What If I Accidentally Hit My Dog In The Head?

(Last Updated On: April 5, 2023)

Is It Bad Hitting Your Dog In The Head?

When you must say the phrase, “I accidentally hit my dog in the head!” It’s not the best way to go about it. However, it was at the very least an accident! It’s possible that the impact was more flashing than serious.

It’s likely to not be the last time your dog is caught in the head due to an accident or due to an unintentional tennis ball or a pet that is overly enthusiastic.

(Remember that it’s not a good idea to intentionally hit your dog as a method of punishment or to instruct… however, you’ve already known that.)

It’s not difficult to imagine grieving terribly over the events of yesterday.

Although head injury in dogs is a serious issue, it’s comforting to know that dogs have more robust skulls than humans, which shield them well from all kinds of knocks and bumps.

Don’t stress about it too much!

So, What Happens When A Dog Gets Hit In The Head?

It is well-known that dogs- despite being blessed with incredible speed, agility, athleticism, and jump ability are prone to plunge head-first into everything without even a second thought.

In this way, puppies’ skulls have been designed an attempt to shield them from the most serious fall and bumps.

Each puppy is born with wide fontanelles (areas inside the skull that aren’t connected, leaving the brain open) They quickly become joined to fibrous tissues along those suture lines.

As early as two to three months in a dog’s lifespan its skull will fully be calcified into bone. The earliest point is the fontanelles should be fully shut by six months old.

This way they can be assured that their hard and thick skulls protect pups and dogs from harming their brains whenever they come into contact with things with their heads.

What Can You Do To Help Your Dog Recover?

Even if there’s minimal or no danger of serious injury to the brain or head Your dog’s head could be painful in the area where it was struck.

If you notice some bruises or redness or bruising, it is relaxing to place a compress or ice over the area all day, for between 10 and 15 minutes an interval. This can help reduce swelling and allow your dog to feel more at ease.

If the skin of your dog has been damaged and is bleeding, you’ll have to follow these steps:

  • Control circulation of blood by making use of pressure, or styptic powder
  • Wash and clean the area around the wound as well as
  • Apply a breathable bandage to the cut area to protect it from bacteria and hair.

If your dog’s not bleeding or bruised, then you’re to be fine! It isn’t necessary to do anything specific to help the healing process, but should you be concerned, it’s never a bad idea to keep a check on him throughout the duration.

Can Hit A Dog In The Head Cause Brain Damage? How Do I Know If My Dog Has A Head Injury?

As we’ve learned in the earlier section, dogs possess massively thick skulls as an enormous muscle mass (read padding) on their head. The combination of these two factors can help prevent the majority of instances of head injuries that are serious.

But head injuries can still occur and, when they do, they can be just as hazardous in dogs as for human beings. The most frequent reasons for a head injury in dogs are crashes in cars, falls at high altitudes as well as rough play with canine peers.

If the impact that was accidental on the head of your dog was very powerful, you’ll want to ensure that your dog is safe mentally and physically.

This can be done by looking for a few of the various signs of head injuries like:

  • Blood on the forehead, as well as around or near the eyes, the nose
  • Eyes that aren’t even or a confused stare
  • Problems with walking and balance
  • The loss of consciousness and trouble getting up
  • Confusion
  • Paralysis
  • Lethargy
  • Seizures

Alternately, here’s an easy 5-item list of questions that you can use to assess the possibility of a brain injury for a dog that is hit with a head injury:

Does the animal lose all consciousness for any length of time?

They can be nauseated when they’re suffering from head trauma. Have you experienced vomiting episodes?

What do the dogs’ pupils appear? Are they well-focused, evenly sized, and are they constricting when illuminated by a torch?

Are the gums pink (normal) or are they gray and pale?

The most common rule is that for brain injury in dogs there must be some indication that the dog is unable to communicate. In the absence of that, the dog is ill, it will likely be in good health!

If your dog’s condition and behavior are causing you to be concerned in any way (such as unusual sleeping patterns or grogginess during the hours that follow) it is recommended to visit the vet immediately to have a thorough exam.

It’s better to be safer than sorry because the swelling of the head caused by trauma can cause an involuntary coma – and possibly death not treated.

What Are The Different Types Of Head Injuries?

There are many different kinds of injuries that may result from injuries to the skull, head, and brain.


Concussions are the most commonly reported type of injury that is caused by injury to the head. It’s defined as the brain’s being subjected to severe impact with the skull, leading to some kind of damage, either long-term or short-term.


A contusion that is related to head injuries occurs when there is a sharp and specific impact on the head which causes bleeding and bruising on the top of the brain. It’s most often seen in conjunction with coup-contrecoup-related injuries.


A coup-contrecoup injury occurs when the force of a major impact on the head on one side results in a contusion on the point of contact, and on the other part of the brain when it strikes the skull.

Diffuse Axonal

Diffuse Axonal traumas are characterized by the nerve tissue being torn because of strong shaking or rotating forces. The tearing of nerve tissue signifies that the damage spreads over a wide range of areas within the brain. This could lead to prolonged and life-threatening injury.

How Do You Know If Your Dog Has A Concussion? The Procedure To Follow: 

If your dog receives a hard hit on the head, there’s the possibility that it will be in shock because of the fear and pain.

It is crucial to watch out for any indications of shock as it could be a life-threatening issue if it arises directly from head injuries. A few of the signs of shock could include:

  • Convulsions or shivers
  • Weakness
  • Rapid breathing
  • Unpredictably rapid or irregular (but fragile) pulse
  • Grey, pale or blue gums
  • The body’s temperature is reduced.
  • Frenzy or lethargy.
  • Pre-Treatment At Home

If you want to treat a dog in shock, it is suggested to ensure that the dog is kept as warm and calm as you can. This can be accomplished by wrapping or covering the dog in a blanket or towel.

If your dog is asleep it is important to ensure that the dog’s breathing isn’t hindered or affected in any manner. Inspect the mouth inside to make sure the tongue of your dog is placed as wide in the direction of its travel as is possible to ensure that the airway stays open.

At The Vet’s Office

If you show up at the vet’s clinic with your injured, damaged puppy, the necessary steps will most likely be put in place immediately to assist it on its journey to healing.

This could include administering IV fluids to stave against dehydration, as well as the administration of anti-inflammatory medications to reduce swelling and pain.

When the supporting processes are in place the dog is then closely monitored and inspected to determine if there are any signs of swelling in the brain or injury similar to those mentioned in the previous section.

In order to accomplish it, the animal will be required to undergo MRI and CAT scans in order to examine the issue clearly. If there is evidence of swelling corticosteroids and diuretics can be used to provide the needed relief.

Do Dogs Forgive You When You Accidentally Hurt Them?

Dogs won’t forgive in and of themselves.

But, it’s because they don’t have a real idea of what it takes to forgive!

Forgiveness is a human virtue as it gets and it simply isn’t present in the dog’s view of reality.

Dogs, as with almost every other animal, are entirely at the current moment. It means they are able to move fast from any isolated incidents that may occur during their daily lives and do not attach any additional significance to their experiences.

Canines are not able to possess the emotional power to be angry, to sulk, or on the other end, on the other hand, to forgive.

If an incident occurs that is accidental and does not happen again the dog will surely display emotion at the time (cowering or hiding, yelling) however, they will immediately forget about it when they realize that the time has passed.

Thus in the event that the incident was unintentional and you explain it in a positive way to your pet they will be able to understand that there was no motive to do so. In such cases, the dog will forget about the strike and will be as content as ever!

Will My Dog Forgive Me For Hitting Him?

While dogs do not generally understand the concept of forgiveness They have mastered the art of learning and observing the body’s signals and intentions by repetition.

Pavlov proved this with his classic conditioning experiments where he proved that dogs can be trained and influenced to connect two closely connected events.

Canines can be taught through repetition, which means that should be hit is frequent, they’ll quickly be able to recognize the correct reaction to the incident, and also the methods to stay clear of it as much as possible.

The constant snacking will also cause irreparable psychological harm and the subsequent loss of confidence. The pet will eventually learn to be scared because of the way they behave, body expression, voice tone, and the emotional state the owner displays.

Additionally, dogs are skilled at interpreting the intentions of their owners. If you were planning in retaliating against your dog by hitting it, it’ll learn to be afraid of your actions based on how you talk and move.

If you happen to encounter a pet the dog will in all instances realize that there was no malicious intent in the incident, and will “forgive you by getting over the incident in the hope that you forget it ever occurred!

How Do I Say Sorry To My Dog?

While we’ve come to the conclusion that dogs do not hold grudges and don’t expect owners to ask to forgive. If like me, you’ll still need to explain the situation to your dog if you’ve caused harm to them in some way.

How can you apologize to your pet?

What’s really crucial to your pet’s motive for your actions? And If it’s obvious that there wasn’t any malicious motive the pet will wish to leave and continue to be as loving as ever. (Awww…)

It is always a good idea to reinforce the absence of any ill-natured intentions towards your dog by making a noise about the incident and then giving it a huge cuddle.

It is also possible to give an extra treat after the dog has settled down. This will ensure that your dog understands that whatever has happened before was only accidental from your side.

In the final analysis, dogs are extremely clever, yet uncomplicated creatures. Even when a minor unpleasant or painful incident occurs it is unlikely that they will be habitual to it so long as the interactions around them are all enjoyable.

Although they may not be as sophisticated as humans, canines respond to affection and love in a strikingly comparable way.

Being a social and emotional pack animal the dog’s primary instinct is to show unconditional love and affection unless there is a valid reason to do so. Therefore, you should be grateful for your pet and treat your dog the best you can!

Related Article: What Should I Do if Poked My Dog’s Eye Accidentally?

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