Dogs lick themselves for many purposes. It could be for the purpose of grooming themselves, calming irritation, or even pain. Dogs also lick wounds which can sometimes be harmful to them. A great example is if they have surgical incisions. Licking a surgical incision can slow down the process of healing and can kill any tissue around the incision site, especially if a dog licks it more than a certain number of times. Let’s dive into how to stop a dog from licking wound:

Why Do Dogs Lick Wounds?

As we’ve just mentioned above, there are several reasons why dogs like to lick their wounds. It can even be for their own pleasure. In fact, it is reported that a limited amount of licking on a wound can most likely keep it sanitized and may even prevent any infections. However, it is important to keep in mind that excessive licking is not good for your dog.

Does Saliva Have Healing Properties?

As mentioned above, a dog licking its wound can actually reduce the chances of it getting an infection. The reason behind this is that dog saliva contains enzymes that break down the cell walls of the bacteria. And licking the wound can remove any dirt or debris from having the opportunity to cause any infections.

Dangers of Dogs Licking Their Wounds

An immense amount of licking can also be damaging to the health of your dog. Especially if the dog has recently undergone surgery and has stitches. The whole concept behind stitches is that the wound needs to remain closed enough for it to heal. However, dogs may not be able to resist licking themselves and the wound. A certain amount of licking can lead to the reopening of the wound, which is dangerous for the dog.

How to Stop Dog from Licking Wound

The vest and most effective to make sure your dog does not lick its wound is by making sure it cannot reach the wound site. The most common way of doing this is by putting a collar on your dog. Not any regular collar, but a thick collar that will prevent the head of your dog from reaching the wound.

Inflatable Collars

A small dog is sitting on the couch and wearing an inflatable collar while staring at the camera

Inflatable collars reduce the mobility of your dog’s head, therefore preventing it from licking the wound. Inflatable collars are very similar to airplane pillows that you put around your neck on a flight. The best thing about inflatable collars is that they weigh quite a bit less and are soft. They may even be see-through, which can allow your dog to move around and look through them without any difficulty. They are very comfortable so that your dog does not feel irritable during the time it will have the collar in use.

Soft E-Collars

Soft E collars are made out of fabric. This allows your dog to remain in comfort, and they are much quieter, which is beneficial as well. They are flexible and adjustable so that they can easily fit your dog. It may take a while for your dog to get used to it but the collar is a great way to make sure your dog does not lick its wound or incision site.

Elizabeth Collar

Elizabeth collars are cheap and affordable. They may not be the most comfortable, but they will definitely get the job done. They are like cones, which can slightly disrupt the view and visibility of your dog. Another name for this collar is the "collar of shame". It is important to get a collar that fits your dog and is easily adjustable for the benefit of your dog as it can reduce irritation and encourage comfort.


Bandages alone can be enough to prevent your dog from licking a wound. As long as it’s not too tight or too loose, your dog may not pay much attention to the incision site. Make sure the bandage is secured enough so that even if your dog licks the wound, it cannot touch the actual incision site. It is definitely one of the best products to purchase to make sure your dog does not touch or lick the incision site. Get your dog a custom pet pillow so they can heal while relaxing in style!


Boots are easy to find. You can find them online, at your vet, etc. They can even prevent your dog from getting a wound in the first place. It is essential to make sure the boot fits properly so that it does not come off easily. But it should not be tight either. This is because it can be irritable and uncomfortable for your dog. The outcome you get from the boot is remarkable and worth the purchase.

Anti-Lick Spray

Anti-lick spray will prevent your dog from licking any wounds without the need for any type of collar. This way, your dog can move around without any difficulty and will be comfortable. Anti-licking sprays are easy to find and will not cause any discomfort to your dog or anything that might stress it out. It may not be the first thing suggested, but the outcome is worth the purchase.

Create Distractions

A dog is playing with a dog toy with its owner as a distraction from licking his wound

Redirecting the attention of your dog to something other than the wound will also be very helpful. It will temporarily get rid of the temptation of licking the wound. Distracting it with toys or some food will definitely keep its mind off of the wound. For a short time period, it will forget the wound even exists. This way, you’re saving money as you won’t require to buy any products.


Do you know someone whose dog is healing from an injury or major surgery? How don’t you gift them one of our many custom pet designs to make them feel better!