Dogs are great at lots of things (like sloppy good-morning kisses, heart-warming cuddles, and hours-long games of fetch), but they’re not always great at avoiding accidents and injuries. Keep your doggo safe by checking out these 10 common accidents and injuries common with puppies.
Foreign Body Ingestion
Dogs (especially puppies) explore the world with their mouth. That means your doggo can easily have an object lodged in their throat, or swallow something sharp or non-digestible, causing life-threatening problems.
Puppies in particular (especially when teething) are known to chew almost anything within reach, so keep a close watch on your pup! Using positive reinforcement can teach your pup what’s okay and not okay to put in their mouth. If you suspect your dog has swallowed an inanimate object, contact your vet right away.
Insect Sting or Bite
Dogs are both curious and playful by nature, which can result in bites or stings from insects. In addition to being painful, bug bites and stings can cause allergic reactions in dogs. If you believe your dog’s been bit or stung by an insect and is showing any allergic reaction or other concerning symptoms like swelling, vomiting or difficulty breathing, you’ll want to get them to an emergency clinic as soon as possible.
Bite wounds can occur when your dog has encroached on another dog, cat, or wild animal’s territory. Signs of a bite wound include a puncture site, blood, limping and whimpering. If your dog has a bite wound, it’s best to take them to a vet right away to so they can clean and assess the damage. If a small dog has been bitten or attacked by another animal, it’s imperative they’re taken to a vet right away as these wounds can be life-threatening, often impacting their organs and bones.
A ripped or torn nail can sometimes happen during rough play or when it catches on certain fabrics or materials. When this happens, it can be pretty painful for your dog and signs will include limping and/or bleeding. If bleeding occurs but doesn’t stop soon after the injury, or if the torn nail did not fully detach, you’ll want to contact your vet right away.
If your pup has a tooth injury, you’ll likely be able to see the damage (bleeding, broken or dangling tooth). You’ll want to assess the damage, but depending on the pain, they may not let you take a closer look. If you suspect your dog has injured any teeth (or gums), it’s best to contact your vet so they can take a closer look and help eliminate any additional issues.
Drug Toxicity or Overdose
Drug toxicity or overdose can occur when your pup accidentally ingests over-the-counter medicine prescribed for humans, misuse of veterinarian prescribed medication, or allergic reactions. It’s best to always keep human meds sealed tightly in their proper pill bottles or containers, and stored away from countertops and other easy-to-grab places. Never give your dog medicine without consulting with your vet first.
According to experts, The ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) is your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435. A consultation fee may apply.
Eye injures are common and can happen for a variety of reasons. A dog’s eye(s) can become injured from a cat swat, dogfight, running through outdoor plant life, running into indoor furniture, or hanging their head out the car window. Signs of eye trauma include discharge, squinting and excess tears, eye redness, bulging, and swelling. Eye injuries have the potential to quickly become severe, so please be sure to connect with your vet if early symptoms occur.
Poisoning or Plant Toxicity
Dogs love trying new things. Unfortunately, sometimes that includes toxic substances. To keep your pupper safe, ensure dangerous items like human food, cleaning liquids, and toxic plants are out of reach of even the most adventurous dog. Check out ASPCA’s master list of toxic and pet-safe plants to learn more about the dangerous items in your home and how to keep them away from a wandering nose (and mouth).
Again, experts recommend ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center (APCC) as your best resource for any animal poison-related emergency, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call (888) 426-4435. A consultation fee may apply.
Muscle or joint trauma
Muscle or ligament injuries can happen during incidents like rough play or chasing (especially if your dog is older or doesn’t get regular exercise). Sprains are common as dogs tend to run and roughhouse too hard. The most common physical sign of a sprain or muscle injury is limping. Depending on the strain, it can affect important tendons in your dog’s body, so it’s best to check in with your vet if your pup is experiencing any kind of muscle injury.
Back (or spinal) injuries can be genetically predisposed or brought on by minor or major traumas. Small dogs with long backs are especially prone to back injuries (like slipped discs), particularly if jumping from furniture or ledges. For these dogs, weight management and ramps or steppers can help reduce risk. Regardless of your dog’s size, if they’re showing signs of possible back pain, be sure to call your vet as soon as possible. Acute pain symptoms include a stiff, crouched back, trembling, and yelping when touched.
Thankfully, at Companion Protect® (CP), our doggos have up to 90% coverage for common accidents and injuries. Though accidents and injuries are common, they can happen when you least expect it. That’s where we can help. With Companion Protect, you’ll have the coverage you need to make sure financial barriers don’t impact your pet’s healthcare when the unexpected happens. Click here to get a no-obligation quote today.
P.S. Curious about cats? Read more!
Shayne has a few years experience in digital marketing, content creation and animal care, with her previous role as New Media Intern at The Humane League. In her free-time she loves to cycle (with her dog on her back) and practice yoga. A social cause she cares about is climate change, the welfare of factory farmed animals, and racial equality. Her favorite food is vegan mac & cheese.