One of our biggest fears as pet owners is our pet getting loose and getting hit by a vehicle. If your pet is hit by a car, it's a terrifying and distressing emergency situation that requires immediate action to ensure their safety and well-being. Here's a step-by-step guide on what to do if your pet is hit by a car: 

  • Ensure Your Own Safety:

Before rushing to your pet's aid, ensure your own safety. Check for oncoming traffic and move cautiously to avoid any additional accidents or injuries. 

  • Approach Your Pet Calmly:

Approach your pet calmly and gently, speaking to them in a soothing tone to reassure them. Be cautious, as injured animals may be frightened and may react defensively or attempt to flee. 

  • Assess Their Condition:

Carefully assess your pet's condition, checking for any visible injuries or signs of distress. Look for bleeding, difficulty breathing, broken bones, or signs of shock, such as pale gums, rapid heartbeat, or weakness. 

  • Provide First Aid:

Administer first aid where possible, but be cautious to avoid causing further harm. If your pet is bleeding, apply gentle pressure to the wound with a clean cloth or bandage to control the bleeding. If they're having difficulty breathing, gently stabilize their head and neck to prevent further injury. 

  • Move Them Safely:

If it's safe to do so and your pet is small enough to lift without causing further harm, carefully move them to a safe location away from traffic. Use a blanket or towel as a makeshift stretcher to support their body and prevent additional injuries. 

  • Seek Immediate Emergency Veterinary Care:

Transport your pet to the nearest veterinary clinic or emergency animal hospital as quickly as possible. Call ahead to inform them of the situation and ensure they're prepared to provide prompt medical attention upon arrival. 

  • Stay Calm and Reassuring:

Remain calm and reassuring for your pet throughout the ordeal. Your presence and comfort can help alleviate their anxiety and stress during this traumatic experience. 

  • Follow Veterinary Instructions:

Once at a veterinary clinic, follow the instructions provided by the veterinary staff. They'll assess your pet's condition, perform necessary diagnostic tests, and recommend appropriate treatment options based on the extent of their injuries. 

  • Consider Your Pet's Recovery:

After initial treatment, your pet may require ongoing care including medication, rest, and monitoring. Follow your veterinarian's recommendations closely to ensure the best possible outcome for your pet's recovery. 


A pet being hit by a car is a terrifying experience but knowing how to respond calmly and effectively can make a significant difference in their potential recovery. By prioritizing their safety, providing immediate first aid, and seeking prompt veterinary care, you can give your pet the best chance of overcoming their injuries and returning to health. 

Longevity Veterinary Center offers urgent and emergency pet care, including for trauma such as this, seven days a week until 12 midnight. If possible, call ahead at (973) 606-1101 to let us know that you are on your way.