What Should I Do if My Dog is Hit By a Car?

Unfortunately, sometimes our adventurous doggies find their way out into the street and get hit by a car. If this happens, you should seek immediate urgent care for your dog but there are a few things you can do while on your way to the emergency hospital.

If a car hit your dog, look to see if there is any external bleeding and wrap a cloth around the area to stop the bleeding to help prevent blood loss. It’s important to try to control bleeding and reduce the potential for your pet losing too much blood.

If your dog was hit by a car (or any pet) they could have internal injuries or broken bones that you cannot see, so always be extremely careful when lifting them into the car for transport to the pet hospital. If there are injuries to their spine, it could be worsened with movement so try to keep their back as still as possible. If your dog is large, if you have a large board that you can gently lift them onto for transport, carefully lift or roll them (only roll them if you absolutely have to in case their spine is injured) onto the board and then lift it into your car; if not, a large blanket will do as well.

Cover your pet with a blanket to keep them warm and if they seem to be having trouble breathing, open their mouth if you are able to. If their breathing is labored, loosen their collar to keep pressure off of their airway.

One common question is “My dog was hit by a car and they tried to bite me when I was trying to help them, why did they do that?” When an animal is injured, like a human they are very scared and in a lot of pain, naturally causing them to be protective of themselves and their wounds. They aren’t intentionally trying to harm you, they are only trying to protect themselves because all they know at that moment is that they have been hurt and they are very scared and confused.

Be very careful when tending to a wounded animal, even your own pet, and just remember that they are stressed and in pain.

You may need to gently muzzle them (do not make the muzzle so tight that they cannot pant, only tight enough so that they cannot bite; if you do not have a muzzle, you can use a bandage or sock, or other type of cloth, and you might even try to speak gently to them while you are trying to help them in an effort to calm them. Do NOT use a muzzle if your dog is having trouble breathing as this may worsen the situation.

“Be very careful when tending to a wounded animal, even your own pet, and just remember that they are stressed and in pain.”

If your pet was hit by a car, try not to panic. Animals can pick up on your feelings and stress levels and if they sense you are stressed or scared, it will only increase their stress and fear. Additionally, sometimes panicking can make it hard for you to focus on what you need to be doing to care for your pet at the moment. Take some deep breaths and focus on getting your dog the treatment it needs.

If your pet has been hit by a car after hours, on the weekend, or on a holiday, give us a call here at Crossroads Animal Emergency as soon as possible and we will be ready to take care of both you and your dog immediately upon arrival.