Dog Wound Care: Scissor-Free Bandaging

When taking care of your dog’s wound, the last thing you want is to introduce a new injury.

I don’t know about you, but I hate the idea of scissors anywhere near my dog’s body. Scissor lacerations can land a dog in an emergency room. You never know when your dog might make a sudden move that will turn the seemingly harmless tool into a weapon.

Dog Wound Care: Scissor-Free Bandaging

Using scissors

When we do have to use scissors around our dogs, we use the round-nose kind which we have in our dog first aid kit.

But, still, I wouldn’t say I like using even those.

Every time our dog comes bandaged from the vets, the only way to remove it is by cutting it.

Vet wrap is a marvelous invention that I love. But once it’s been applied for a while, there is usually no way of finding the end and being able to unravel it.

With last year’s Cookie’s cut on her paw pad and this year’s post-op wound after removal of JD’s mast cell tumor, we’ve done our share of bandaging.

Using vet wrap so it doesn’t need to be cut to remove

A handyperson can come in handy.

Hubby is quite a handyman, always making or building something. For example, every time he uses tape, he makes a little tab on the end, so it is easier for him to find and pull off the end when he uses the roll the next time.

Dog Wound Care: Scissor-Free Bandaging
Instead of adhering the end, which is impossible to find and lift later,
make a tab as below.
Dog Wound Care: Scissor-Free Bandaging
This is much easier done having both hands. But I was folding the bandage with one hand while filming with the other.
Make a tab at the end of the bandage
A little tab like this goes a long way making it easy to remove the bandage later. The video below shows how easy it is.


It was hubby’s suggestion to make a tab at the end when applying a bandage as well.

“I guess I have to go fetch some scissors,” said the vet when JD came to have his post-op wound checked out when she realized we had bandaged a sock over it.

“Nope, you don’t,” said hubby and showed her the tab we made, which is easy to grab so the bandage can be simply unwrapped.

Unlike duct or electrical tape, the end does not stick out from the roll. The tabbed vet wrap still adheres to the rest as it should, but the tab makes it easier to find and pull off.

Not once has JD worked off his bandage because of the tab. Even when he did work off the sock from underneath, the bandage remained in place.

And for some reason, nobody else seems to have ever thought of that. Not when bandaging a wound, not when putting away a roll of tape. And yet, the vet wrap we use comes with precisely the same tab on a new roll.

Having changed bandages three times a day (yes, I’m very paranoid about infections when bandaging my dogs), this little trick is a lifesaver.

Don’t cut it. Tab it.

Related articles:
Canine Wound Care 101: Classification, treatment, and physical therapy

Further reading:
Principles of Wound Care & Bandaging Techniques

Categories: Dog careWound care

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Jana Rade

I am a graphic designer, dog health advocate, writer, and author. Jasmine, the Rottweiler of my life, was the largest female from her litter. We thought we were getting a healthy dog. Getting a puppy from a backyard breeder was our first mistake. Countless veterinary visits without a diagnosis or useful treatment later, I realized that I had to take Jasmine's health care in my own hands. I learned the hard way that merely seeing a vet is not always enough. There is more to finding a good vet than finding the closest clinic down the street. And, sadly, there is more to advocating for your dog's health than visiting a veterinarian. It should be enough, but it often is not. With Jasmine, it took five years to get a diagnosis. Unfortunately, other problems had snowballed for that in the meantime. Jasmine's health challenges became a crash course in understanding dog health issues and how to go about getting a proper diagnosis and treatment. I had to learn, and I had to learn fast. Helping others through my challenges and experience has become my mission and Jasmine's legacy. I now try to help people how to recognize and understand signs of illness in their dogs, how to work with their veterinarian, and when to seek a second opinion. My goal is to save others the steep curve of having to learn things the hard way as I did. That is the mission behind my blog and behind my writing. That is why I wrote Symptoms to Watch for in Your Dog, which has turned out being an award-winning guide to dog owners. What I'm trying to share encompasses 20 years of experience.

  1. Thankfully our dogs haven’t needed any bandages in a long time (if ever), but this sure is a great solution! Hopefully, this becomes more common in veterinary practices.

  2. Nice hack! Scissors are super scary around pets. I know with cats their skin is paper thin and a little nick can become a big wound fast.

  3. Marjorie Dawson

    Our vets use this kind of bandage a lot and I never connected it with scissors and how dangerous they can be. Who knew? It’s only when people point out what seems obvious you realise they have important points to make.

  4. Great idea! I’ve used scissors a lot around my dogs, especially to trim the fur around their pads. Their pretty good at staying still, but it is always a concern. I’ll have to remember this trick the next time I need to use vet wrap.

  5. Nice Post, It is always good to know best practice procedures to keep our little pups safe. I know that my dogs are wiggle worms anytime we are holding them at the vet or getting their nails clipped. I can see how using scissors for a bandage application can be dangerous. (from Ava, Dachshund Station)

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