If you are part of the 38.4% of U.S. households that own dogs, this article is a must-read. Our pets are exposed to different traffic accidents, including being in the vehicle when a crash occurs or getting hit by a passing car. Therefore, it is best to be prepared for such a scenario and know what steps to take.
In the following, we will cover the main steps to take if your pets get hurt by a vehicle and how to keep them safe during a car ride.
The Main Steps To Take
This is a general outline of the main steps to follow after a dog was injured in a car accident. Therefore, regardless of the specific circumstances of the incident, you can rely on this short guide.
Approach Your Pet
Try to remain as calm as you can and slowly approach your dog. They are probably scared and could use some reassurance. If you believe it is safe for you, try petting them. Also, address your pet in a soothing voice. Hearing their beloved owner will have a balming effect on their distress.
Muzzling Your Dog
Some experts recommend muzzling the dog in such situations. While this is the safest route to take, you should do this only if you assess a possible danger, as it can bring on added stress. Many elements factor into this, including the severity of injuries, if they are used to being muzzled, and any history of attacks. Also, if they are already having breathing difficulties, it is not advised to use a muzzle.
Keep Your Dog Comfortable
Start by checking if your dog has any difficulty breathing. If they do—and your dog is immobile or safely contained, remove the collar immediately. If they seem unconscious but have no problem breathing, carefully place them into the recovery position on their right side.
You can increase their level of comfort by wrapping them into a fluffy blanket. If they have expressed a liking to a particular blanket in the past, use that one. This will also help them calm down and feel safe. Make sure that their face, mainly the nose and mouth, is not covered.
Call a Vet
Phone your vet or one that is closest to the scene. Describe what happened and ask for guidance on how you can help your pet in that specific situation. If it is possible, transport the victim to the vet yourself. However, if your dog is not stable enough or you are unable to do this, ask for support from the vet.
Sharing a Ride With Your Dog
Now that both pet ownership and travel are on the rise, it is more important than ever to stay well informed about your dog’s safety during the ride. Depending on the state, there are different rules and regulations about having a pet passenger. Before you embark on a journey, make sure to learn the requirements in your state about restraining your dog in the vehicle.
Even if it is not mandatory in all states to have your dog restrained while in the car, doing so will increase the safety of your four-legged friend. There is even an ongoing replacement program for dog’s car safety harnesses following an accident.
If you do get involved in a traffic accident while driving with your pet, first ensure that both of you are safe. In this case, proceed with the main steps to follow after a car accident, but at the same time, you need to look after your travel companion as well. Make sure to go through the steps outlined above to give your friend the best chance at recovery.
Consider getting legal representation from experts like Jacoby & Meyers law firm and trust them to handle all legal procedures. This will allow you to fully dedicate your focus to your own recovery and that of your dog.
One important aspect to remember in such situations is your own safety. Before attending to your pet, make sure that you are safe and stable. Otherwise, you will not be able to offer the care and attention that your dog will need from you.
About the Author: Maureen Lunde
Maureen Lunde is an experienced writer who is proud to be associated with jacobyandmeyers.com. She has dedicated her career to represent the most common car events, personal injuries, and other related topics. Beyond the legal career, Maureen takes the responsibility to raise awareness about car accidents. By sharing her expertise, she hopes to empower people to act against any prejudice.