Pet injuries and accidents you didn’t see coming - here’s what to do


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Pet injuries and accidents

Your pet is practically your baby and you do everything to protect them but sadly, there are accidents that happen that you have no control over. We’re taking a look at some common pet injuries and accidents and what you should do.

It can often seem that the thing your pet is the best at is hurting themself or getting into some kind of trouble. Some little injuries and accidents can be funny but others are slightly more serious and may require some medical attention. It’s a good idea to make sure you know what to do.

We’ve outlined some common injuries and accidents that could happen with some tips on what to do!

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Surprise accidents and what to do

Remember, although many accidents are unforeseen, you need to try your best to remain calm, your animal feeds off of your energy. Try your best to help your pet in the calmest way possible to keep them calm.

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Ingesting something foreign

Some pets, especially pups are known for eating or chewing on just about anything. Vets have removed the weirdest objects from animals.

Some things that animals ingest aren’t too harmful like eating leftovers or accidentally swallowing a fly but others may require some additional attention. Try to make sure there aren’t weird things lying around when your pet is unsupervised - just to be safe!

If your pet starts vomiting repeatedly and doesn’t want to eat anything (not even a treat) for longer than a day, it’s time to take them to the vet for a check-up. If your fur-baby has thrown up once or twice and is still interested in eating or drinking and is active and alert, don’t feed them for 24 -36 hours to see if the vomiting or diarrhoea subsides. Make sure they have lots of water though!

If the vomiting or diarrhoea hasn’t stopped, then head on over to the vet to get your fur-baby checked out.

Related: One of the most common pet insurance claims: foreign body removal

Bee and other insect stings

These are a little bit difficult to avoid.

Bites and stings can happen anywhere - their paws, body but mostly it occurs on their face or head. You’ll probably notice that your fur-baby has been stung or bitten if there’s swelling or they seem irritated. Apply some ice to the area to get the swelling to go down and check to see if you can find a stinger.

Use a card or something else flat and rigid to scrape it out. Do not squeeze the area at all. If your pet has an allergic reaction and you notice a large amount of swelling especially on the head or neck, this can affect their breathing. Make sure to check if there’s a stinger in their tongue or the roof of their mouth. If they have been stung anywhere in these areas, take your pet to your veterinarian immediately.

Torn or broken nail

A torn or broken nail can occur if your pet’s nails become too long or if they’re a little more rambunctious than they should be!

A torn or broken nail can often result in a relatively large amount of bleeding which can get a little messy. Don’t worry though, in many instances, the injury is superficial and won’t require medical attention. But if your pet’s nail rips and it cannot be easily pulled off, it may mean a trip to the vet is necessary so that it can be trimmed beyond the crack under sedation.

If you accidentally cut too far when trimming your pet’s nails yourself, use styptic powder, baking soda or even flour to help the blood clot, once the bleeding has slowed, apply a bandage around their paw for around 5 to 10 minutes.

If the bleeding won’t stop, you should take your fur-kid to the vet.


Many plants, human medications, household chemicals and even common foods like grapes, chocolates, onions, and chewing gum can make your pet really ill or even cause death. Make sure you keep any potentially poisonous items away from your fur-baby.

Also be wary of any weird things thrown into your garden that could be used to poison your pups, just be extra vigilant.

If you think your pet has eaten something poisonous, call your vet immediately for advice or take them straight there.

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Dehydration and heatstroke are super common in pets that are elderly, overweight, or short-faced breeds like bulldogs. It can occur in all pets though, especially in our hot South African summers.

Dehydration may occur in any sick animal that has been vomiting or has not been eating for any number of reasons.

Common signs of dehydration include sunken eyes, lethargy, very heavy breathing and panting and dry mouth. To avoid heatstroke, be mindful about exercising your pet in hot weather, make sure they always have access to shade and plenty of water.

Pro tip: On exceptionally hot summer days, keep a damp towel close-by for your pooch to lay on. 

One thing we absolutely cannot stress enough is - NEVER leave your pet in a car in warm weather.

Hit by a car

This one is possibly the scariest that can happen.

Injuries from being hit by a car can range from minor to fatal, and many can be hidden. To prevent this from ever happening, keep your pet on a leash, don’t let them run out the gate or try and keep them under control at all times.

If you see or suspect a car has hit an animal, try to stabilise any obvious injuries by wrapping them with something soft like a towel or a jacket, and take them straight to the vet. You ever know what can happen once an animal has been hit so getting medical help as soon as you can is the best thing to do.

We hope these tips have been helpful and remember to stay calm and give your fur-baby lots of love when they’re under the weather.

Read: Should I get my pet microchipped?

Accidents are things we don’t see coming and can result in high costs so it might be a great idea to investigate pet insurance and make sure you’re always covered!


Yours in cuddly and comprehensive pet insurance,


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