My Dog Needs Stitches But I Can’t Afford It – 8 Best Alternatives

Seeing one’s dog be hurt is one of the worst fears anyone can experience. Unfortunately, regardless of how well we care for our pets, there are times when your dog may sustain lacerations or cuts. Some people may incur cuts unintentionally, while others may have health problems.

It is impossible to deny that dogs, regardless of breed, are rambunctious. As a result, getting into trouble is nothing new for them. If you see blood flowing out of your pooch’s wound for the first time, you might think it requires stitches. However, we recommend that you clean the area and examine it carefully to see if it really requires sutures. If it does, you must see a veterinarian as quickly as possible.

Now the entire procedure may look to be simple. Right? However, there may be situations when you fail to afford to have your dog stitched by a veterinarian. So, what are your options? We’ll assist you in evaluating your choices. But, first and foremost, a word of caution: never try to stitch your dog at home, by yourself.

Cuts in Dogs

Cuts In Dogs
Image Credit: Cuts in dogs from Pinterest

Dogs can have a variety of cuts. Examine the cut before deciding whether or not sutures are required.

Some cuts are so large and severe that they need to be stitched. However, you won’t require sutures if the skin on both ends is tight enough. In this scenario, simply treating the wound with antiseptics should be enough. However, if you’re not sure, taking your dog to the vet could be the appropriate thing you can do to protect it from infection.

First Aid For Dog’s Cuts

First Aid For Dog's Cuts
Image Credit: A dog with an Elizabeth collar from Pinterest 

Regardless of your dog’s wound severity, before you can take it to the vet, you must always do the first aid at home. 

We mention this because you never know when you’ll be in a circumstance when you cannot get to the vet, such as in the middle of the night. And if you don’t want to let your dog suffer, certain home care options can help speed up the healing process.

The steps below can help you deal with your dog’s wound more effectively. Simply follow their instructions, and we guarantee that you and your dog will be relieved in no time.

#1. Things You Will Need

The foremost thing to focus on is arranging things you would need for first aid. So, make sure that you have the following items before initiating the treatment:

  • Surgical gloves (for your hands)
  • Gauze pads
  • Iodin products like Betadine
  • Sterile bandage
  •  Antimicrobial ointment
  • Scissors
  • Water

In addition to all these items, you may also need an Elizabeth collar for your dog. These are funnel-shaped, and the smaller end is round enough to let your dog’s head pass through it and fit on the neck. The collar would prevent your dog from biting, scratching, or licking while you conduct the procedure. This collar may also be used later on to prevent the dog from licking or biting the wound. 

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Keep in mind if you are new in such a situation or your dog is large, it is always better to ask for a helping hand. So, never hesitate to seek assistance from family or friends. 

#2. Stop The Bleeding

Stop The Bleeding
Image Credit: Clean your dog’s wound from Pinterest

Now, after you are armored with all the necessary first-aid items, it’s time to work on stopping the bleeding.

Initially, clean the wound with clear water and surgical gauze or cotton. It is better to use warm water instead of direct tap or cold water. However, if not possible, make sure to use water at room temperature. 

If yours is furry, it is better to clip the hair around the wound before cleaning it. Then, make sure to gently wash the wounded area and remove all the debris and blood. Repeat the cleaning process at least 2- 3 times, depending on the wound size. Afterward, using betadine or any other iodin product could be helpful. To do so, soak a cotton ball or pad in the solution and gently wipe the cut. 

#3. Do Not Use Hydrogen Peroxide

On a freshly cleaned wound, do not use hydrogen peroxide. This chemical is stronger and can create excessive irritation by destroying surrounding skin tissue, causing the healing process to be delayed.

Instead, a thin layer of antibacterial ointment, such as Neosporin, can be safely applied (safe for dogs). Neosporin is good because it will aid in the prevention of infection.

#4. Temporary Bandage 

Bandaging is essential for dog wounds because dogs cannot take care of their injuries, unlike humans. They would lick, scratch, and even bite their wounds, which may cause infections. Hence, applying a layer of bandage is crucial.

It would be preferable if you could pull the split wound edges together to seal the incision before bandaging. Always remember not to apply too much pressure to the injury to shut it. Be gentle with your dog.

Any bandage will suffice; however, we recommend the Butterfly Bandage for tiny wounds, particularly surface cuts. These bandages keep the wound closed while also allowing it to breathe and prevent moisture from building up.

Keep in mind not to wrap the bandage too tightly around the skin. If the bandage is overly tight, blood circulation to the area might be cut off, prolonging the healing process.

#5. Re-Cleaning The Open Wound

Re-Cleaning The Open Wound
Image Credit: Use antiseptic ointment on the wound from Pinterest

Opening the bandage and re-clean the wound frequently until you see the vet is critical. Afterward, it would be necessary to change the dressing and apply the ointment again. Keep an eye on the wound to see if it’s healing or if the cut is sealed. If not, immediate consultation with a veterinarian is required.

Here, it is essential to note that you may also need to administer pain killing medicines, since your dog will be in pain due to the injury along with the first-aid. However, do not conduct research but talk to your vet before giving any medicine to your dog. 

How Much Does it Cost to Put Stitches on Dogs?

This section is vital for dog owners dealing with a critical cut. First-aid is only possible when the cut isn’t too severe, and you can wait a day or two before going to the vet. On the other hand, switching may be the only alternative if the condition is critical.

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Stitching costs vary depending on the veterinarian’s fees, the type of wound, the number of stitches necessary, the equipment required, and other factors. There is also a different method of stitching incisions. In addition, some sutures are permanent, while others are dissolvable.

Hence, the only way to get an accurate cost estimate is to speak with your veterinarian.

Bonus Read: 8 Dog Food Brands To Avoid [+ 5 You Should Buy]

I Cannot Afford to Stitch My Dog’s Wound- 8 Best Alternatives

I Cannot Afford to Stitch My Dog's Wound- 8 Best Alternatives.
Image Credit: Prevent your dog from scratching its wound from Pinterest 

For low-income families, high pet healthcare costs can cause worry. Some dog owners don’t have a lot of money to spend on their pets’ health when they get ill or hurt. On the other hand, self-medication can be even more harmful in such a setting.

So, what are your options?

There are three basic ways to deal with the problem:

  • Save money in well advance;
  • Ask for financial help;
  • Visit a low-cost veterinary clinic or NGO

To be specific, we have broken the available alternatives in the following pointers. You can choose any of the ways mentioned below as your preference and feasibility. 

#1. Get A Pet Insurance 

You might want to think about acquiring your dog’s pet insurance. There are numerous firms that offer various pet insurance coverage. As a result, selecting the proper plan can assist you with any medical treatment and cover emergency costs. In other words, pet insurance can assist you in obtaining a secure financial safety net to fall back on in the event of urgency. You can look at several pet insurance providers, such as ASPCA Pet Health Insurance, Figo, Healthy Paws, and others, and pick the finest one for you.

#2. Crowdfunding

No one can deny the power of social media sites in the modern era. It can be utilized to raise funds for your pet’s medical care. You can contact several pet websites or groups on social media platforms to discuss fundraising efforts. You can also look at different funding sites to see if they can assist you. Alternatively, you can start your crowdfunding campaign by creating your pet page and inviting people to it. Using various online NGOs to solicit funds can also be beneficial.

#3. Credit Line 

Credit cards are not only meant for humans but also for dogs. Yes, you heard us right.

In the United States, companies such as CareCredit offer credit cards for dog beauty and health expenses such as dental treatment, health and wellness programs, veterinary medicine, aesthetic surgeries, and so on. An emergency vet consultation service is also available through the company.

As a result, this credit card can come in handy in an emergency when you don’t want to pay for your pet’s treatment out of pocket. Managing a CareCredit card won’t be an issue l if you are adept at managing your debts and credits.

#4. Pet Saving Account

A vet checkup costs around $40-$50 on average. This, however, can increase if a vaccination, tooth cleaning, or other procedure is required. As a result, a pet savings account can help you out.

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A pet savings account is a sort of bank account that you can open with select banks to put money aside for unexpected pet treatments. You can set aside a small percentage of your wages each month in this account, and you won’t have to take any headache in case a significant bill, such as surgery, arises.

#5. Ask For Help from Friends and Families 

If you have no savings or financial resources and an emergency arises, you might turn to your loved ones for assistance. A dog becomes a family member. As a result, enlisting the assistance of other friends or family members should not be a problem. Although we recognize that this might be a difficult process, it is worthwhile because you will be helping your pet’s life

#6. Host A Yard Or Garage Sale

You can raise money by hosting a yard or garage sale if you have many old items worth selling. Inquire with your neighbors, friends, and family members about contributing to your garage sale. Old furniture, home décor, clothes, toys, books, garden equipment, homemade food, ice cream, and other items can be sold.

However, remember that you may need to get permission from the local authority before conducting a backyard sale. Hence, it would be fruitful to obtain the information beforehand.

#7. Contact An NGO

Another option is to go to a local NGO or animal rescue center for immediate help. They can assist you in contacting organizations that could cover the costs of your dog’s medical treatment. 

Alternatively, you can contact GoFundMe, RedRover, Harley’s Hope Foundation, Shakespeare Animal Fund, and Mosby Foundation directly for funding. These organizations provide financial assistance to pets whose owners cannot afford treatment. Although the grant amount varies based on the type of treatment, an average of $200 is often offered.

Aside from these funds, animal hospitals such as the Animal Medical Center in New York City have Charitable Funds that might assist you. In 2018, this animal hospital gave more than 500 animals a total of $1.7 million in pet care.

Check with your local veterinary teaching college or hospitals for details.  

#8. Go To a Budget Clinic

Finally, you can go to a low-cost clinic to save money on your dog’s sutures and other treatments. Since many low-cost clinics lack adequate equipment for operations or wound stitching, this should only be used as a last resort. If this is your only choice, we recommend that you perform extensive research on such clinics before selecting one. After all, you wouldn’t want to take your dog’s life into your hands!

Summary

So that’s all! If you’re broke and can’t afford your dog’s sutures, here are the top 8 alternatives to consider.

We can’t dispute that pet care requires a large investment, which can skyrocket in the event of an emergency. As a result, the best method to deal with those unexpected days is to save money ahead of time. In addition, your dog is both a member of your family and a responsibility. As a result, disregarding their treatment is never a good idea due to a lack of funds.

There are many alternatives available to you if you don’t have funds, such as donation drives, pet insurance, nonprofit organizations, and so on. All you need to do is be responsible and educate yourself on the various choices available.