Natural care for pets' minor cuts and scrapes

June 23, 2015

A deep, open wound that has dirt embedded in it or will not stop bleeding needs immediate veterinary attention. For more minor cuts and scrapes, here is how to tend to your pet with natural solutions.

Natural care for pets' minor cuts and scrapes


  • Wash the affected area gently, using gauze pads soaked in warm, salty water or a dilute antiseptic of tea tree oil. Rinse with warm water and pat dry with gauze pads. Don't use cotton balls as fibres can stick to the wound.
  • Apply arnica ointment, a herbal and homeopathic remedy that has anti-inflammatory and pain-killing properties. It can also be used to treat bruises, sprains and swellings. However, do not use it on deep, open wounds.
  • Secure a gauze bandage over the graze if necessary. This may stop your pet from scratching it.


  • If your pet needs time to recuperate, give it a safe quiet place to lie down. Line a cardboard box with newspaper and an old blanket and place it in a room where it won't be disturbed.
  • For outdoor pets, line a car tire with an old blanket in your garage. Use a hot-water bottle (covered to prevent burns) to make your pet feel more comfortable.


  • Swab scalds immediately with cold water.
  • Hold a pack of ice cubes in a cloth against the wound for at least 10 minutes, or longer for severe burns.
  • Apply the gel from a cut aloe vera leaf directly onto scalds, sunburn or hot spots caused by excessive scratching. The gel takes the sting out of scalds and sunburn and soothes an itch with its moisturizing properties. Always break off the more mature leaves from the aloe vera plant.

Dry paws

  • If you live in a cold area, check your dog's paw pads in winter. They can become dry, particularly if your dog spends a lot of time out in the snow.
  • Rub a daily smear of calendula ointment over the affected areas.

Pros and cons of alternative medicine

Should you treat your pet with human treatments such as essential oils, acupuncture, homeopathy or herbal remedies? The efficacy of natural therapy treatments is open to debate, but in the case of essential oils, the answer is a definite no.

  • Animals' olfactory organs are much more sensitive than those of humans and the inhalation of strong, concentrated scents can be dangerous to them.
  • You can discuss treatment options with a vet trained in holistic medicine if you're interested in alternative medicine.

If your pet suffers from a minor cut, scrape and scald, you can often tend to it with gentle, natural treatments. However, for anything more serious, or if you have any doubts about being able to help your pet at home, it is always better to bring your pet to a veterinarian for professional care.

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