Pet First Aid: How to Bandage a Paw

Bandaging an injured paw or footpad can be tricky. Here are some techniques you can try.

First things first: clean and disinfect the wound. You don’t want to throw a bandage on there if the wound is dirty — it can get infected. Wait for things to dry, or you’ll have a hard time getting your bandage to stick.

Now it’s time for the bandaging. You’ll need a gauze pad, roll gauze, tape, and an old sock.

  1. Place the gauze pad over the wound.
  2. Take a doubled strip of roll gauze and place it over the paw and under the toes. (See picture of Moose’s foot for an example.)
  3. Now use more roll gauze to wrap around the paw, starting at the toes. Cover the gauze strip and the gauze pad completely. Don’t wrap too tightly! You should be able to slip a pen or pencil between wrap and foot without too much work.
  4. Secure the top of the bandage with tape. The bandage and the foot below need to breathe.
  5. Slip a sock over the foot and tape it at the top to help hold it in place. You can tape it directly to your pet’s fur. The sock will help keep teeth away from the injury and bandage.

Moose helps demonstrate step 2.

Some pets just won’t put up with a bandage, no matter how hard you try. I’m reminded of my attempts to help “diaper” a friend’s cat after the cat got spayed… all our hard work to get the bandage in place and she had it off in about thirty seconds.

You can bandage an injured leg the same way: place a gauze pad over the wound, then wrap roll gauze around the leg. Tape the gauze into place at top and bottom, then slip a sock over the whole affair.