How to Make Bandages Stick to Dog Fur & Not Fall Off (Adhesive Type)

how to make bandaids or bandages stick to dog fur

Are you trying to get a peel and stick bandage to stay on your dog’s fur?

If so you’re probably going through dozens of bandages that mysteriously lose their stickiness as soon as they make contact with the top coat.

This happened to me and I was about to give up, and just assumed that bandages like these simply won’t work on fur.

That is, until I learned how to apply them so they’d stick. That’s right, certain brands will stick to dog fur, if applied correctly. Some will even stick for days (more on that later).

For now, let me share the most important tip for getting them to stay..

How Do You Get Band-Aids to Stick to Dogs?

To get a Band-Aid bandage or other brand to stick to a dog’s fur, you must roll the fur back and adhere the sticky tab to the underside of the coat. If you try to apply a bandage to the top-side of dog hair, it simply will not stay in place

applying a band-aid bandage to dog fur so that it will stick and not fall off
Band-Aid to Fur Demo

That’s because dog fur, like human hair, is smooth from top to bottom, but scaly in the opposite direction. By applying the bandage to the underside, you will catch some of the scales.

It also helps to glide the bandage into the fur, while slightly pressing it against the scales, which is in the opposite direction of how the hair grows.

Why I Need to Use Bandages on My Dog

How do I know so much about bandages sticking to dog fur? It’s a valid question and here is why:

My dog, Frodo, has developed a chronic wound on the top of his toe that can only be protected with the peel and stick type bandages. This circular-shaped sore is caused by a folding over of the foot, with the root cause being severe hip and spine arthritis.

image of my dog's sore spot that we cover with adhesive bandages.
Chronic Wound on Paw

As you can see from the picture, the wound is right where the toes bend and where the foot would flex. This makes it too dangerous to wrap because he would lose the ability to flex his paw.

Bandage Alternatives We’ve Tried

We tried several different ways to protect this wound: stiff boots, rubber booties, tape wraps…,my Mom even traced his paw and sewed a custom, quilted pad! Unfortunately, all of these ideas failed. They either fell off or made Frodo walk with a horrible limp, causing him to stumble and trip.

Anyone treating a dog with chronic arthritis knows we cannot implement things that impede their walking. So that’s why we’ve spent so much time experimenting with getting bandages to grab onto dog hair.

Turns out, Band-Aid brand and other brand bandages will stick on a dog if you use a different technique for applying it to fur.

Bandages that Stick to Dog Fur the Longest

Now that I’ve tried many different brands, I only buy the following bandage brands for my dog’s wound and for the following reasons:

Bandage BrandStyleHow I Use It
Band-AidTRU-STAY Daily Go-to
PersonnelleFlexible Fabric (Latex-Free)Extra Protection
Bandage Brands & Dog Fur

Band-Aid Brand (TRU-STAY) – The box say’s it all: “Dependable Protection that stays in place” and that’s why it’s my go-to bandage brand for covering my dog’s chronic toe scrape. Here is a picture of what they look like:

Picture of Tru-Stay Band-aid brands I buy for my dog.
Tru-Stay Sticks well to fur

I might go through 2 Band-Aid bandages per day, sometimes more depending on weather conditions. For instance, in the rain and snow, I’m sure to refresh the bandage often. Otherwise, the wound stays too wet.

Also notice that the sterile pad can go all the way to the edge or it could be inset. Be sure you look at the image and get the best one for your dog’s situation.

Personnelle Brand Bandages – These are readily available in most pharmacies in Canada. I’m lucky enough to live close the border and have easy access to these very reasonably priced bandages for my dog. If you’re vising my site from Canada, be sure to try this brand. Here is a picture of the box:

image of personnelle brand bandages that come in a variety.
Variety Pack of Bandages

I particularly like the assortment box, but the one sticking to my dog’s fur here in the picture below is called the fingertip shaped bandage.

For some reason, this type of bandage one will stick to his fur for 2 whole days….

image of fingertip style bandage sticking to my dog's toe to protect wound.
Fingertip style bandage

This is how the bandage looks after 2 walks. This style bandage is great for when he has re-opened the sore spot and we need better protection. I also like the way this style breathes and allows some air healing.

Speaking of healing, here is my constant dilemma…

Wound Bandage vs. Airing Out for Healing

I’ve noticed that my dog’s wound heals faster when it get’s some air and we did talk to our Vet about keeping it bandaged or open.

Because Frodo’s foot fold-over is so chronic, the wound reopens very easily. So, we do our best to let the wound have some air exposure whenever we can monitor his movements.

Generally speaking, the wound gets several hours of air per day, without risking a re-opening. It’s a balance. for sure.

Dogs & Adhesive Bandages: Important Consideration

Aside for the “airing out” debate, there are other considerations before using bandages on your dog. For instance:

Will Your dog eat the bandage? – Does your dog eat random things they find on the floor? Are they able to resist chewing at bandages? Before you apply a bandage to your dog, it’s a good idea to ask yourself whether or not you think your dog (or other household pets) will end up eating the bandage.

I use adhesive bandages on my dog because, at his age, I can trust him to leave it alone. But in his younger days, he definitely would have used his mouth to chew it off.

Babies & Toddlers – I find bandages on the floor that have fallen off. I don’t have children exploring and crawling around, but if I did, I would patrol the floors for fallen bandages.

Those are just some things to ask yourself before going the bandage route.

In Summary

The right bandage can stick to dog fur if you apply it properly. There are lots of cheap bandages out there and, frankly, they may be fine for human skin, but most would not adhere to my dog’s fur.

If you’re having the same problem, try the brands I mentioned above and remember the technique.

Technique: Pull the fur back, stick the tab to the underside of the part you pulled back, then gently press against the direction of the fur growth.

Best of luck and thank you for visiting Senior Dog Days!

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