What to Do If Your Dog Gets Hit by a Car

What to Do If Your Dog Gets Hit by a Car

If you are a dog owner, you probably get scared thinking that your pooch can get injured in any way. Unfortunately, that is something that may happen, which is why you need to be prepared for an emergency situation. If you do not know what to do if your dog gets hit by a car, take a look at this article and get informed so that you can help your Fido if any mishap occurs.

Keep Your Focus

Once you notice your dog was hit by a car, your heart will start racing. Although this is an emergency, the important thing is to stay calm and keep your focus. You will want to approach your pet, but you need to secure the scene of the accident first. If you see that it is a busy highway with heavy traffic, the safest thing to do is to call 911 and wait for them to arrive. In cases with less traffic, you can ask a person passing through to help to stop the vehicles until you help your dog.

Be Careful When Approaching Your Dog

We are sure you are scared, but remember that your pooch is, too. He is probably in shock and pain and you need to approach and handle him with care. Try to assess whether your dog can breathe without any difficulties. You can remove the collar to help him secure proper breathing. If you think there are no breathing issues, you can improvise a muzzle of tape and bandage to ensure your dog won’t bite. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t give him water or anything else to drink or eat.

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dog car safety

Assess Your Dog’s Injuries

Your dog will probably have scrapes and cuts, and broken bones are also a possibility. It is a good idea to use a blanket to keep your pooch warm, but make sure that mouth and nose are open so that he could breathe. You shouldn’t try to clean any wounds as you will only increase the pain your dog is in. If you notice severe bleeding from a wound, use a bandage, clean shirt or cloth to apply pressure over the region.

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The next thing to do is to transfer your pet to the car and head to the vet. If you cannot pick him up on your own, ask a bystander to help you. During the entire process, try to make your dog as comfortable as possible. If you have a wooden board or some other hard surface, put a blanket on it and place your dog on top.

In some cases, your dog will look fine and maybe be able to get up on his own. While this is a possibility, keep in mind that it happened rarely. Even if it does, keep in mind that you should always take your pet to the vet after an accident. There is no way for you to notice signs of internal bleeding or concussion, which is why a professional needs to assess your pooch.

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Take the Dog to the Vet As Soon as Possible

Every minute is precious and that is why you need to ensure that your dog is attended by a professional as soon as possible. If the accident happens outside of working hours, find the nearest emergency pet clinic that is available 24/7. You should phone them in advance to let them know you are coming so that they can be prepared.

What Can You Expect at the Vet’s

Once a professional perform an assessment of injuries your pet has, he might order X-rays, blood work or other tests. Depending on the state of your dog, the vet will do everything in their power to help them. That may include administering fluids via IV, keeping them for monitoring, or even performing a surgery.

The vet will inform you when you can take your dog home. They might get antibiotics or pain medications as a part of therapy. The recovery might last for a while depending on the severity of the injury. It is advisable to find your pet a quiet area where she can rest and make sure that their bed is warm.

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Dog Accidents on the Road

Dog Accidents on the Road and the Law

This depends on the country you are in, but in most cases, you need to report the accident to the police. The person who hit the dog needs to remain at the scene until the police arrive. If you see him leaving, make sure to write down the plates.

When it comes to responsibility, in some countries it is the dog owner who is responsible for his dog getting hit by a car. In some cases, the person that hit him might have to pay compensation to the owner. It is always a smart idea to get dog insurance to ensure that the costs of treating your pet are covered or at least lowered.

How to Prevent Your Dog from Getting Hit by a Car

A car hitting them can be life-threatening to both humans and animals. That is why it would be best if you could prevent the accident from happening in the first place. Let’s take a look at some tips that you may apply to prevent your dog from getting hit by a car:

  • The gate shouldn’t be open while your dog is in the yard: every time you let your pooch to freely roam the backyard, you need to ensure that all exits to streets are closed. If you can’t monitor them, make sure that there isn’t a hole or something else that they can squeeze through
  • Teach them the commands to stop: “wait” and “sit” will do the trick as they will enable you to stop your dog from roaming into the traffic-filled street
  • Be careful with the extendible leash: you should avoid walking your pooch near a street whenever possible
  • Stay alert when leaving your driveway: when exiting the driveway with your car make sure where your pooch is before heading in reverse
  • Keep them safe while driving: you should ensure that they cannot jump out through the window, so it might be a good idea to keep them in a dog crate or a pet harness.


  1. Dr. Jenna Ashton, What to Do If Your Pet Is Hit by a Car, Vetstreet
  2. Dr. Amy Flowers, First-Aid Tricks for Pet Emergencies, WebMD

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Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.