Accidentally Hurt My Dog [Dealing With It Properly]

Zack Keithy, our author, is a certified veterinarian technician (UC Blue Ash) for over 6 years (contact him here). The articles written here are based on his expertise and experience, combined with a review by our expert vet reviewers including Dr M. Tarantino. Learn more about us here.

“I accidentally hurt my dog!” As a pup owner, it can be a heartbreaking experience to go through when you have to speak this sentence.

The guilt and sadness can be overwhelming, whether from a moment of distraction or unintentional action.

But remember that it’s how you respond that counts.

Keep reading for tips on how to help them recover and move forward with your furry friend.

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What Should You Do if You Accidentally Hurt Your Dog? 

What Should You Do if You Accidentally Hurt Your Dog? 

You want to keep your pup safe, right? 

Of course, you do! 

But accidents can happen anytime.

Stay on for tips on what to do if you accidentally hurt your dog and what are the common accidents and injuries in dogs.

In addition, you’ll find tips on preventing accidents and other information.

Let’s make sure your pups get the safety they deserve!

Doggy says, you might wanna read this too: How to help a dog with broken leg poop?

Stay calm 

If you hurt your pup accidentally, it can be a heart-stopping experience.

You’re bound to feel anxious and worried about what happened. 

But unexpected things can happen even to the most attentive pet parents. 

So, your main priority is understanding how to respond when your dog gets hurt.

A good way to handle it is a calm and collected approach.

Ask yourself, 

  • “How can I help my dog?”
  • “What immediate actions should I take to care for my dog?”

Take note your dog will likely feel safer if you remain calm and composed, so try not to panic. 

Assess the situation

If you’ve accidentally hurt your beloved furry friend, look for any visible injuries right away.

And check your dog’s breathing, pulse, and level of consciousness. 

Is your dog whimpering in severe pain? 

Are they limping or showing signs of distress?

Did you accidentally stepped on its paws?

If you see any visible injury, like an open wound, don’t panic.

Act quickly and apply pressure to slow down or stop the bleeding. 

After that, gather any information needed to avoid making things worse. 

Your furry friend depends on you, so act quickly and get them the help they need.

Seek veterinary care 

Accidents involving you and your dog can be scary.

Thus, you may ask when to seek help from your vet.

Here are signs that your dog may need vet care:

  • Limping
  • Excessive drooling
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Profuse bleeding

But what if your dog doesn’t show any obvious symptoms? 

Well, it’s better to make mistakes on the side of caution and have your dog evaluated by a veterinarian.

After all, they can tell us exactly what’s wrong!

If you think that it is not an emergency situation but still want to have peace of mind, I highly recommend that you consult with an online vet.

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Thank you. The rest of the article continues below.

Doggy says, consider reading this too: How to keep a golden retrievers nose black?

Comfort your dog 

If you accidentally hurt your dog, feeling upset is natural.

Your dog is likely scared and in pain, so comforting them might sooth their feelings.

First, assess your dog’s injuries to determine if they are out of danger.

Then, provide comfort to your dog in the following ways:

  • Speak to them in a calm and soothing tone of voice.
  • Offer them plenty of water and food.
  • Keep them warm and cozy with blankets or a heating pad.
  • If they seem receptive, offer them gentle physical touches, such as petting or massaging.
  • Consider using aromatherapy or calming supplements to help soothe your dog’s nerves.
  • Allow them to sleep, even on your lap.

Although you can’t fix what happened, your emotional support helps them overcome difficult times.

Common Accidents and Injuries

Your furry friends love to run, jump, and play, but sometimes accidents can happen. 

Knowing what injuries are most common in canines is vital for your pup’s safety.

This section covers some of dogs’ most common accidents and injuries.

Let’s dive in!

Accidental kick 

Accidental kicks are a common occurrence for dog owners.

It can happen when you’re not paying attention, or your dog is doing something that makes you lose focus on them.

It can be a bit surprising and scary!

But the thing is,

Kicking accidents are usually minor and not severe enough to cause significant harm. 

Car accidents 

You know your pup is part of your family and you want to keep them safe at all times. 

But sometimes car accidents can happen, and they are traumatic for both you and your pet.

Here are some scenarios you should be aware of:

  • Dogs running into the road
  • Dogs jumping out of cars or car windows
  • Unrestrained dogs moving around inside the car
  • Dogs distracting drivers

Falling from heights 

Your four-legged companions are curious, sometimes putting them in danger when exploring their surroundings. 

Puppies, in particular, are more vulnerable to falling from heights. 

They can easily fall from various high places, such as:

  • Couch
  • An open window
  • Balcony
  • Stairs
  • Tables or countertops

While it’s natural for your dog to want to investigate its surroundings, you should keep them away from dangers like elevated areas, busy streets, or unfenced pools.

Doggy says, you might be keen to read too: When can Golden Retriever puppies go up and down stairs?

Ingesting harmful substances 

ingesting something wrong is a common dog injury

As mentioned earlier, your dog is a naturally curious creature who loves to explore its surroundings.

As a result, they can easily consume harmful substances.

Some of these substances include:

  • Human food that is toxic to dogs, such as chocolate, grapes, and onions
  • Medications that are not for dogs, such as painkillers or antidepressants
  • Household chemicals, such as cleaning products like Lysol or pesticides
  • Toxic plants to dogs, such as lilies, azaleas, and daffodils

Ingesting these substances can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures. In extreme cases, it can kill your dog.

Common injuries 

Your furry friends are like kids in many ways—they love playing, running, and having fun.

But, like kids, they can also get hurt. 

Here’s the thing. 

It’s important to know when to seek medical attention for an injury and when to treat it yourself.

So, below are the most common injuries that your dog can experience:

  • Cuts and scrapes from roughhousing or sharp objects
  • Broken bones from falls or accidents
  • Heatstroke from being in hot weather for too long
  • Ear infections from water getting trapped in their ears
  • Poisoning from eating something toxic
  • Bites from ticks and bee stings.
  • Foreign object ingestion.
  • Accidentally hit dog in the head.

If you understand the most common pet injuries, it’s easier to prevent them from happening.

Broken bones

Dogs can break bones from impacts (like getting hit by a car) or falls.

But puppies, older dogs, and those with health issues are prone to this issue from everyday activities.

So, here are some signs to look out for:

  • Difficulty moving the joint
  • Pain and stiffness
  • Swelling and bruising around the joint
  • Asymmetrical appearance, with one joint looking deformed or out of place
  • Shortening, bending, or twisting of the joint

If you notice these symptoms, take your pup to the vet immediately.

Cuts and bruises 

While dogs have thicker skin and a protective coat, they can still suffer from cuts and bruises.

But it’s only sometimes due to rough play or accidents.

The most common causes of cuts and bruises are:

  • Hitting a hard surface or object that damages small blood vessels under the skin
  • Being hit by something blunt
  • Getting cut by sharp objects such as thorns or bushes
  • Being stepped on by another animal
  • Falling from a height and hitting the ground or another surface
  • Being hit by an object moving at high speed.

Cuts or bruises are often common on the face, legs, and paws.


Did you know that burns can be quite serious injuries to your pet?

Burns can happen when dogs come in contact with things like:

  • Heat
  • Chemicals
  • Electricity
  • Friction
  • Cold
  • Radiation

And these burns can be life-threatening.

If your dog suffers a burn, their skin can become:

  • Red
  • Swollen
  • Blistered
  • Hair loss

But that’s not all – if treated incorrectly, bacteria can sneak in and cause an infection.

Additionally, classifying burns depends on how deep they go into the skin.

It’s true! 

So, if you ever see any signs of a burn on your furry friend, seek help from a vet as soon as possible.


Did you know some things can be dangerous or toxic to your furry best friend? 

And these toxins may be hiding anywhere.

From your bathroom cabinet to your backyard, and even in food, they might find on a walk or sneakily grab from your kitchen counter.

Here are signs of poisoning to watch out for:

Gastrointestinal symptoms

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Extreme drooling

Internal bleeding

  • Pale gums 
  • A racing heart 
  • Coughing up or vomiting blood 
  • Weakness 
  • Tiredness 
  • Collapsing

Kidney failure

  • Peeing more or less than usual,
  • Drinking more water, 
  • Loss of appetite

Liver failure

  • Yellow gums
  • Acting strangely or lethargic
  • Black or tarry poop
  • Collapsing due to low blood sugar

3 Tips for Preventing Accidents

As a pet owner, always take proactive measures to prevent accidents, and I gotta say, it really takes just a bit of common sense to prevent them.

Keep the following in mind so your dog won’t get hurt!

1. Supervise your dog 

Supervise your dog at all times, especially when they are near roads or in parks. 

Be careful especially if your dog is still a puppy, as they may be more likely to run off after something exciting and get lost.

2. Keep dangerous items out of reach

Keep dangerous items out of reach, like medicines or chocolates. 

If you must leave these items in your home, lock them up or keep them on a high shelf where your dog can’t reach them.

3. Use safety gear when necessary 

Using a safety collar and a leash is a good idea if your dog is around public places. 

It will help prevent accidents.

Can Dogs Hold a Grudge After Being Hurt? 

Discovering your dogs can remember negative experiences and link them with specific people or situations is intriguing.

It could be why your dog may act cautious or uneasy around someone who has previously hurt them. 

Even though they recall these negative events, it doesn’t necessarily mean they hold grudges like us. 

Moreover, dogs cannot deliberately seek revenge or harbor anger for a long time.

Instead, they may recollect past experiences and adjust their behavior accordingly.

Your pups’ memory abilities differ from yours. 

And so their short-term and episodic memory means that they tend to forget particular events soon after they happen. 

With time, love, and patience, your furry friend will probably adapt their behavior and move on from negative experiences.

Do Dogs Forgive Accidental Injuries?

Yes. It’s a relief to know that your dog can forgive accidental injuries.

But you should know that your dog can distinguish between accidental and purposeful injuries. 

If your dog is accidentally hurt, you should show immediate remorse and your dog will realize that it was unintentional.

You can’t tell what happens in a dog’s mind, but pup owners believe dogs forgive accidental injuries because they thrive on human attention and affection.

So show your dog love, care, and respect.

Does My Dog Hold a Grudge if I Scold Him for Peeing in the House? 

No, dogs don’t hold grudges as humans do. 

Your furry friend might feel scared or anxious when you scold them. But they will forgive you for your mistake.

They often walk away and sleep in the corner as a response and then forget about it.

But understand that your dog doesn’t pee inside the house on purpose. 

They might be sick, nervous, or still need training. 

Instead of scolding, figure out why it’s happening. 

And address the problem with patience and positive reinforcement.

Can Dogs Sense Your Emotions? 

Our dogs are a genuinely remarkable creature with an incredible ability to sense your emotions. 

It’s amazing how they have a unique way of picking up on subtle changes about you.

Here are some fantastic ways that your furry friends can sense your emotions that you probably didn’t know:

  • Body language

Dogs are experts at reading body language. 

They can sense when you’re happy or sad based on how you hold yourself, your facial expressions, and your movements. 

So, pay attention to how you react to your dog.

  • Tone of voice

Dogs are also sensitive to the tone of your voice.

When you’re happy, your dogs can sense your joy and respond with excitement and playfulness. 

When you’re sad, they might offer comfort, snuggling up to you and licking your face. 

And when you’re angry or upset, your dogs can sense your frustration and respond with caution or even submissiveness.

That’s why your dog knows when you’re in a bad mood.

  • Smell

Believe it or not, your pup can sense your emotions through scent. 

When stressed or anxious, your bodies release different chemicals that dogs can detect. 

It is why experts train some dogs to be emotional support animals, as they can help you through your tough times.

  • Empathy

Dogs are incredibly empathetic creatures. 

They can naturally pick up on your emotions and respond accordingly. 

If you’re feeling down, your dogs might come and cuddle with you or try to cheer us up with a playful game. 

They are your ultimate companions. They will always be by our side, no matter what.

Your pup is more than just a dog friend.

They are your emotional support partner that can sense and respond to your emotions. 

So, next time you feel down, connect to your furry friend.

Ways to Apologize to Your Dog 

So, you messed up and accidentally hurt your furry best friend? 

And now, you’re eager to make things right to show them how much you care. 

To show your dog that you are sorry, try the following:

  • Say sorry

Dogs can sense your mood by the sound of your voice.

Saying “I’m sorry” calmly and reassuringly can go a long way.

It shows your dog that you recognize your mistake and are genuinely sorry.

  • Offer them a yummy treat

A tasty treat can be a great way to show your dog you’re sorry.

Just choose a healthy option that won’t upset their stomach.

You could also make homemade dog treats to show them extra love and care.

  • Spend quality time together

Spending time with your dog can help make up for any mistakes.

Take them for a walk, play, or cuddle on the couch together.

It will not only help to ease any tension. But also strengthen your bond with your furry friend.

  • Give them a soothing massage

Dogs love getting massages like us.

Gently rub their ears, back, or belly to help them relax, destress, and feel better.

Not only does this improve your pup’s physical health. But it also helps to lessen any emotional distress.

  • Be patient and understanding

Dogs are forgiving.

Be patient and understanding.

And give them extra space and be gentle in your interactions.

Dogs are loyal and loving creatures who will always forgive your mistakes.

It can strengthen your bond with your dog by apologizing and offering them the attention they deserve.

Tips for Gaining Back Your Dog’s Trust After Accidentally Hurting Him 

Tips for Gaining Back Your Dog's Trust After Accidentally Hurting Him 

Hurting your dog by accident can be a traumatic experience.

But you do have to work at regaining their trust and keeping the relationship healthy.

Here’s how you regain your dog’s trust after accidentally hurting them:

  • Give your dog space

Your dog may need some time alone to process what happened.

Respect their boundaries and give them space if they need it. It will help them feel secure.

  • Use positive reinforcement

Use positive techniques to reward good behavior when spending time with your dog.

It will help to build positive associations and strengthen your bond. Treats, praise, and playtime are all great ways to show them you care.

  • Be patient

Regaining trust may take time, so be patient with your dog.

It may take a while to feel comfortable again. Take time with the process; don’t force interaction if they’re not ready.

  • Keep your tone calm and reassuring

Dogs can pick up on your tone of voice. So keeping a calm and reassuring tone when interacting with your dog is essential.

It will help them feel comfortable that you wouldn’t hurt them again.

  • Be consistent

Consistency is vital in regaining your dog’s trust.

Stick to a routine and follow through with any promises or commands you give.Knowing what to expect from you will help them feel safe and secure.

  • Show them your love

Dogs respond best to a loving, positive environment, so show your dog that you care for them.

Spend time, play, and give them plenty of attention. It will help them feel that you care about them.

These tips can build a strong bond and restore your relationship with your furry friend.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Why does hitting your dog make him scared of you?

Hitting your dog can make them scared of you because they associate you with pain and fear. It can make your dog aggressive or fearful in the future and damage your relationship with them.

How can I tell if my dog is in pain after an accident?

Watch for signs after an accident, such as whimpering or crying, decreased activity, and difficulty moving or standing up.

Should I give my dog pain medication after an accident?

You should not give your dog pain medication without consulting your vet first. It is because the prescription needed will vary depending on your dog’s size, age, and underlying conditions.

In Conclusion: Accidentally Hurt My Dog

I totally understand that accidentally hurting your beloved dog can be a devastating experience that leaves you feeling guilty and heartbroken.

However, it’s more important to focus on the steps you can take to help your dog recover and prevent similar incidents in the future.

Remember to always prioritize your pet’s safety and well-being, and seek professional help if needed.

Don’t fur-get to check out our other posts too:

You’ve made it to the end, but I hope it’s not the end of our journey. We want to hear your voice! Share your thoughts, problems, suggestions, or anything related to your dog in the comments section. And don’t forget to join our newsletter today too.

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Zack Keithy
Zack Keithy

Hey, I'm Zack, the Chief Editor here. I was formerly a Certified Veterinary Technician (CVT) for a good 6 years before moving on to greener pastures. Right now, I am still heavily involved in dog parenting duties, and it is my desire to share all our knowledge with fellow dog owners out there! Connect with me on LinkedIn, or read more about Daily Dog Drama!

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