Seeing someone closer to your heart, getting hurt can pain you the most. And when that someone is your dog, whom you consider your own kid, can lead you to experience one of the worst phases.
Nothing can pain a dog parent the most than seeing or hearing the news of their furry baby getting hit by a car. Such is the trauma that you start doubting your parental skills. Only one question revolves around your mind, “What exactly went wrong”?
Besides that, the whole journey of taking your dog from the accident spot to the veterinary and, subsequently, the entire treatment process can teach you some of your life’s crucial lessons. And this is indubitably what transpired with us.
However, we don’t want anyone to go through that traumatic experience. Therefore, here we will discuss some of the major lessons we learned from this disturbing incident. Hopefully, they will make you more cautious about your furry friend.
Things to be done immediately when your dog meets with an accident
As your dog’s parent, it is natural for you to panic and rush for your baby’s help. However, you need to be circumspect if you wish to make yourself useful for your dog. A small mistake in a fit of panic can worsen the situation for your pet. Besides that, you can even end up getting hurt yourself. A wounded, disoriented, terrified dog is most likely to bite you if you try to touch its wounded body. Therefore, if you really want to help your dog, strictly follow the steps given below:
- Be Steady: It is quite reasonable for you to feel shocked and out of your depth. However, you need to remain steady for your dog’s sake. Remember that sensing people’s emotions is one of the natural aptitudes of dogs. If your pet, by any chance, feel your tension, it will start struggling and lashing out at people trying to help it. Besides that, panicking will take you nowhere. Instead, a clear head will help you to set out your subsequent course of action.
- Contact the animal control or police: According to “PetHelpful,” it is the driver’s responsibility to be present at the accident spot and call for help. If the driver flees, you have to take charge of calling the police or animal control for help. Ask them about your next course of action and work on it accordingly.
- Put a muzzle on your dog to avoid injury from its teeth: According to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s recommendations, you can put a muzzle on an injured dog’s mouth only when it is not puking. And if you don’t have a muzzle, use a towel or a stocking to cover your dog’s mouth.
In case your dog is a kid, envelop it with a covering or a towel. Do not touch or move the pup unnecessarily. It can further worsen the pain.
- Move your dog from the Road: Because you are in the middle of the road, you need to shift your dog to a secured place to not disturb other travelers. Use a blanket or a towel or a board as a stretcher to displace your dog without much hassle. Once you have moved out of the vehicles’ vicinity, focus on your next course of action. However, do this stunt only if you feel it’s safe. Otherwise, it is more reliable to wait for the arrival of help.
- Rush to a Vet: You might think, why mention this point separately when it is self-evident? However, there can be conditions when your dog might appear all well and good. But don’t be duped by its external health. There are possibilities of internal damages as well. So, injured or not, do not forget to go to a veterinary immediately. Otherwise, your negligence can cost your dog its life.
21 Lessons I Learned from my Dog’s Accident
There are two types of people in this world. First, who learn from their own mistakes. And second, who strive to learn from others’ errors. We may appear to fall in the first category, but you try to be the second category. Here we share the 21 most important lessons we learned during this whole distressing period of our dog’s accident.
- Always be aware of your dog’s whereabouts.
Well, this is a self-evident statement. All dog owners know that they are required to watch out for their dog’s whereabouts. But there are moments when you may get distracted by your other priorities and forget about your dog. However, it is not desirable because your one moment of negligence can cost your dog its life, and you will lose your baby. Unfortunately, you won’t have anyone to blame other than you for such a mishap. It is because, in most countries, laws consider it the responsibility of the pet owners to look after their dog’s safety. Consequently, you won’t get any legal remedy for your dog if such an accident happens.
- A small moment of incaution can ensue significant accidents.
As mentioned earlier, you need to be always cautious when you are out with your dog. One moment of distraction, and you will have to face your worst nightmares. Always remember that dogs tend to be inquisitive beings. Consequently, if something attracts their attention, they are most likely to go after it. In this situation, if you do not keep an eye on your dog’s activities, it is most likely to do as it desires. And it is during these moments of incaution that disasters make their grand entry. So, when you go outside with your dog, focus on the activities of your pet. Always remember, nothing is more essential than your dog’s safety.
- Luminous collars are necessary for evening walks.
If your pup has a dark-colored body, then you must get a lighted collar for your dog. Generally, what happens is that if your dog has a dark-colored body, it gets concealed by the dark surroundings. Consequently, your dog blends with its surroundings, and you don’t have the least idea when your dog leaves your vicinity. If you get your dog a lighted collar, you will know where your dog is when the surroundings are dark. The luminous collar will give you an idea of your dog’s whereabouts. Besides that, when you take your dog for a night walk, people will know that you have a dog. Consequently, they will watch out before they plan to do any reckless activity.
It is to be noted that dark-colored or not, lighted collars are essential for all dogs. They may cost you Rs.600-800, but your pet will remain safe after dark. Consequently, you will have the option to avoid wasting so much money on a veterinary.
- Carry a towel or blanket whenever you are out with your dog.
It is more salutary to be prepared than regret later. Carrying a towel or a blanket can help you in various ways, especially during such distressing events. If your dog is injured by a car, you can use the sheet or the towel as a stretcher. Besides that, a towel or blanket helps in covering the muzzle of a wounded dog. It is essential because a disoriented dog has no idea of who is trying to support it. If your dog is in tremendous pain, it won’t want anyone to touch its injured body.
Consequently, it will try to bite as a defensive mechanism. And you surely don’t desire to get hurt when your dog is in so much pain. That will make you almost useless when it is time to tend to your dog’s distress.
- Always remember the animal ambulance number.
You need to keep an animal ambulance number saved on your mobile like you remember a human ambulance number. Accidents can happen to anyone. If it is not your pet, it can happen with any other animal. Humans or not, accidents are always painful. And when it comes to car accidents, people are rarely fortunate enough to survive them. Therefore, you must be set for all sorts of circumstances.
- Never be anxious before a wounded dog.
Dogs tend to be incredibly sensitive creatures. And when it comes to the emotions of their humans, they tend to be even more alert. Therefore, if your dog has to face such painful situations, never be out with your emotions, even if you feel like breaking down. Remember that your dog’s recovery is dependent upon you. Hence, it is you who has to remain calm to soothe your dog’s wounds. If you remain steady, your dog will trust you with its life.
Consequently, you will be able to handle your wounded dog without much hassle. However, if you become nervous and anxious, your dog will sense that and won’t cooperate with you at all. So, be calm and provide your dog with the mental strength that it terribly needs to deal with the pain.
- How to identify a good veterinarian?
Truth to be told, among all the doctors, veterinaries have to do the most challenging job. The reason behind this controversial statement is that the patient a veterinary has to deal with can’t express what has happened to them. The vets have to look at their mute patients, study their symptoms, and infer what is wrong. Unfortunately, not all veterinaries have this extraordinary ability to diagnose their patient’s illnesses with mere observation. Consequently, those incompetent vets resort to activities like stealing and robbing. Imagine spending thousands of money just to get to know what is exactly wrong with your dog. This is precisely what happens if you do not approach a competent veterinary. So, choose your vet wisely. Otherwise, you may have to end up mortgaging everything for your dog’s treatment.
- Every dog parent must have a trusted veterinarian for their dog.
This is very important, especially when you have an emergency. When your dog meets with an accident, the first thing you need to do is consult a vet. But as mentioned earlier, not all vets are competent enough to diagnose your dog’s problems with mere observation. Consequently, you may have to spend a large amount of money on a mere diagnosis. Therefore, get your dog to a trusted veterinarian and keep their number saved in your mobile. It will help you to rush to them whenever there is an emergency. You won’t have to search for a competent vet and waste the precious minutes of your dog’s life.
- Anti-inflammatory medicines are as crucial as pain killers.
It is natural for you to be anxious about reducing your dog’s pain if it has to go through such a traumatic experience like a car accident. However, you must remember that a mere pain killer won’t diminish your dog’s miseries. You need to tend to the inflammation as well. There is no point of using the pain killers if the swelling continues to exist. Therefore, when your dog gets hurt, the first thing you need to do is try to reduce the inflammation.
Give your dog a cold therapy with the painkillers and the anti-inflammatory medicines that your vet has prescribed. Bring a pack containing ice and lay it on your dog’s injury. Initially, your pup will feel a bit awkward with the sensation. However, it will gradually become accustomed to the pack. Use this therapy for 10-15 minutes, 3-4 times a day.
- How to make your dog have medicines?
One of the most essential yet challenging tasks you have to perform after getting your dog home is making it have the veterinary pills. Unfortunately, dogs tend to have this long tongue that helps them to throw the medicine, both from their mouth and your hand. Consequently, you need to find a hassle-free way to make your dog have the prescribed medications. Given below is the procedure for making your pet have medicines, both pills, and liquids.
- How can you make your dog have pills?
- Hold your dog’s upper jaw using your index and thumb finger.
- Tilt-back its head, and as you open its mouth, gather its upper lip over its teeth.
- Hold the pill using your index and thumb finger and pull down the lower jaw by placing your middle finger on your dog’s incisors.
- Place the pill on the far end of your dog’s tongue. Make it fast to avoid getting bitten. You can also drop it. However, ascertain that it reaches the far end of your dog’s mouth.
- Now, close your dog’s mouth and blow on its nose to make it swallow the pill.
- How to make your dog have liquid medicines?
To make your dog have liquid medicine, you need to pour it into a pouch between their cheek and teeth. Quickly close your dog’s mouth and start blowing on its nose or stroking its neck to make it swallow the liquid. Avoid tilting your dog’s head backward. Otherwise, the fluid will enter its windpipe.
- How can you make your dog have pills?
- As you see your dog recover, start making it recapitulate the obedience commands.
Your dog’s brain is one-tenth of your brain-size. Therefore, it requires regular practice to remember the obedience commands. However, such exercises are simply not possible when your dog is so severely injured. Therefore, when your pet starts recovering, you have to take it outside for therapy walks and make your pet relearn the basic obedience commands.
- End of Physical pain doesn’t put an end to Mental pain.
Once your dog’s wounds are healed, you will notice that your pet has become afraid of performing specific activities which it used to do before the accident effortlessly. One of those activities includes mounting the stairs. The memory of the pain it had to endure while climbing up the stairs is still fresh. Therefore, you have to find a way to make your dog overcome its fears. One of the most effective methods to do it is to lure your pet with treats. It will motivate your dog to do the task it will otherwise avoid.
- Dogs are incredibly strong creatures.
If you were in the place of your dog, there are high chances that you won’t have survived the mishap. The fact that your dog is still alive after such a traumatic experience point towards its resilience.
- Dogs are unbelievably trusting creatures.
Even after meeting such a massive accident, your dog can be trusting enough to let you help it with its life. However, ascertain that you do not appear anxious or uncertain. Otherwise, it will become anxious as well.
- Treating an injured dog is almost the same as treating an injured human being.
You may find it surprising, but you need to take care of your dog’s pain in the same way you do it with an injured human. For example, you can reduce your pet’s pain and inflammation by giving it the comfort of an ice pack or a warm bath.
The argument is, whether it is human or animal, the remedy for reducing the pain is the same.
- Don’t get too excited during your dog’s recovery stage.
Generally, we get too excited to find that our injuries are no more paining and our swellings have reduced. Consequently, we start thinking that we are ready to go back to our previous pace. However, the reality is that things take time to fall into place, and that is precisely the case when it comes to your dog’s recovery.
If you see your pet’s wound healing, do not think that it is ready to start its regular activities and exercises. Allow your pet to adjust with its newly healed body. When your dog feels that it is okay, it will give you the signals through its body posture.
- Sometimes it is necessary to endure small pains to kill a more immense pain.
Even though it is not fair to move your dog much during its recovery period, you need to make it walk a bit to perform some necessary activities like going to the bathroom. It is true that initially, your dog will have to endure tremendous pain for performing such essential activities. However, if you do not make your dog move even a bit, it will never find the courage to move its body. Remember that the accident has hurt your dog both physically and mentally. Physical pain will be taken care of by the medicines. However, it is you who have to work on their mental distress and bring their confidence back. If you can’t see your pet enduring even a little bit of pain, make it have painkillers approximately 30 minutes before taking it for the bathroom.
- A good bed for your dog is not a lavish expenditure.
Most dog owners consider purchasing a separate bed for their pet an unreasonable expenditure. Instead, they use a pile of redundant clothes to make their dog’s bed. Even though dogs tend to be very adaptive creatures, spending a little bit of money on their comfort won’t do you much harm. In fact, purchasing a good bed for your pet will turn out to be a necessity when your dog gets severely injured.
So, stop wasting time and purchase a comfortable dog bed today only. Ascertain that the cover of the dog bed is removable. It will help you to wash the sheet whenever it becomes dirty and smelly. The moment you see the relief in your dog’s eyes after settling on its new bed, you will pat your back for making such a wise decision.
- A warm bath has the potential to do wonders.
Just like cold therapy, hot therapy will also do magic on your dog’s inflammation. You can’t imagine the relief your dog will feel from a warm bath after going through so much trauma. Apart from relieving the tension from your dog’s body, the warm water will have a soothing effect on its injured parts. Consequently, your pet will be able to relax a bit and have a restful sleep just like we humans do after a warm bath.
Apart from a warm bath, you can use the following methods to provide your dog with hot therapy benefits:
- Hot water bottles
- Electric Heating Pad
- Hot Rice Pack
Like cold therapy, apply this therapy 3-4 times a day. A combination of warm and cold treatment will help in reducing the swelling rapidly. Consequently, your dog will recover soon.
- Some wounds have the potential to heal on its own.
Dogs tend to be very resilient creatures. Consequently, some of their wounds, like a broken bone, has the potential to heal on its own. However, some veterinaries may suggest fixing that particular bone through surgery and charge you huge sums of money. But if you are a vigilant dog owner, you won’t be fooled by such suggestions. You will know that nature has endowed your pet with some extraordinary healing capabilities. If you keep your dog’s movements restricted for approximately 5 to 7 weeks, except for bathroom purposes, your dog will become absolutely fit and fine. Therefore, as mentioned earlier, search for a trusted vet for your dog. If you do this task now, you won’t have to work so hard when there’s a crisis.
- For the latter, you need to cater to your dog’s emotional needs.
As mentioned earlier, physical recovery doesn’t imply mental healing. For the latter, you need to cater to your dog’s emotional needs. Remember that your dog had to face a near-death experience. Therefore, during your pet’s recovery period, bring it inside your home and keep it where you and your family can dedicate your full attention. Allow your kids to spend an ample amount of time with your pooch. The more you shower your dog with love and attention, the less it will feel mentally distressed even after such a traumatic experience. The mental strength provided by your affection will help your pooch to forget its physical pain.
Although there is a proverb that “all’s well that ends well,” it is not applicable in this case. The reason is, even if your dog recovers physically, mentally, it will never be the same. The ordeal of the accident will keep haunting your dog. Therefore, you have to be strong to cater to your dog’s emotional needs. Otherwise, your dog will never recover from the pain it had to endure during that distressing period.
Truth to be told, as far as your dog’s safety is concerned, “prevention is better than cure.” Unfortunately, we had to realize it the hard way. However, you won’t have to go through the same experience if you have read the article thoroughly. Just do not forget to make practical applications of those lessons. One mistake, and you will have to bear a huge loss. Therefore, take your dog’s safety seriously, especially in the roadside areas.
However, if by any chance your dog has to face such a mishap, do not panic. Remember that nervousness will lead you nowhere. Be calm, and think about your subsequent course of action. Hopefully, the lessons mentioned above will help you to be alert and prompt.