I Accidentally Hit My Dog In The Head! – Will They Be Okay?

You must know that it is very unlikely that your dog will be facing a serious head or brain trauma due to an accidental hit. Dogs have thick, protective skulls and are generally able to resist minor trauma. If your dog is conscious and seems fine, you do not need to worry. Bruising or soreness where the dog was hit can be expected, and there are ways you can alleviate their pain quickly. 

It is quite common for such accidents to happen as many pet-owners often find themselves in similar, unintentional situations. If you are concerned for your pet, you need to gauge the intensity of the hit and check your pet for signs of injury or trauma.

If it was a ball or a light object, there is probably nothing to worry about. However, you need to be more careful if a heavy or sharp object hits your dog in the head. Sometimes, there is a possible risk of head trauma, and you should know how to identify the signs of this serious condition.

Let’s go through the different possible scenarios in case your pet dog got accidentally hit in the head and the best course of action you can take. 

What to do if I accidentally hit my dog in the head?

The first thing you need to do is be there for your dog and show them lots of affection. Cuddle with your dog and make him feel safe again. You can also pat and rub the site where the dog was hit to minimize the impact.

However, all accidents differ. In case your dog was hit by a sharp, blunt, or heavy object, make sure to check for open wounds or bleeding. 

You should also take a look at his pupils, the black part in the center of the eye. Both pupils should be of equal size with the same amount of constriction when only one eye is exposed to bright light. 

Also, check if your dog is completely conscious and in control. Look out for seizures or any signs of it. You should observe if your dog is eating and drinking normally. Are they vomiting? Nausea and vomiting may point towards signs of serious head trauma.

It is normal for your dog to feel a bit low or get quiet for some time after an accident. In normal circumstances, they should be up and about and back to normal within a few hours.

What does a little bump on the dog’s head mean?

Many pet owners get extremely scared when they notice swelling or a bump on their pet dog’s head. A small bump is usually not a big deal, especially if it was a minor accident.

Simply keep a check on your dog’s overall behavior, and if you do not suspect anything odd, there is no reason to worry. 

One way to reduce the swelling or bruising is to gently apply a cold compress for 5-10 minutes, several times throughout the day. You can simply use a bag of frozen peas or an ice cube wrapped in a cloth to do this.

Within a few days, the bump should go away on its own.

What to do if there is an open wound on the dog’s head?

An open wound, cut, or some bleeding can be a source of pain for your dog. You can take some steps to alleviate the situation.

To slow down the bleeding, take a clean cloth and apply direct pressure on the bleeding wound. You must call the hospital or take your pet dog to the vet in this case.

Symptoms of Head Trauma

Serious accidents or a hard-hitting blow can result in head trauma in dogs. Head trauma can be extremely dangerous and possibly fatal as the swelling in the brain, if left untreated, can result in seizures, coma, and death. 

Although this is not very common, it would be useful for you to know the signs of head trauma in dogs so you can get help on time. 

The signs of head trauma are very similar in dogs and humans. If you observe cuts, bruises, and bleeding along with the following symptoms- it may indicate head trauma:

  • Confusion
  • Dilated pupils
  • Lethargy
  • Disorientation
  • Flaccid or rigid limps
  • Abnormal eye movements
  • Vomiting
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Bleeding from ears or nose
  • Paralysis
  • Death

If you notice one or more of these symptoms, you should take your dog to a professional veterinarian right away. 

Types of Head Trauma in Dogs

One of the most common types of head traumas in dogs is a concussion. Concussions can be treated, and generally, dogs can make a full recovery if treatment is not delayed. In some circumstances, permanent brain damage can be caused by an untreated concussion.

Another type of head trauma is when there is bleeding in the brain. This is very serious as it creates increased pressure in the skull, which can cause severe damage to the nerves and brain cells.

Swelling of the brain is another form of head trauma due to which the brain becomes too large and starts to lose its function. 

While rushing to the hospital, it is crucial that you keep your pet dog calm and help prevent it from going into shock. 

Final words

A word of caution about head traumas is important when it comes to serious accidents. However, in mild accidents, your pet dog will not be affected and should feel okay soon. So, you do not need to worry or panic unless you observe any major symptoms in your doggo.

Some people also wonder whether their pet dog will remember if their owner hit them. You should be reassured that dogs live in the moment, and their brains don’t really look back on the past like humans do.  

One thing is for sure, dogs can read human emotions very well as they are super smart and intuitive creatures. So, if you’ve accidentally hit your dog, the best thing you can do is cuddle and give your pet some extra loving, so they know you’re always here for them.


  • Brad

    Hi I'm Brad, the founder of bulldogpapa.com. Having been a vet of 6 years I work alongside our team to provide valuable insight into your dog's health. I have a frenchie myself named Senzu who is my pride and joy!