What do you do if your pet is hit by a car?
Our pets are cherished members of our family and as such it’s incredibly upsetting to see them hurt and in distress.
It’s important to remember that, for dogs especially, their natural instinct is to run away and to brush aside any pain they may feel. Many owners fail to realise how hurt their pets are so it’s always vital to take them to the vet no matter how well they seem.
If your cat’s claws are scuffed or its pads appear sore then there’s a good chance they’ve been hurt.
Before you do anything else always make sure that the scene of an accident is made safe and secure. Once this has been done carefully move your pet to the safety of the pavement or your home – keeping them as still as possible by using a blanket or sturdy piece of board to prevent any further injury. Make sure that your vet is called immediately with brief but exact details of the accident, the condition of your pet and what actions have been taken so far. Remember to stay calm and let them know who is calling and they will be able to advise you on what to do next.
Care and attention
Any bleeding wounds should be covered with a clean cloth and a gentle amount of pressure should be applied to stem the blood. Stabilise any obviously broken limbs to the best of your ability.
It’s tempting to give animals a drink of water when you can see that they’re hurt. However, even small amounts of food or drink could make them sick and delay any operation that they may need.Instead, cover them with a warm blanket to keep them comfortable and help prevent them suffering from shock.
Handle with care
It’s important to be aware that no matter how much they love you – when an animal is scared or hurt it’s a natural reaction for them to try and bite or scratch whoever is closest to them.
For pets that are showing no signs of breathing difficulties it can be a good idea to muzzle them, especially a dog, before you try to move them or tend to their wounds. An emergency muzzle can be made by looping a bandage or gauze around their nose. However, if your pet is showing signs of breathing difficulties you should make sure that their airways are clear by removing their collar and carefully opening their mouth to check for any obstructions.
The parcel shelf from the back of your car makes a safe and sturdy stretcher if you think that your pet has suffered any spinal injuries. Ensure that your pet is secured onto it so that they cannot fall or wriggle off, especially if it’s a cat.
With any accident, whether it’s an animal or a person that’s hurt, the main thing to keep in mind is to keep calm and act quickly.