Dog Bites & First Aid - Learn How to Do Basic First Aid

dog bite first aid toronto

While many everyday dog bites are minor and only require some minimal first aid measures, protection must take place immediately in order to prevent any infection from occurring, as the saliva from a dog bite contains bacteria that can easily lead to an unwanted infection.
Dog bites occur frequently, and it’s important to know how to handle both mild and severe bites. If the wound appears to be minor, immediately run it underwater while encouraging the wound to bleed. This helps to flush out any bacteria from the site. Apply antibiotic cream and a clean bandage.

The problem with a bite is that infection can lead to sepsis (blood poisoning) – a critical situation. If the wound becomes swollen and red, more painful, if there is pus or fluid leaking from the area, if a fever develops or the lymph glands become swollen, medical attention should be sought immediately.

Medical treatment should also be sought quickly if there is excessive bleeding from the wound, the bite is made to the feet, the hands, a ligament, a tendon or joint, the ears, nose, scalp, face or to the genitals. As well, if a person is suffering from a pre-existing condition that could make him more susceptible to developing an infection, seek medical advice right away.

If you have any questions about the depth of the puncture and really don’t know how serious the bite is, it’s time to get medical care. If there is significant bleeding apply pressure with a clean cloth or a bandage until the person can be transported to a medical facility.

Rabies can be a concern when a person has received a bite (92 cases were reported in 2014) so it is important to talk to the owner and ask for proof of vaccinations. If you haven’t received a tetanus shot during the last 10 years or if the wound appears to be dirty or quite deep, you may require a booster shot.

If you have any reservations at all about the bite, it’s always best to err on the side of safety. If the wound appears minor you can visit your physician or a walk-in clinic to get medical advice. In the case of severe bites, call 911 so that medical personnel can arrive quickly and assess the situation.

Learn more about first aid for different types of animal bites by taking one of our first aid courses. Visit or contact us today to learn more about the different types of classes offered in your local area.

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