While puppies are cute and adorable, they’re also clumsy and curious, which makes them prone to accidents. This is why it is not unusual to see a puppy falling off beds and couches or running into walls.

So, you dropped your puppy; that’s no reason to panic! Puppies are not as fragile as we think, so do not conclude that your puppy is hurt just because you accidentally dropped him.

However, if the puppy appears to be in pain or if things don’t appear okay, then the safe thing to do in such circumstances will be to check for open wounds, head trauma, broken bones, or joint pain. And if you suspect any injury, take the pup to a veterinarian.

Dogs are not exactly as agile or as surefooted as cats, so you must be mindful of them at all times to avoid accidents. It is rear to see a puppy land on all four paws, so the slightest little tumble can bring them down.

Your Puppy Fell off the Couch; What Next?

Granted, puppies are not that fragile, but that is not an excuse to leave your pup unattended after a fall because it could still be in danger even where there are no apparent signs of injury, especially where it falls on its head.

Injured puppy on woman lap

The best way to check the puppy’s neurological response will be to flash a light in its eyes to see if its pupils contract, and if it doesn’t, then something is wrong, and the pet should be rushed to the vet. Falling asleep or showing signs of lethargy could be a brain injury symptom.

You can also look for signs of surface bleeding, cuts, or noticeable limp or broken bones. And if your dog struggles to move after falling, it could be a sign of a neck, back, or head injury.

Symptoms at a Glance

Accidents are common occurrences for puppies due to their curious and clumsy nature. While puppies are not as fragile as we might think, it is important to be mindful of their safety and well-being at all times, especially after a fall.

Checking for signs of injury after your puppy fell off your couch or bed, and seeking veterinary attention when necessary are crucial steps to ensure that your puppy stays healthy and happy.

Taking the necessary precautions to prevent accidents in the first place can also go a long way in keeping your furry friend safe.

Smaller Injuries can be Handled at Home

Injuries like scrapes and cuts are easily treatable and can be handled at home if the puppy appears okay and if the fall of the couch was not from a high level. With a bit of tender care, your puppy will be fine.

What to do when the Injury is Serious?

If your Puppy has jumped off the chouch and there are signs of serious injury. Immediately limit the mobility of your dog. To do this, you can wrap the puppy in a towel or other material that restricts its movements.

This will prevent the injury from becoming worse. Lay the puppy on a flat surface in cases of suspected head, spine, or neck injury. Make sure the puppy is lying on its side by wedging it with a large wooden tray or piece of flat wood.

Cover the puppy with a blanket and immediately transport him to the veterinary clinic.

Types of Puppy Injuries

Below are examples of possible injuries that could occur when your puppy fell off couch and cried:

Is Your Puppy in Shock?

It is essential to recognize a shock in your pup quickly so you can administer first aid quickly. But what does a state of shock look like? If your puppy has a shock, it is usually very weak – sometimes even unconscious.

Typical signs of shock in dogs:

  • Rapid pulse: After your Puppy fell off couch you can feel the pulse on the inside of the thigh of a dog. Grasp the animal’s thigh so your fingers are on the inside and your thumb on the outside. In the middle of the inner thigh, feel for a groove between the muscles. By applying gentle pressure here, you can feel the pulse of the femoral artery. Normally, the pulse is about 80 to 120 beats per minute, but it can be higher in young, very small, or excited animals. In shock, the pulse “races,” and the pulse wave feels weak simultaneously.
  • Rapid, shallow breathing: Animals in shock breathe rapidly and shallowly. You can tell the rate of breathing by watching the movement of the chest or by placing your hand lightly on the animal’s ribs.
  • Pale mucous membranes: In shock, animals’ mucous membranes look pale to whitish-porcelain in color. This is easily seen on the gums. To test for blood flow, check the filling time of the small blood vessels (called capillary filling time) by pressing hard against the animal’s gums once with your finger. The pale pressure area will normally return to a pale pink color within two seconds. In shock, this phenomenon is significantly delayed – the animal’s gums remain pale.
  • Low body temperature: feel the temperature of your animal’s limbs with your hands. In shock, these are noticeably cold. The body temperature is 37 °C or below (normal body temperature in dogs is between 38.0 °C and 38.5 °C).

Symptoms of Shock at a Glance

Loss of consciousness, slowed mental activity, irregular heart rate, and bluish-looking gums are possible indicators that your puppy is in shock.

How do I give First Aid when my Puppy is in Shock?

First aid is the first priority when your puppy is in shock because shock is always life-threatening. However, if a shock occurs, many wonder: “What to do if your dog or other animal is in shock?” Here’s what to do if your pet is in shock:

  • Position your puppy on the right side of the body. The back of the body should be slightly elevated.
  • Stretch the dog or cat’s neck so that breathing is not obstructed. Make sure that the airways are clear.
  • Protect your dog in shock from further cooling, for example, with a warm blanket or hot water bottle.
  • If your pup is bleeding profusely, try to prevent major blood loss. Therefore, if bleeding occurs, press sterile compresses on the bleeding area or apply a tight bandage.

>Read also: How to give your Dog some Basic Health Checks at Home

Make your way to a Veterinarian’s Office or Animal Hospital as close as possible as soon as possible!

Broken Bones

If your puppy puppy fell off couch and is limping – Your Puppy fell from a great height or was hit by a car, there is a possibility of a broken leg. This can only be diagnosed with certainty by a veterinarian, who uses an X-ray machine to take a look at the affected leg.

Symptoms of Leg Fracture in Puppy

A dog with a broken leg usually shows apparent symptoms that should prompt any owner to seek veterinary help.

  • The dog can put little or very limited weight on the affected leg, resulting in a limping gait.
  • The fracture may be visible.
  • The dog is in pain and does not want to be touched on the affected leg


Fractures are not as pronounced; broken bones, however, are quite noticeable when you check the dog’s body in the event of a fall.

After your puppy puppy fell off bed and seems fine, look for possible signs like the dog’s hesitation to place weight on a particular limb, dragging of feet, or a limp.

Broken Bones Suspected in a Puppy – What to do?

If your puppy shows one or more of the above symptoms, caution is advised. A frightened, pain-filled animal often reacts differently out of self-protection. Therefore, you must remain calm and transfer this calmness to the dog.

A muzzle can help protect everyone involved from possible defensive reactions of the dog, who, after all, does not know what is happening. Remember – your dog is in pain. That’s why you and everyone involved should be very gentle with him from now on.

  • Have a calming effect on the dog and people present.
  • Expect pain reactions and secure yourself and others by putting a muzzle or a muzzle sling on the dog.
  • Carry the dog into the car and place it in the stable lateral position without touching the affected leg.
  • Try to keep the dog calm, so the possible injury does not worsen.
  • Inform your veterinarian about the emergency before going to his office as soon as possible (but with due calm).
  • Do not drive alone! One person should be able to drive the car undisturbed, while another takes care of the injured dog’s condition and ensures that it does not move.

How to continue? – Treatment Plan

The treatment of your puppy in case of a bone fracture highly depends on the type of fracture he suffered. However, it is fundamentally relevant that the bone is returned to its original position and can grow straight together, for which treatment by a veterinarian is essential.

It may be sufficient to immobilize the leg for a simple fracture by having the veterinarian apply a splint, bandage or cast.

Complicated fractures often require surgery to fix the fracture with screws, nails or plates.

Subsequent x-rays are necessary to monitor the healing process to ensure that your dog’s fracture heals as quickly as possible.1

Internal Injuries

Though not immediately noticeable, internal injuries can be extremely life-threatening. The following symptoms – individually or simultaneously – are an urgent emergency:

  • Heavy salivation, foaming, or profuse bleeding from the mouth.
  • Refusal to take food or water when this is visibly painful.
  • Severe, repeated vomiting and/or severe watery, bloody, or ver mucous diarrhea.
  • Unsuccessful vomiting or attempts to defecate also count, as does visible or rapid abdominal distention.
  • Gasping for air, rapid panting to the point of respiratory failure or arrest.
  • Severe tremors, convulsions or seizures, apathy, and a staggering gait until loss of consciousness.
  • Profuse bleeding or severe swelling and mucous membranes that have changed color significantly.
  • Extreme fever or low temperature.
  • Bone fractures that caused internal bleeding after accidents.

Observe your puppy accurately and conscientiously

This is why you need to be on the lookout for symptoms like lethargy, shallowness of breath, discoloration of the gum, and rapid heartbeat. You can also look for symptoms like glazed eyes, vomiting, or coughing of blood.

In Case of Emergency:

If your Puppy shows such signs, the first thing to do is to stay calm. A hysterical dog owner further unsettles an injured or sick dog.

The telephone numbers of the family veterinarian, the nearest veterinary clinic or a mobile emergency service should be stored in the cell phone as a precaution and quickly findable.

Soft Tissue Injuries

This can be anything from sprains (ligament injuries) to strains (tendon injuries). Check affected areas for swelling, soreness, or warmth. Sometimes the joints will be noticeably out of place.

Look for Injuries

After your puppy has fallen, calmly look for signs of visible injury. Do not touch your puppy at first; just examine your pup properly.

By surveying the extent of the damage your puppy sustained during the fall, you can best assess what to do next. Examine your dog for superficial injuries such as cuts, scratches or protruding bones.

Yelping is a clear sign that your dog is in pain.

Head Injury in Dogs

The first thing to check for when a puppy jumped off the couch and hit his head, is head trauma. The severity of the injury will be determined by the hardness of the fall and the height from which the puppy fell off.

Brain bleeds, concussions, and contusions are possible consequences of a puppy falling on its head. In this circumstance, symptoms to look out for include dizziness, disorientation, unconsciousness, or glazed eyes.

Typical symptoms of head injuries in puppies are:

  • Rapid breathing
  • Disorientation
  • Problems moving in a coordinated manner
  • Limp or stiff legs
  • Shaking
  • Vomiting
  • Convulsions or seizures
  • Nosebleeds
  • Ear bleeding
  • Eye flickering
  • Severely dilated pupils or pupils of different sizes

How to Act Correctly – First Aid for Suspected Concussion

We recommend that you have your dog examined by a veterinarian and not take a possible concussion lightly, even if your dog does not initially show any pronounced symptoms.

Keep a close eye on your dog on the way to the vet so you can administer first aid in an emergency. Your dog’s head should be positioned higher than his hind legs. 2

If your dog loses consciousness, open his mouth and gently pull his tongue forward to help him breathe.

First Aid

You can administer a couple of quick treatments to your puppy before going to the vet if he exhibits symptoms of head injury. If you notice the puppy bleeding, gently clean the affected area and identify the source of the bleeding.

Also, wrap the puppy in a towel to prevent it from going into shock. Make sure his head is elevated from his body, and pay attention to see if the symptoms are getting worse. If you notice anything worse than a contusion, call your vet.

Puppy Head injury

How to Treat Head Trauma in Dogs

Veterinarians are the best people to treat and diagnose your puppy in cases of possible head injury. Do not hesitate to contact your vet if the severity of the fall can lead to brain swelling. In this case, neurological and physical exams will be ordered to determine the correct cause of action.

The vet could also order CT scans and X-rays to discover if there is damage to the puppy’s brain or skull. Surgery might be ordered in cases of severe fractures, and drugs could be administered to lessen any swelling in the puppy’s brain tissue.

Other causes of action include intravenous fluids, painkillers, and seizure medications. A follow-up treatment is critical even where the fall is not deemed fatal.

At what Age is it okay for your Puppy to Jump off the Couch?

There is no reason why your puppies should be jumping off any surface before they’re 12 months old.

A puppy’s bone is quite fragile and not yet fully developed, so they’re not quite as strong or hard as that of a fully mature dog. So, until your puppy is at least a year old, ensure it avoids any activity that will stress its bones and joints.

How to Prevent your Pups from Suffering Head Injuries

Most puppies are clumsy and prone to falls, but if your puppy is particularly clumsy, you should confine him to areas where the likelihood of him incurring a head injury is low.

Try as you may, you cannot completely prevent your pups from jumping, so it is wise to put measures in place to prevent them from getting injured. Here are examples of such measures:

  • Cushion their fall by placing carpets under the couches and beds.
  • Install grass in your backyard and around their play areas to reduce the severity of their falls.
  • Puppy-proof your staircase by installing gates around them until the puppy learns to climb up and down without falling.
  • It is also a good idea to prevent little kids from carrying or holding your puppy, so they don’t accidentally drop them on the floor.
Puppy save on Soft Cussion

How Resilient are Puppies?

The inadequacy of calcium makes puppies extremely flexible, which means they’re not as likely to break their bones when they fall compared to older dogs. 

This does not however mean they’re resilient to falls because hard falls can cause long-term damage at that age. After all, they’re still in their growing phase. Furthermore, puppy muscles are not very strong, so there is nothing to cushion the impact when they fall.

How to Know when a Puppy is in Pain

Puppies have different ways of expressing their pain. They’re more likely to vocalize their pain by panting, growling, whining, or crying. However, certain signs, like the swelling or redness of the affected area, might not be as noticeable.

Puppies are these curious little bundles of joy that require constant care and attention. Their balance is not fully developed, so they’re most likely to fall at any given turn.

The most important thing to do when your puppy suffers from a fall is to remain calm while you check for possible injuries before calling your vet.


It’s necessary to be mindful of your puppy’s safety and well-being, especially when accidents such as puppy falling off the couch happen. While puppies are not as fragile as we think, it’s important to check for any injuries and take appropriate action.

If there are no apparent signs of injury, flash a light in the puppy’s eyes to check for a neurological response, and look for signs of surface bleeding, cuts, or a limp or broken bones. If the puppy appears to be in pain or suspected of injury, it’s best to take them to the vet.

If the injury is serious, restrain the puppy and transport them to the clinic immediately. Remember, it’s always better to err on the side of caution and seek professional help if you have any doubts about your puppy’s condition.

Read also: How Long Can Dogs Hold Urine? – Including Table for different Dog Breeds!

  1. https://www.hillspet.com/dog-care/healthcare/dog-broken-leg-treatment#:~:text=According%20to%20VCA%20Hospitals%2C%20other,carry%20it%20above%20the%20ground.
  2. This will relieve pressure in the head and prevent a concussion from worsening.https://veterinaryemergencygroup.com/blog/symptoms-and-treatments-for-dog-concussions/
Categories: Dogs Health


Dr. Orika Mosquera

Hello, I am Dr. Orika Mosquera Lopez graduated from the free university of colombia sectional Barranquilla as a doctor and surgeon. I work as a General Practitioner with Experience in the Emergency Department, Hospitalization and External Consultation. I love pets, i have 2 cats, Bagheera and Nhala and one Yorkshire Terrier called Princess. I care a lot about the well-being of my animals


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