadine will clean the sore more effectively and will help prevent infection from forming.

Step 4

Lick sores generally itch, which is why the dog constantly licks them. To control the itch, apply an over the counter medication such as hydrocortisone or other itch aid. If you want to stick to a more natural healing ointment, you can apply a small amount of calendula oil or salve.

Step 5

To prevent your dog from licking the sore after you have cleaned it, you may have to wrap it with clean gauze and an ace bandage. If your dog continues to nibble at the bandages, you may have to use an Elizabethan collar. Your dog will not like this, but it will prevent him from getting to the sore until it is healed.

Step 6

Contact your vet for evaluation if none of the above works.

Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.