Q: Is it safe to put iodine on a dog's scratch, as my veterinarian told me it was? I've heard that iodine is not the antiseptic it was once thought to be and that it can worsen wounds and injure skin tissue.--H.L. A: There is absolutely nothing wrong with dabbing providone iodine (Betadine) on your dog's scratch. In a proper dilution and applied gently to wounds, it is a safe and effective antiseptic. We frequently have our clients flush out abscess pockets with iodine. While the use of diluted iodine as a wash for the abdominal cavity during surgery has been discontinued (because some of the delicate internal tissues become irritated), iodine is one of the most widely used surgical antiseptics.