About Dog Injuries

About Dog InjuriesJust like people, dogs can suffer injuries on the trail. Before you leave on a trip with your pup, learn some basic canine first aid and know the closest emergency veterinarian clinic.


Abrasions stay superficial on the skin and might cause minor bleeding. Just like a scrape on a human, abrasions aren't life threatening but need thorough cleaning.


Cutting deeper into tissue, lacerations result from blunt trauma. Everything from barbed wired to stinks can cause a laceration while your dog bounds down a trail. Lacerations might require stitches. Clean the wound and head to the vet.

Strains and Sprains

Dogs can pull a muscle or tear a tendon if they're overzealous during activity. Minor strains and sprains don't require medical attention, but you should call it a day and let your dog rest.


From a campfire or a dropped pot of hot water, burns on a dog can be mild or life threatening. Cool burns with cool water and head to the vet.


Even though dogs are closer to the ground and lighter on their feet, a misstep or fall can cause a broken bone. Carry your dog back to the trailhead and seek medical attention.

Worn Paws

A dog can overuse the pads on his paws, causing sores, abrasions and burns. Check your dog's pads to watch for wear. For longer trips, consider a pair of canine boots.

Article Written By Kathrine Cole

Kathrine Cole is a professional outdoor educator. She teaches rock climbing, backpacking, cycling, and bike maintenance classes. She is a graduate of the National Outdoor Leadership School, a Wilderness First Responder, and a Leave No Trace Trainer.

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