No matter how well you take care of your dog, there is always the chance that it can dart out an open door or dig under a gate and get out into traffic. Discovering that your dog has been hit by a car can be heartbreaking and stressful, but how you react to the situation can determine how well your dog recovers from the accident. If your dog is hit by a car, take the following steps:
Approach your Dog Carefully
A traumatic event, such as being hit by a car, can cause your dog to be stressed and in a lot of pain. These factors can change your dog's behavior, and it is not uncommon for dogs to growl or even try to nip their owners when they are severely injured. If your dog is behaving aggressively while you are trying to help it, you may want to put a loose muzzle on the dog to prevent any accidental bites.
Stabilize and Gently Transfer to a Vehicle
Your dog may or may not have open wounds and lacerations after being hit by a car, but in these types of situations, internal injuries can be very dangerous. When transferring your dog to your vehicle, it is essential to move them as little as possible in order to not cause further injuries. Ideally, you should try to slide a board under your dog to keep it completely stable during the ride to receive veterinary care. If you do not have access to a board, pick up your dog gently, making sure to provide support under its chest as well as under the hind legs.
Keep Your Dog Comfortable
The trauma of being hit by a car can cause your dog to go into shock, which can lead to a drop in body temperature. Keep your dog warm by gently wrapping it in a blanket while in the car, being careful not to cover its nose or mouth. If you suspect that your dog is having difficulty breathing, remove its collar to help open up the airway.
Contact Your Vet Immediately
Call your vet before heading to the office to let the staff know that your dog has suffered injuries from being hit by a car; calling in advance will give them time to prepare for your situation. If the accident happens outside of normal business hours, you can still call your vet-- most vet offices have answering services or voicemail messages that will give you the address and contact information for the closest emergency animal hospital.