How to Treat a Rash From a Dog Scratch


If you're ever scratched by a dog, your skin may become red, raised and itchy. This inflammatory response is called allergic dermatitis, and it occurs when your immune system reacts to direct contact with a pet you're allergic to. Your body will produce an allergy-causing antibody that results in a rash. If you're ever scratched by a dog, follow these precautions to make sure your rash doesn't become infected or spread bacteria to other parts of the body. Even a family pet can carry disease, so it's important to seek medical attention if your scratch is serious.

Things You'll Need

  • Towel or gauze bandage
  • Soap and water
  • Apply pressure to your scratch if it is bleeding. Use a clean towel or bandage until the bleeding stops completely.

  • Wash the area with soap and water. Hold the area under running water for several minutes.

  • Dry the area and cover it with a clean towel or gauze. Do not administer an antiseptic or anything else to the wound.

  • Seek immediate medical care if you were scratched by a wild, oddly behaving or stray dog. If you were bitten by your own dog, make sure that your dog is up-to-date with all immunizations.

  • Note the location of the dog, but do NOT try to capture the dog yourself. The dog may need to be observed for rabies.

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  • Photo Credit dog image by Ramona smiers from
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