How to Treat Leash Burn

Updated April 17, 2017

Leash burn is a type of friction burn that occurs when a leash gets pulled out of your hand, and is similar to a rope burn. This usually happens when a dog gets excited and tries to run. A leash burn can be painful, but it does not usually warrant a trip to the hospital. Home treatment is necessary to promote healing and prevent infection.

Hold the affected area under cold running water for three to four minutes. This reduces pain and swelling.

If the leash burn has caused an abrasion, use a wet soapy washcloth to gently scrub it. Rinse it with cold water and pat it dry with a clean towel.

Apply an antibiotic ointment to the abrasion. Wrap the burnt area loosely with a sterile gauze dressing to protect it from bacteria.

Rest the injured area for the rest of the day. For example, if the leash burn is on your hand or arm, use the other hand or arm to complete necessary tasks. This will help it heal more quickly.

Take over-the-counter analgesics such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen to help reduce pain and inflammation.

Keep the dressing on the burn at all times for two to three days. Change the dressing at least once daily and whenever it gets dirty or wet.


Avoid using a retractable dog leash to reduce your risk of getting leash burn.


Consult a doctor if the leash burn is extremely painful, swollen or red.

Things You'll Need

  • Washcloth
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Sterile gauze
  • Over-the-counter analgesics
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About the Author

Camira Bailey has been writing for various online publications since 2006, specializing in health and animal care. She holds a Bachelor of Science in biology from UCLA and is completing her master's degree in holistic health. Bailey is also an ACE-certified advanced health and fitness specialist.