Dog Accident Checklist: Preparation and Response Best Practices

Dog accidents are a more common occurrence as pets are a more integral part of today's family. Knowing how to prepare and respond to an accident can prevent your dog from going through unnecessary trauma.

Dog Accident Prevention and Preparation

Dog car accident safety begins with prevention. With dogs being transported more often, it is a good idea to purchase a car restraint. When a dog is allowed to roam freely in a car, a sudden stop or accident can cause your dog to launch into a passenger in the car or even through a window. Other advantages of canine restraints include:

  • Fewer driver distractions
  • Paramedics can treat people in an accident without having to worry about a dog hovering protectively over an owner
  • Dogs are not able to jump out of open car windows

A house accident can be avoided by following a few simple steps:

  1. Plastic bags or soft plastic items (like balloons) should be kept out of a dog's reach. These items, if swallowed, can cause a dog to asphyxiate.
  2. Train your dog to not jump up on people. If one is carrying a sharp or breakable object, a dog could easily become injured if that item should fall out of the person's hand.
  3. Train your dog on borders. This will prevent him from running from your yard out into the street.

Dog First Aid Kits

First aid kits in the home and car are essential to treating dog injuries. Kits should include the following:

  • Non-stick gauze
  • Paper towels
  • Latex gloves
  • Tweezers
  • Soft muzzle
  • Cotton balls
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Athletic bandages
  • Scissors
  • Phone number of the dog's veterinarian, poison control and animal hospital
  • Eye wash
  • Ear syringes
  • Water (for the car)
  • Spare leash and collar

Responding to an Injured Dog

Approach an injured dog slowly and calmly and place a muzzle around its mouth if the dog is not vomiting.

  • If the dog is not breathing, lay him on his side and pull his head and neck forward. Check for any obstructions in the throat. To perform mouth-to-mouth, take a deep breath, place your mouth over the dog's and exhale. Allow the dog's chest to deflate. Repeat 10 to 15 times per minute.
  • If a dog is bleeding, place gauze over the wound and apply pressure to the arteries providing blood to the area. Do not remove the gauze, and seek medical attention.
  • When in shock, a dog's circulatory system has collapsed. The pulse and breathing rate may be really fast or slow. The body will feel cool and the gums will be pale in color. Place a blanket on a dog that has gone into shock and seek emergency veterinary care. Keep the dog's head lower than the body.
  • Any first aid performed on a dog may save his life, but is not a substitute for veterinary care. Any treatment one may give a dog should be immediately followed by immediate veterinary care.