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How to Help a Pet Who is Injured

Knowing the proper way to approach, evaluate, and treat your pet for injuries will prepare you to act quickly and effectively if needed. You can then safely prepare your pet for transport to the closest veterinary hospital.

Approach Your Pet Slowly and Carefully

Your pet may lash out at you due to fear and pain, so approach slowly and carefully. Use a treat or small piece of food to try to distract your pet, and approach from the side, while staying low so you aren’t towering over him. Don’t make direct eye contact, and speak slowly and calmly in a reassuring tone of voice. 

Immobilize and Evaluate Your Pet

Use a leash, muzzle, harness, or towel to keep your pet contained and prevent them from panicking and running away, or further injuring themselves. Evaluate your pet for obvious signs of injury or trauma such as bleeding, broken limbs, injury to the face or eyes, or signs of an accident or fight.

Render First Aid if Possible

If possible, render first aid to prepare your pet for transport to your closest veterinary clinic. If your pet is bleeding profusely, wrap a clean cloth around the wound and tie it off to apply pressure. If your pet has a minor wound, remove any foreign objects from the wound and flush it clean with water or saline solution, then wrap it lightly with a clean cloth. If your pet has a closed fracture or broken bone, try to splint it with a flat, stiff object secured tightly with cloth or string.

Transport Your Pet to a Veterinary Hospital

A veterinarian can evaluate the extent of your pet’s injuries and provide swift, effective, and safe veterinary care. There is only so much you can do at home, and even minor injuries can become worse with improper care or be at risk of infection. Transport your pet to your closest veterinary hospital for professional evaluation and care.

Your local veterinary hospital can provide 24/7 care and treatment when your pet is injured.