Every dog owner hopes their beloved dog is never involved in an accident, and does their best to keep them safe from harm. However, accidents do happen and you need to have some basic first aid knowledge to help your dog if they are hurt.

It’s a good idea to be familiar with your veterinarian’s after hours services. Accidents don’t always happen during office hours and you’ll need to know where to go at any time of the day or night. Save your vet’s phone number and the phone number of your nearest emergency clinic in your cellphone. That way you won’t have to waste time searching for phone numbers if something should happen to your dog.

Here are some guidelines which are useful to remember in an emergency.

1. Don’t panic. It’s easier said than done, but you are not going to be helpful to your dog if you are hysterical. Try to calm down and think clearly, so you can better care for him.

2. Ask a bystander to phone ahead to your veterinarian’s office so they can be prepared to help your dog as soon as you arrive.

2. Muzzle your dog. Your dog is a gentle soul who would never hurt you, but they are in pain and very scared. Any dog may bite under these circumstances, so use a soft leash around his muzzle to keep you safe.

3. If they have a wound that is bleeding heavily, put a clean cloth over the wound and apply pressure. If the cloth becomes soaked through, don’t remove it as this will disturb the blood clot and bleeding will increase. Just apply another cloth on top of it and keep up the pressure.

4. Take your dog to your veterinarian immediately. At this point it’s not critical to splint any bones or bandage any wounds. Use a flat piece of board or a blanket to move your dog into your vehicle. Slide them onto the board or blanket, while preventing any movement of their back and head.

5. Keep your dog warm. Dogs are often in shock after an accident and will feel very cold and shaky. Turn the heater in your car up, or cover him with a blanket for the trip to the vet clinic.

In Summary – If you can remember these first aid basics, your dog has the best chance of getting to your vet clinic quickly and safely after an accident.