What if My Dog Bites Another Dog?

At any given time a dog can be aggressive. Dog-on-dog aggression is very common. Oftentimes dogs will become aggressive with other dogs because they are being territorial. Some dogs attack because they lack socialization and have jealously issues. Most animals are territorial and when they feel that any dog or person is violating their personal space, they can attack. While most states have a one-bite rule when it comes to dog attacks, they also have a common law against dog owner negligence.

Table of Contents

My Dog Attacked Another Dog, What is Going to Happen?

Dog bite on another dogNegligence is the first thing an accident attorney looks at in this case. When a dog causes injury to another dog, the negligent dog owner has breached their duty of care. This means that they are liable for the dog’s injuries and any other resulting damages.

When it comes to a dog attacking another dog, damages include reimbursement for vet bills, dog medications, kennel fees while the dog is recovering, etc.

In certain cases of fatal dog attacks, damages may further include the replacement cost of the deceased dog. Unfortunately, liability does not extend to the mental anguish or emotional distress that someone goes through when they lose their dog in an animal attack.

Who is at Fault | Proving Negligence From The Dog Owner

One of the challenges that any personal injury attorney faces in these cases is proving that another dog began the attack. as dog-on-dog attacks can sometimes be difficult to figure out, especially if an attack seems to come out of nowhere. This oftentimes happens when two dogs are posing by one another. and in a split second, they can be barking and subsequently fighting.

Determining which dog was the one to lunge first will come down to what each dog owner says. A “he-said-she-said” situation. When taking a closer look at the underlying issues, even in cases where the dog is on a leash, you will still be able to recover damages.

Proving the Dog Owner was Negligent

To prove the dog owner was negligent, you must be able to show that they breached a duty of care owed to you. If a judge or jury finds that a dog owner breached their duty of care and if it led directly to some injury for which you had an actionable claim then you have proven that the dog owner is liable for injuries caused by their dog.

The Issue of the Owner’s Carelessness

When a dog bites a person or another dog it is almost always because of the actions or inaction of its owner. The owner may have been negligent in controlling, confining, or caring for the dog, but this negligence does not fully address whose carelessness was more responsible for your injury. For a victim to recover damages from the dog owner, they must prove that the defendant breached their duty of care by not controlling the dog.

Increasing Number of Dog Attacks in California

Dog bite on another dogThe popularity of dogs is on the rise, but with this increase in population comes an unfortunate side effect: an increasing number of dog-on-dog attacks. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 4.5 million people are bitten by dogs each year in the United States, with 75 percent of these bites occurring among children.

A majority of dog attacks involve smaller breeds, but larger dogs do attack more often than their size would suggest. Pit bulls top this list at number one for many years and were responsible for the majority of severe and fatal attacks. Fortunately, this breed is slowly falling out of favor, but it still remains on the top ten list for attacking other dogs.

Grooming your dog at home can become dangerous as well if you don’t follow all the proper procedures to stay safe. When not groomed correctly at home by a professional with training and tools, dogs can bite and seriously injure people.

Warning Signs All Dog Owners Should Pay Attention To

There are clear warning signs that can be used to determine whether or not a dog will pose a threat to public safety.

The 9 traits listed below are what the American Kennel Club calls “General Observations” of dogs that have been deemed dangerous. Using this information, residents can be better informed about the dogs they encounter.

  1. A large dog with a short coat and weight of over 100 pounds is more likely to be aggressive than a small or medium-sized dog.
  2. A dog that is perceived to be mean, unfriendly, or frightening by appearance is more likely to behave in a similar fashion.
  3. An adult dog of either sex that has not been spayed or neutered tends to be more aggressive than one that has been altered.
  4. The “protective type” that is highly suspicious of strangers and may be overly protective of his or her owners, family, or property can pose a threat to public safety.
  5. Dogs that are chained in the back yard, constantly tethered out-of-doors, kept locked in a garage, or have never been socialized with people and other animals are more likely to attack.
  6. Dogs that have been abused, neglected, or in isolated environments for an extended period of time also pose a higher risk. Such dogs may be anxious and unpredictable in the presence of humans.
  7. A dog’s breed can be a factor, but it is said not to be as important as the presence of certain traits.
  8. The age of the dog may be an indication as well. An older, fully mature animal is generally less aggressive and poses less of a threat than a young, untrained animal of the same breed.
  9. The dog’s past history is another important consideration. A dog with a known propensity to attack without provocation has been proven to be more dangerous than a dog with no such record.

Filing a Homeowners Insurance Claim

When you are defending another dog, you must get in touch with your insurance company right away. Confirm your pet’s name and contact information, as well as the names and policy numbers of its owner’s insurance coverage. Dogs’ injuries and property damage are generally covered by a pet owner’s insurance. If he or she is unable to leave due to a policyholder’s negligence, the pet owner can file a claim to be reimbursed for veterinary bills, boarding fees, and other associated costs.

Most homeowners insurance policyholders’ pets are fully covered by their homeowner’s insurance policies. However, many types of dog breeds are not allowed under most homeowners insurance policies because they are considered dangerous dogs. “Dogs categorized as Dangerous Dogs include American Pit Bull Terriers, American Staffordshire Terriers, Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Rottweilers, and any dog displaying the majority of physical traits of any one or more of these breeds.”

In some cases, a dog who is not a purebred recognized by the American Kennel Club as being a member of a certain breed may still be classified as dangerous. Even if your insurance policy provides coverage for your pet, you may have to pay an additional premium or deposit fee to be insured against damages they might cause.

Finding Evidence to Support Your Claim

The credibility of a dangerous dog’s owner can be called into question. A veterinarian’s opinion, expert testimony from a canine behaviorist, and other evidence might have an impact on your case. Photographs and videos are valuable pieces of evidence. Take careful notice of any swelling or damage to your dog’s skin. If you’re able, take pictures and video of your dog’s injuries and any nearby objects that may have been damaged by the other dog, such as fences and windows. Assistance from an attorney is recommended in this case; they will be able to help you build a solid case against the insurance company or find evidence to support your claim.

Can Dogs Be Traumatised After a Dog Attack?

Yes, dogs may suffer trauma from attacks from another dog. In addition to physical scarring from wounds they’re getting, the dog can also be physically scarred by the trauma they suffered from the dog attack. You must look to see how the animal is behaving. The emotions that can occur in your pet immediately after the dog attack can vary and you could feel your animal’s body shaking from increased adrenaline that is flowing into the body. The dog may also urinate or defecate.

A traumatized pet doesn’t mean that they’ll all of a sudden become aggressive themselves, it simply means that behavior could change for some time after the dog attack. You should be prepared to see a lot of changes in your animal’s mood and actions. They might also not want to go outside, not eat or drink. They could become both stressed and depressed after the dog attack by another canine.

What Dog Owners Need To Do If Their Dog Was Attacked

Dog bite on another dogIf your dog was seriously injured by another dog, you need to take him to the vet immediately.

But how can you tell if your dog has a serious injury after a dog fight and needs medical treatment?

This can be a difficult question, even for a vet. At the emergency clinic, the veterinarian sees any number of dogs who have been in fights – from serious injuries to owner exaggeration of trivial scrapes and cuts.

Luckily some signs may indicate your dog is seriously injured and needs immediate medical attention.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when taking your injured dog to the vet:

  1. Is your dog acting lethargic, off-balance, or showing signs of pain?
  2. Is your dog’s nose swollen? (This can indicate a fracture of the nasal bones.)
  3. Are there puncture wounds on his skin that have broken it and may be indicating an internal injury.
  4. How is your dog breathing? Is he gasping for breath? If so, these can indicate broken ribs.
  5. Is there any blood from the mouth or nose? This can indicate a fractured skull or other head injuries.
  6. Are there unexplained seizures? These can indicate possible brain damage.

Read more  Top 10 Reasons Why Cats Are Better Than Dogs

How to prevent dog attacks from another dog?

In order to prevent your dog from attacking or being attacked by another dog, you should learn as much as possible about the normal behavior of your dog.

Assertive dogs may mistake a more passive dog as being weak and may try to dominate them, which is why it’s important for all pet owners to be able to recognize warning signs before an attack occurs and what they can do to prevent this from happening.

What to Look for in Dog-on-Dog Aggression

What to do when your dog bites another dog? in this example, we are going to use a pug and a German Shepherd. You might be able to use a partial basis of your claim on the size comparison, weight, etc. It is a good idea to ask the neighbors if they experience any problems with the at-fault dog. Did he bite other neighbors or their children or pets? Has your city’s animal contain issued citations or warnings about the violent nature of the animal?

If the answer to any of those questions is “yes,” then you have a legitimate claim for personal injury and property damage. Property damage being damages to your dog in an attack.

Negligence on behalf of the dog owner that results to harm to another will be much easier to prove. Failing to protect others (including other dogs) from an attack by an unconfined dog, is, in and of itself, negligent.

That being said, if your dog does bite another dog, it is likely that it will be your responsibility to pay for all damages. The state of California is a strict liability state. This means that if your dog bites another dog, animal, or person, generally you are responsible for paying the vet bills and any other necessary damages to the owner of the animal that was bitten.

On the other hand, if you have been injured in a dog attack, you have rights. Contact the dog bite lawyers at Silverthorne Attorneys today to discuss your case.

Visit a Dig Bite Attorney Near You


— Update: 03-02-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article My dog got bit by another dog. What should I do? from the website www.winston-salem.carolinavet.com for the keyword dog bite on another dog.

Dog bite on another dog

You can’t believe it happened but your dog has just been bitten by another dog. Stay calm and try following the advice below from our Winston-Salem vets.

Take Steps to Avoid Trouble in The First Place

At Carolina Veterinary Specialists our team understands that at dog biting your dog can feel like it came out of the blue, but in most cases, dogs will give a warning sign before biting, even if it’s a subtle warning. By learning to watch for and understand signs that another dog is frightened or anxious you may be able to prevent your pup from being bitten.

The truth is that dogs don’t go out looking for trouble. In fact, dogs will go out of their way to avoid dangerous or aggressive situations. Which is why dogs typically give a number of warning signals before biting.

The first important thing to note is that fear or anxiety in dogs can stem from a current situation, or could be related to past experiences. While you may not believe that there is anything happening that could cause another dog to become fearful, a dog could be feeling extremely anxious.

Recognize The Signs of a Fearful or Anxious Dog that May Bite

Whether you are out with your dog for a walk or at the off-leash park keep an eye out for signs of anxiety or fear in other dogs. Some obvious and well known signals to watch for are: growling, snapping, lunging, snarling or baring teeth.

That said, a fearful or anxious dog will likely send out more subtle signals first such as licking lips, turning face away, trying to move away, ears flattened and back, yawning or crouching.

If there is a dog close-by showing any of these signs, take your pet and move away calmly but quickly. It can be helpful to put a physical barrier between your dog and the threatening dog such as a fence or a parked car.

Steps to Take if Your Dog is Bitten by Another Dog

Even if you know and watch for the early warning signs, unexpected dog bites can happen. If your pet receives a dog bite or gets into a fight with another dog, here are some guidelines for what you should do:

  1. Stay calm, try not to panic since this will only make your dog more afraid. 
  2. Do not step between the dogs to break up a fight. This could lead to getting bitten yourself.
  3. Focus on your dog and getting your pup away from the other dog. (The other owner should be doing the same). A loud clap to distract the dogs may help, then call your dog.
  4. Do not shout at the other dog or make eye contact since this could make the dog feel more threatened.
  5. Ask the other dog owner for details such as contact information and whether their dog is up to date on their vaccines. If the other pet owner is absent or uncooperative take pictures if can.
  6. Once you and your pup are safely away from the other dog, contact your vet immediately for advice and to let know you are on your way, or head to your nearest emergency animal hospital.

Assessing Your Dog’s Injury

A number of factors influence the severity of a dog bite, and while it may seem obvious that a large bite that is bleeding profusely requires immediate veterinary care, you may not realize that a small dog bite can also pose a serious health risk.

It is a good idea to have all bite wounds, whether big or small, examined by a veterinarian as quickly as possible. (This is equally true if a cat bites your dog.)

Why It’s Essential to Take Your Dog to The Vet After a Bite

Even the smallest puncture wound can be a major cause for concern due to the high risk of infection.

When your dog is bitten, the tooth not only creates a small puncture in the skin, it also creates a pocket below the skin which forms an ideal environment for bacteria (from the aggressor’s mouth) to multiply and lead to an infection.

Because the hole in the skin is relatively small, the skin tends to heal itself very quickly but in doing so, traps the bacteria within the pocket where it can quickly multiply and turn into an abscess. 

While infection tends to be the primary concern for any dog bite, other serious health issues can develop depending on the location and severity of the bite. Other serious health risks associated with dog bites include:

What to Expect When You Visit the Vet

When the vet examines your pup’s bite wound they will consider the depth of the wound as well as the amount of ‘dead space’ caused by the bite. Dead space is the pocket that is created when skin is pulled away from the subcutaneous tissue. Typically, the larger the dead space, the higher the risk of infection. Your vet will also look for signs of other physical injures such as nerve damage, broken bones or bleeding under the skin.

Dog Bite Treatment for Dogs

Once your veterinarian has done a full examination, and thoroughly cleaned the wound, they will likely prescribe a broad spectrum antibiotic such as amoxicillin-clavulanate, or enrofloxacin to help fight infection and try to prevent an abscess from developing.

In the case of deeper, more serious bite wounds your vet may recommend surgically removing the damaged tissue and placing a drain in order to help the body rid itself of any pooling infection. 

If your vet is concerned that there may be more potentially serious injuries that they are unable to spot with the naked eye, they may also recommend diagnostic testing such as x-rays or ultrasound scans.

Depending on the nature of the wound, you vet may also prescribe painkillers to help make your dog more comfortable throughout the healing process.

Cleaning the Bite Wound

If you are unable to get to the vet right away it is extremely important to clean the wound thoroughly as soon as possible, and keep it clean. 

  • Very gently wash the bite wound with soap and water and pat dry.
  • Use hydrogen peroxide, chlorhexidine or betadine to dab the wound in order to help kill germs. (Note that the continued use of hydrogen peroxide on the wound is not recommended as it can interfere with the healing process).
  • Use a clean dry gauze pad to dry the wound then apply an antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin. 

It is important to keep the wound clean and prevent your pup from licking the area. Clean the wound 3 – 4 times daily and reapply antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection.

Tips on How to Help Your Dog Heal After a Dog Bite

Preventing your dog’s bite wound from becoming infected will be your number one priority. This means that you will need to prevent your pup from licking at the wound. While many pet parents feel bad about making their pup wear an e-collar (Elizabethan collar or ‘cone of shame’), these collars are very effective.

If your dog is particularly uncomfortable wearing a cone, softer and less intrusive options such as the Kong Cloud Collar are available online and work well.

Be sure to administer medications as instructed! It is important to administer antibiotics as directed and for the full amount of time. Don’t be tempted to stop giving your dog antibiotics because the wound looks like it has healed. Stopping antibiotic treatment early can cause the infection to come back with a vengeance, and be harder to fight.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet. 


— Update: 05-02-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article What To Do If Your Dog Has Been Bitten By Another Dog from the website www.tkves.com for the keyword dog bite on another dog.

Watch For Anxious Dogs

When your dog has been bitten by another dog, it can feel like it suddenly came out of nowhere, however, as a rule, dogs don’t usually bite without sending out some warning signs first. By learning what to look for and understanding the signs that can indicate another dog is anxious or frightened, you can help keep your pooch from getting bitten.

Dogs generally don’t go looking for trouble. Most of the time they will actually go out of their way to avoid aggressive or dangerous situations. So, a dog will give a handful of warning signs before biting (even if you don’t see them).

Like people, a dog’s anxiety or fear can arise from their current situation or could be related to past experiences. This means that, even if you believe there is nothing happening that can make a dog afraid, your pup or someone else’s pooch might be feeling very anxious.

Read more  My dog is breathing fast. Should I be worried?

Signs a Dog Might Bite

Whenever you are out walking your dog or at the park, watch for signs of fear or anxiety in other dogs. While you will likely notice obvious signs like snapping, growling, snarling, baring teeth, or lunging a fearful or anxious dog will first often send out more subtle signals. A few of the earliest signs an anxious or scared dog may display include licking lips, turning the face away, trying to move away, ears flattened and back, yawning or crouching.

If you notice that there is a dog nearby exhibiting any of these signs, calmly take your pup and move them away but do this quickly. It could be helpful to put a physical barrier such as a fence or a car between your dog and the threatening dog for extra protection.

What You Should Do If Another Dog Bites Your Dog

Even if you stay cautious of early warning signs, unexpected situations can occur. Below are a few guidelines for what you should do if your dog gets bitten by another dog:

  • Remain calm! We know it can be hard but try not to panic because this can make your pup even more afraid.
  • Never step between dogs to break up a fight. This could lead to you getting bitten. Focus on getting your pup away from the other dog. (The other owner should be doing the same). A loud clap to distract the dogs might help, then call your dog.
  • Don’t shout at the other dog or make eye contact because this can make them feel more threatened.
  • Once the immediate danger is over, ask the other dog owner for details such as contact information, whether their pet is up to date on vaccines, and whether they have pet insurance. If the other pet owner is absent or uncooperative try to take pictures.
  • When you and your pup are safely away from the other dog, contact your vet immediately to let them know that you need an urgent appointment or go to your nearest emergency animal hospital.

Assess Your Dog’s Injuries

There are various factors that can influence the severity of a dog bite. While it might seem obvious that a large bite that is bleeding profusely requires immediate veterinary care, you might not realize that a small bite can also be a serious risk to the health of your pup.

It’s always best to have a bite wound examined by a veterinarian as quickly as possible, even if the wound is small.

Why You Need to Take Your Dog to The Vet After Being Bitten

When your pooch receives a bite wound, the other dog’s tooth not only creates a small puncture in your dog’s skin, it also creates a pocket below the skin that can create an ideal environment for bacteria (from the aggressor’s mouth) to multiply and quickly turn into an infection. Even the smallest puncture wound can be a major cause for concern because of the high risk for infection.

One reason that bite wounds are likely to get infected is that the actual hole in the skin is fairly small, so the skin tends to heal itself very quickly. However, by healing so quickly, the skin traps the bacteria within the pocket below the skin where it can multiply and turn into an abscess fast.

Infection tends to be the primary concern for any dog bite, however, there are other serious health issues that can develop from the bite wound depending on the location and severity of the injury:

What You Can Expect When You Visit the Vet

Your vet will examine your dog’s bite wound paying particular attention to the depth of the wound as well as the amount of ‘dead space’ caused by the bite. Dead space is the pocket that is created when the skin is pulled away from the subcutaneous tissue. Generally speaking, the larger the dead space, the higher the risk of infection. During the examination, your vet will also look for signs of other physical injures such as nerve damage, broken bones, or bleeding under the skin.

Treating Your Dog’s Bite Wound

Following a full examination, your dog’s wound will be thoroughly cleaned and bandaged if necessary. Your veterinarian might prescribe a broad-spectrum antibiotic such as amoxicillin-clavulanate, or enrofloxacin to help fight infection and help prevent an abscess from developing.

If your dog’s bite wound is more severe, your vet might suggest surgically removing the damaged skin tissue and placing a drain in order to help your dog’s body get rid of any pooling infection.

Sometimes your vet might also recommend some diagnostic tests such as ultrasounds or X-rays to look for injuries that aren’t immediately obvious, but possibly serious.

Pain killers may also be prescribed to help your dog feel more comfortable throughout the healing process.

Your vet will probably recommend that you have your dog wear an e-collar (Elizabethan collar or cone) to prevent them from licking the wound which can increase their risk of infection.

Cleaning Your Dog’s Bite Wound

If for any reason you can’t get to the vet immediately, it’s essential to clean the wound as quickly as possible and keep it clean.

  • Very gently wash the bite wound with soap and water and pat dry.
  • Use hydrogen peroxide, chlorhexidine, or betadine to dab the wound in order to help kill germs. (Note that the continued use of hydrogen peroxide on the wound is not recommended as it can interfere with the healing process).
  • Use a clean dry gauze pad to dry the wound then apply an antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin.

The importance of keeping the wound clean cannot be overstated! Clean the wound 3 – 4 times daily with soap and water, then reapply antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection.

How to Help Your Dog After a Dog Bite

Preventing your dog’s bite wound from getting infected will be your highest priority. This makes it essential to prevent your pet from licking the wound. While many dog owners feel bad about making their pooch wear an e-collar (Elizabethan collar or ‘cone of shame’), these collars are very effective. If your dog is particularly uncomfortable wearing a cone, softer and less intrusive options such as the Kong Cloud Collar are available online and work well.

Remember to administer all medications as instructed! Antibiotics should be given as directed and for the full amount of time. Don’t be tempted to stop giving your dog antibiotics because the wound looks like it has healed. Stopping antibiotic treatment early can make the infection come back and harder to fight.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.


— Update: 06-02-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article My dog has been bitten by another dog! What should I do? from the website www.northeast-vet.com for the keyword dog bite on another dog.

Dog bite on another dog

If your dog is bitten by another dog a trip to the vet is in order. Although some bites can look minor, bite wounds create an ideal environment for infections to occur. Today our Plains emergency vets share some advice on what you should do if your dog gets bitten by another dog.

How to Spot a Fearful Dog

When dogs bite other dogs, it can feel like it came out of the blue, but dogs don’t typically bite without sending out warning signals first. Learning to understand and watch for signs that indicate that another dog is fearful or anxious could help you to prevent your pooch from being bitten.

It’s important to keep in mind that dogs don’t usually go looking for trouble. In fact, our canine friends generally go out of their way to avoid dangerous or aggressive situations. To avoid becoming involved in an aggressive situation, dogs will give a number of warning signals before biting. It’s up to pet parents to spot those signs before trouble starts.

Dogs typically bite out of fear or anxiety. Like people, a dog can become fearful due to some aspect of the current situation, or their anxiety can be related to past experiences. So, even if you believe that there is nothing happening that could cause a dog to become fearful, your dog, or another dog nearby, could be feeling the need to protect themselves.

Signs That a Dog May Bite

Anytime you are out with your dog for a walk or at the park, try to keep an eye out for signs of anxiety or fear in other dogs. Although most of us would be aware of obvious signals such as growling, snapping, lunging, snarling or baring teeth, an anxious dog will usually send out more subtle signals first. Some of the earliest signs of a dog that is fearful include yawning, crouching, licking lips, turning face away, trying to move away, and flattening their ears back against their head.

If there is a dog near you or your pup that is showing any of these signs, calmly but quickly walk your pet away from the anxious dog. It can be helpful, and reassuring, to put a physical barrier such as a car or a fence between your dog and the threatening dog.

What To Do if Your Dog is Bitten by Another Dog

Even if pet parents stay alert for the early warning signs, unexpected situations can happen. Here are some guidelines for what you should do if your dog is bitten by another dog:

  • Stay calm! We know it can be hard but try not to panic since this could cause your pooch to become more afraid. 
  • Do not step between dogs to break up a fight. This could lead to getting bitten yourself. Instead, focus on your dog and getting your pup away from the other dog. The owner of the other dog should also be doing the same. (A loud clap to distract the dogs may help, then call your dog to you).
  • Do not shout at the other dog or make eye contact since this could make the dog feel more threatened.
  • Once the situation has deescalated, ask the other dog owner for details such as their phone number, whether their pet is up to date on vaccines, and whether they have pet insurance. If the other pet owner is absent or uncooperative take pictures.
  • Contact your vet right away to let them know what has happened and that you need an urgent appointment, or head to your nearest emergency animal hospital.

Assessing Injuries

While it may seem obvious that a large bite that is bleeding a lot requires an immediate trip to the vet, you may not realize that a small bit can also pose a serious health risk to your pet. It is always good idea to have a bite wound examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible, even if the wound seems small. 

Why It Is Important to Take Your Dog to The Vet After Being Bitten

When your dog is bitten by another dog, the aggressor’s tooth not only creates a small puncture in your dog’s skin, it also creates a pocket below the skin which forms an ideal environment for bacteria from the aggressor’s mouth to multiply and develop into an infection. Even the smallest puncture wound can be a major cause for concern due to the high risk of infection.

The risk of infection is so high with bite wounds because the actual hole in the skin is relatively small, so the skin quickly heals, trapping the bacteria below the skin’s surface where it can quickly multiply and turn into an abscess. 

Read more  Are Your Dear Old Dog’s Back Legs Limping or Collapsing? 6 Reasons Why

Infection is generally the primary concern for any dog bite, however there are other serious health issues which can develop from the bite wound depending on the location and severity:

What The Vet Will Do

Your vet will examine your dog’s bite wound, paying particular attention to the depth of the wound as well as the amount of ‘dead space’ caused by the bite. Dead space is the pocket that is created when skin is pulled away from the subcutaneous tissue. Typically, the larger the dead space, the higher the risk of infection. While examining your dog, the vet will also look for signs of other physical injures such as nerve damage, broken bones or bleeding under the skin.

Treatment For Your Dog’s Bite Wound

After a thorough examination, your pet’s wound will be cleaned and bandaged if necessary. Your veterinarian may prescribe a round of antibiotics such as amoxicillin-clavulanate, or enrofloxacin to help fight infection and try to prevent an abscess from developing. Pain killers may also be prescribed to help your dog feel more comfortable.

In more severe cases, your vet may recommend surgically removing the damaged tissue and placing a drain in order to help your dog’s body rid itself of any pooling infection. 

Your veterinarian may also recommend diagnostic testing such as x-rays or ultra sounds to look for injuries that are not immediately obvious.

To prevent your pup from licking the wound, which increases the risk of infection, your vet will likely recommend that your dog wear an Elizabethan collar (cone).

Cleaning the Bite Wound

If you are unable to get to the vet right away, it is essential to clean the wound as soon as possible, and keep it clean. 

  • Gently wash the bite wound with soap and water and pat dry with a clean dry gauze pad.
  • Dab the wound with hydrogen peroxide, chlorhexidene or betadine to help kill germs.
  • Use a gauze pad to apply an antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin. 

The importance of keeping the wound clean cannot be overstated! Clean your dog’s bite wound 3 – 4 times daily with soap and water, and reapply antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection.

How You Can Help Your Dog Heal Following a Dog Bite

Preventing your dog’s bite wound from becoming infected will be your number one priority. Which means that it’s essential to prevent your pet from licking the wound. While many pet parents feel bad about making their pup wear an Elizabethan collar or a ‘cone of shame’, these collars are very effective. If your dog is particularly uncomfortable wearing a cone, softer and less intrusive options such as the Kong Cloud Collar work well and are available online.

Administer any prescribed medications as instructed! Antibiotics should be given as directed, for the full amount of time. Don’t be tempted to stop giving your dog antibiotics because the wound looks like it has healed. Stopping antibiotic treatment early can cause the infection to return, and be harder to get rid of.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet. 


— Update: 08-02-2023 — cohaitungchi.com found an additional article Help! My dog has been bitten by another dog, what should I do? from the website www.animergevets.com for the keyword dog bite on another dog.

Dog bite on another dog

If your dog is bitten by another dog the wound can look minor, but bite wounds create an ideal environment for bacteria to grow and infections to occur. Today our Somerset area emergency and specialist vets share advice on what you should do if your dog gets bitten by another dog.

Watching For Anxious Pets

When your dog is bitten by another dog, it can feel a bit like it came out of the blue, but as a rule dogs don’t tend to bite without sending out some warning signals first. Learning to watch for and understand signs that indicate that another dog is frightened or anxious could help you to prevent your pup from being bitten.

Dogs typically don’t go looking for trouble. Most dogs will actually go out of their way to avoid dangerous or aggressive situations. To this end, a dog will give a number of warning signals before biting (even if you don’t notice the signs).

Like people, a dog’s fear or anxiety in dogs can stem from the current situation, or could be related to past experiences. Which means that, even if you believe that there is nothing happening that could cause a dog to become fearful, your pet or someone else’s pup could be feeling extremely anxious.

Signs that a Dog Might Bite

Whenever you are out with your dog for a walk or at the park, try to keep an eye out for signs of anxiety or fear in other dogs. While you will likely notice obvious signals such as growling, snapping, lunging, snarling or baring teeth, a fearful or anxious dog will usually send out more subtle signals first. Some of the earliest signs of a dog that is scared or anxious include licking lips, turning face away, trying to move away, ears flattened and back, yawning or crouching.

If you notice that there is a dog close-by showing any of these signs, take your pet and move away calmly but quickly. It can be helpful to put a physical barrier such as a car or a fence between your dog and the threatening dog as extra protection.

What To Do if Your Dog is Bitten by Another Dog

Even if you stay alert for the early warning signs, unexpected situations can happen. Here are some guidelines for what you should do if your dog is bitten by another dog:

  • Stay calm! We know it can be hard but try not to panic since this could cause your pup to become even more afraid. 
  • Never step between dogs to break up a fight. This could lead to getting bitten yourself. Focus on your dog and getting your pup away from the other dog. (The other owner should be doing the same). A loud clap to distract the dogs may help, then call your dog.
  • Do not shout at the other dog or make eye contact since this could make the dog feel more threatened.
  • Once the immediate danger is over, ask the other dog owner for details such as contact information, whether their pet is up to date on vaccines, and whether they have pet insurance. If the other pet owner is absent or uncooperative try to take pictures.
  • When you and your pup are safely away from the other dog, contact your vet immediately to let them know that you need an urgent appointment, or head to your nearest emergency animal hospital.

Assessing Your Dog’s Injuries

There are a number of factors which influence the severity of a dog bite. While it may seem obvious that a large bite that is bleeding profusely requires immediate veterinary care, you may not realize that a small bit can also pose a serious health risk to your pup.

It is always good idea to have a bite wound examined by a veterinarian as soon as possible, even if the wound is small. 

Why It’s Important to Take Your Dog to The Vet After a Bite

When your pet receives a bite wound, the other dog’s tooth not only creates a small puncture in your pup’s skin, it also creates a pocket below the skin which forms an ideal environment for bacteria (from the aggressor’s mouth) to multiply and quickly develop into an infection. Even the smallest puncture wound can be a major cause for concern due to the high risk of infection.

One reason that bite wounds are likely to become infected is that the actual hole in the skin is relatively small, so the skin tends to heal itself very quickly. However by healing so quickly, the skin traps the bacteria within the pocket below the skin where it can quickly multiply and turn into an abscess. 

Infection tends to be the primary concern for any dog bite, however there are other serious health issues which can develop from the bite wound depending on the location and severity of the injury:

What to Expect When You Visit the Vet

Your vet will examine your pup’s bite wound paying particular attention to the depth of the wound as well as the amount of ‘dead space’ caused by the bite. Dead space is the pocket that is created when the skin is pulled away from the subcutaneous tissue. Generally speaking, the larger the dead space, the higher the risk of infection. During the examination, your vet will also look for signs of other physical injures such as nerve damage, broken bones or bleeding under the skin.

Treatment For Your Dog’s Bite Wound

Following a full examination, your dog’s wound will be thoroughly cleaned and bandaged if necessary. Your vet may prescribe a broad-spectrum antibiotic such as amoxicillin-clavulanate, or enrofloxacin to help fight infection and try to prevent an abscess from developing.

If your dog’s bite wound is more severe, your vet may recommend surgically removing the damaged tissue and placing a drain in order to help your pup’s body rid itself of any pooling infection. 

In some cases your vet may also recommend diagnostic testing such as x-rays or ultrasounds to look for injuries not immediately obvious, but potentially serious.

Pain killers may also be prescribed to help your dog feel more comfortable throughout the healing process.

Your vet will likely recommend that your pup wear an e-collar (Elizabethan collar or cone) to prevent them from linking the wound which will increase the risk of infection.

Cleaning the Bite Wound

If for any reason you are unable to get to the vet right away, it is essential to clean the wound as soon as possible and keep it clean. 

  • Very gently wash the bite wound with soap and water and pat dry.
  • Use hydrogen peroxide, chlorhexidene or betadine to dab the wound in order to help kill germs. (Note that the continued use of hydrogen peroxide on the wound is not recommended as it can interfere with the healing process).
  • Use a clean dry gauze pad to dry the wound then apply an antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin. 

The importance of keeping the wound clean cannot be overstated! Clean the wound 3 – 4 times daily with soap and water, then reapply antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection.

How You Can Help Your Dog Heal Following a Dog Bite

Preventing your dog’s bite wound from becoming infected will be your number one priority. To that end, it is essential to prevent your pet from licking at the wound. While many pet parents feel bad about making their pup wear an e-collar (Elizabethan collar or ‘cone of shame’), these collars are very effective. If your dog is particularly uncomfortable wearing a cone, softer and less intrusive options such as the Kong Cloud Collar are available online and work well.

Be sure to administer medications all as instructed! Antibiotics should be given as directed and for the full amount of time. Don’t be tempted to stop giving your dog antibiotics because the wound looks like it has healed. Stopping antibiotic treatment early can cause the infection to return, and be harder to fight.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet. 

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About the Author: Tung Chi