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My pet has been hit by a car

What to do it your pet gets hit by a car:

  • Make sure the accident scene is safe before proceeding to prevent further injury to you or your pet.  Move your pet away for further danger.
  • Call, or have someone call, your vet and describe the animal - give a short description of what has happened and what has been done.  Give your name and telephone number and act on the vet's advice.  Your pet will need to be seen by the vet immediately.
  • Cover any wounds with a clean cloth and apply gentle pressure to stop any bleeding.
  • Do not give any food or drink as it might make them sick or they might need an operation when they get to the veterinary clinic.
  • Keep them warm to help prevent shock by covering them with a blanket or towel but do not let them get too hot.
  • Be aware that injured animals will be scared or in pain so they may scratch or bite so handle them with care.  Dogs in pain or shock can bite especially when frightened so an emergency muzzle can be made with some bandage or tape to loop over the dog's nose before transporting or handling.  Only use a muzzle IF the animal is not having breathing difficulties.
  • If the animal is having trouble breathing, maintain an open airway by removing the collar, open the mouth and check for obstructions.
  • Use either a towel or the parcel shelf from your car can be used as a stretcher if spinal injuries are suspected, to transport the animal to the veterinary surgery.  Cats would need to be carried more securely.
  • When any animal has been involved in a road accident, always take them to the vet to be checked over as they may be more injured than they first appear.
  • If you think your cat may have been in a road accident but you are not sure, check your cat's paws.  It your cat has been hit by a car its claws may be very scuffed or missing and the pads of its feet may look sore.

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