caring for an elderly dog
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caring for an elderly dog

When your dog doesn't seem interested in eating his food, do you know what to do? When your dog vomits often, could there be something serious wrong with him? If he struggles to get up the stairs, does he need to see a vet? Having never owned an older dog, I knew nothing about the things that can begin to go wrong when dogs age. I adopted this guy when my neighbor moved into a nursing home and had to learn a lot about how to care for an older dog. My blog is filled with the many things that I have learned over the last year through the help of my vet.


caring for an elderly dog

Helping An Injured Dog After An Accident

Lucy Grant

It's one of a dog lover's nightmares. You're driving down the road and spot a dog lying in the street after it was hit by a car. Act quickly and you could save the dog's life. But you need to approach this rescue so as not to excite the dog and get yourself bitten. Here is what you need to know to help this unfortunate four-legged victim.

Call Ahead So the Vet Can Prepare

Step out of your car and observe the dog from a distance. Call an emergency vet and describe the situation. This will let the vet get their emergency room and staff ready to receive the animal. They may have some advice for approaching and transporting the dog to their clinic.

Calm the Animal Down

The dog will likely be in pain and afraid. They may also be in shock, especially if there are open wounds and bleeding. The dog's instincts may make it strike out at anyone trying to get near it. Your initial goal is to keep the animal calm while you secure its muzzle so it can't bite you.

  • walk slowly toward the dog while talking to them in a low and calm voice
  • keep eye contact with the dog while talking with them to help them focus on your calm demeanor
  • gently wrap a belt, tie, handkerchief or other piece of cloth around the dog's muzzle 

Stop Any Bleeding

Hold a cloth against any open and bleeding wounds to stop the flow of blood. Continue to speak to the dog while stroking its head gently and waiting for the bleeding to stop. A severe loss of blood can be more traumatic to the dog's health than a broken bone.

Secure Any Fractures Before Moving the Dog

Look for signs of a fracture, such as a deformed limb or bone fragments coming through the skin. Any fractures need to be secured before transporting the animal so they will be comfortable. Don't try to reposition a broken limb yourself. Find a way to keep it from moving while you get the animal to the emergency animal hospital.

  • wrap the limb of a small dog in a towel so the fractured bone can't move
  • for a large animal, place a stick, board or other rigid item next to the fracture and wrap it with a towel, belt or other material
  • if you can't find an item to use as a splint, slide a large board, piece of cardboard or other flat surface under the dog and secure their entire body onto it

Transporting the Dog

Getting the injured dog into your car and to the vet is easier if they are secured onto something so they can't move. If you didn't use a large flat surface as mentioned above, then find something the dog can lay on. Wrap a towel, sheet, belt or other long piece of material around the dog and flat surface. Lift the dog on the rigid surface and place it in the back seat of your car. Cover the dog with a blanket, jacket or other material to keep it warm during the car ride.

As you drive the injured animal to the vet, call the clinic to let them know you're on the way. Describe to them any details about the dog's condition that you couldn't see when you first called them.

Your Quick Response Can Save a Life

Getting an injured dog to a vet quickly will reduce the risk of shock from blood loss, further damage to the fractured bones, or complications from internal bleeding. You may be the best hope for the dog's chances of surviving the accident.