When I watch some dogs frolicking or running around, I often wonder if they’re made of rubber. They seem so flexible and agile that I am really impressed. Nevertheless, the bones of our dogs have their limits and can break.

In this article, I will describe how you can recognize a broken bone in your dog and what the correct first aid measures are in such a situation.

dog bone fracture
Just like human beings, animals such as dogs are also at risk of breaking their bones.

First Aid Measures for Broken Bones in Dogs.

Some of you may experience broken bone in your leg or arm and know how painful it is. At one time, I slipped on a flight of stairs and fell heavily to the ground. Ouch, my arm was broken. A dog can also get fractures from falls. An accident or severe biting can also result in this injury. But not all breakages are the same.

A bone can break once and several times. Meanhile, muscles, veins, nerves or tendons are also often damaged. There is a distinction between closed and open fractures. An open fracture is one in which the bone breaks through the skin. Not only do you have to treat the fracture but also the wound.

What to Do In Case of an Broken Bone In Your Dog

Although all sorts of bones can break in a dog, including the ribs, in the following I will mainly explain the measures to be taken for a broken limb. Why? Because you probably won’t be able to diagnose any other fractures yourself.

If you suspect that your dog has suffered internal injuries as a result of an accident, you must take him to a veterinarian immediately. Only there can your dog be x-rayed and examined more closely.

On the other hand, you will most likely recognize a broken limb. Your dog will limp or no longer put any weight on the leg/paw. The injured area may also be severely swollen. Your dog may whine loudly and avoid being touched there. Because a broken bone is so extremely painful, your dog can react very violently. Therefore, for your own protection, you should put a muzzle over your dog so that it can be cared for safely.

muzzle your dog
It is necessary to get your dog used to a muzzle.

What you can do:

To keep the injury from worsening, you need to immobilize your dog. One measure is to keep him on a leash.

To immobilze the fracture, a wooden slat, stick, ruler or rolled up newspaper are suitable. You will also need a long tie to hold the splint in place. The splint helps to keep the injured part still. At the same time, it prevents further injuries from the break.

The aim is not to maneuver the bone back into its original position, which is the vet’s job. You can only support the injured area with a splint and thus prevent deterioration:

  1. First, you pad the broken area with something soft and secure it with a bandage.
  2. Then you attach the splint and secure it with a bandage.
  3. Avoid putting any more weight on the injured leg and drive to the vet as soon as possible!

Be careful not to tie the splint too tightly. Otherwise, the blood flow will be stopped and the leg could die.

With a broken limb, your dog can no longer walk independently. It means you have to carry it to the car. For a small to medium-sized dog, it is somehow feasible. A carrier can be useful for large, heavy dogs.

dog carrier
A carrier may help you trasport your dog to a vet when it suffers from bone fractures.


In the event of a broken bone in your dog, safety is important in addition to the caring – yours and that of your dog. Make sure you keep him on a leash and put on a muzzle if necessary. The ultimate goal is to get him to a veterinarian, whether with a temporary splint or without. Only in this way can a broken bone be manipulated back into the correct position and treat appropriately.