Accidents and injuries

Dogs are inquisitive and often fearless creatures so it’s no surprise that some are bound to find themselves hurt or even involved in an accident. These can vary in severity and cause, with accidents resulting in injuries in different areas of the body.

The most common accidents and injuries we see are:

  • Wounds
  • Nail Injury
  • Fractured Leg
  • Road Traffic Accident
  • Trauma
  • Accidental Injury
  • Soft Tissue Injury
  • Fractured Paw
  • Eye Injury
  • Stifle Injury
  • Toe Injury
  • Fractured Pelvis

Once treated, old or past injuries often cause other conditions such as osteoarthritis as the dog ages.


As there are many ways a dog could be injured, you might not always know that they’ve hurt themselves. Luckily, there are several signs that can help you determine if your dog is in pain. These include:

  • Guarding an area of their body
  • Growling or snapping when touched
  • Crying when touched
  • Low energy or sleeping more
  • Loss of appetite
  • Bleeding
  • Excessive grooming
  • Stiffness or limping

Owners are often present when a dog hurts themselves and it can be quite distressing to watch, but it’s important to stay calm and call the vets as soon as possible.


There are several possible ways a dog could hurt themselves, some more serious than others. Play, running, falling, jumping, fights and accidents can all result in injuries which may vary from a scratch or bruise to sprained muscles and broken bones.

Prevention and treatment

While it’s not possible to prevent all types of injuries in dogs, there are several factors that play a part and recognising the risks can help your dog avoid hurting themselves.

The right amount and kind of exercise

All dogs need a warmup and cool-down period before and after they have been exercised. Puppies, older dogs, and those with existing medical conditions need a slower pace of play to help reduce the risk of injuries or worsening an existing condition.

Exercise for young dogs can be increased as they grow which helps promote healthy bone, muscle and joint development.

Controlling your dog

Keeping your dog on a lead near roads can help prevent a road traffic accident, where your dog could end up seriously injured. Even the best-behaved dogs can find themselves in the way of traffic as anything can catch their eye or spook them.

Play with appropriate toys

If dogs play with toys that are too big or too hard, this can result in injury when they try to catch them or are hit by the object while playing. Sticks and debris found on walks should also be avoided as playthings, as they could cause some serious damage to a dog’s mouth and internal organs. The same also applies to balls, as playing fetch or catch with a ball that’s too hard could result in damage to your dog’s teeth.

Consider the environment

The areas in which a dog plays can play a big factor in injuries or accidents. Keep an eye on your pet as they play or explore and watch for extremely hot or cold surfaces, sharp objects or debris, holes, fences, protruding branches and deep water.

Contact your vet if your dog is hurt or involved in an accident, or speak to a Joii vet, free of charge to every Animal Friends customer with any dog insurance policy, if you notice any changes in your dog’s behaviour or if they show any signs of pain.

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Animal Friends Insurance is a multi-award winning FCA-regulated pet insurer, founded in 1998 to provide industry-leading pet insurance and first-class animal care to create a better life for every animal.
As one of the UK’s largest pet insurance providers, Animal Friends works with vets, veterinary professionals, and partners pioneering the latest veterinary technology & healthcare advancements to achieve our vision.
Our policyholders have helped donate over £7.8 million to more than 700 animal charities worldwide and by educating and inspiring others to act on current events and responsible pet ownership, Animal Friends is driving positive change for animal welfare and conservation.