While it’s wonderful to share some couch space with your loving puppy by your side, the occasional fall can and does occur. As your puppy is fragile, there are some signs and symptoms which you need to be aware of to help ensure that they have not been injured.
Let’s take a look at what can happen, what to look for, and some strategies to help ensure that if your pup is going to be on the couch, you can help them be a little safer!
Should I Let My Puppy On The Couch?
Many of us love sharing the furniture with our furry best friends, but they are very fragile at this age, so you will need to make a judgment call. At the very least, close monitoring is in order, and you can take a few precautions.
First off, you should discourage puppies from jumping up on the couch as they tend to be clumsy and can sometimes hurt themselves. To avoid this, you can teach your puppy to come to the couch and sit rather than trying to jump up. When they try to jump, gently move them down and tell them to ‘sit’ and give them a treat when they do.
It may also be a good idea to move some of the furniture a little further away if you believe there is a risk that your little one might fall into it. Beyond this, if you are going to allow them on the couch, then remember that if a new person comes in or the cat walks by, your pup might forget they’re up high and take a tumble.
Keeping a close eye on them and teaching them to let you pick them up or place them on the floor is a good idea while they’re vulnerable.
Will Jumping Off Couch Hurt My Puppy?
Puppies need a bit of growing up before they get anything approaching grace. Due to this, it’s a good idea to discourage them from jumping off of the couch, at least until they get older and have much better control over where and how they land.
This is something that you as an owner will have to decide, but the answer to ‘will jumping off the couch hurt my puppy’ is ‘probably not… but maybe’. Especially with smaller breeds, broken legs and other injuries can and do occur with a poorly aimed jump.
It could even be something unanticipated, like a playful older dog accidentally changing the pup’s trajectory. For reasons such as this, it’s best to discourage jumping, train them to only do so on command, or simply to let you pick them up and put them down when they want on the couch.
How To Tell If Your Puppy Was Injured From Jumping Off The Couch
Your puppy won’t always have obvious signs such as cuts, scrapes, or whining. More often than not, you’ll get a yelp, and your puppy might simply look disoriented for a moment. This doesn’t mean that there’s no problem, however, so let’s take a look at some tips to help you determine if your puppy has been injured.
Watch How Your Puppy Is Walking
Keep a close eye on how your puppy is walking. You want to look for signs such as limping or stiffness of joints that may indicate that your puppy’s legs are hurting. This isn’t always going to show right away, so stay on the lookout for any changes in your puppy’s gait.
Pay Close Attention to How They Breathe
You also want to watch for changes in your puppy’s breathing. We are looking for symptoms such as only breathing through the mouth, extra movement in the chest or even the stomach, or flaring of the nostrils that isn’t normal for your puppy. If you see this, then it means that your puppy is having trouble breathing and an immediate vet visit is in order.
Is Your Puppy and Sitting Down Easily?
Is your puppy sitting down all of the time when previously they seemed to be all over the place? Watch what happens when your puppy gets up or sits down. You can try coaxing them over with a treat to encourage them to get up and come over. If they seem reluctant, and especially if they whine, then your puppy is definitely hurting.
Observe How They Eat
One tip from Lynn Buzhardt, DVM of VCA Animal Hospitals, is to watch to see if your dog is having problems handling food or is suddenly not eating. These could be indicators that your puppy has hurt their jaw in the fall and that eating is now painful.
Does Your Dog Seem Lethargic or Less Playful?
Behavioral changes such as a sudden disinterest in playing or moving around slowly and reluctantly are another red flag that your puppy is feeling unwell after their fall.
Watch Carefully for a Few Days
The signs and symptoms that you are looking for may not manifest right away. Just as when a human takes a tumble, sometimes it takes 2 or 3 days for the pain from an injury to become apparent. Be sure to watch for these signs for at least 3 days just to be on the safe side.
What Kinds Of Injuries Are Associated With Falling?
While a tumble from the couch may seem harmless, this is unfortunately not always the case. Puppies are very vulnerable at their young age, and there are a number of injuries that may result from a fall that you should be aware of. Below you’ll find a list of the most common injuries that may occur if a puppy falls.
If a puppy hits a coffee table falling from the couch or even if they simply land in an unlucky way, they could end up with a sore, painful jaw or even a damaged tooth. This will be the most apparent when you are feeding them.
Typically, a healthy puppy will eagerly eat their meals, so if this is not the case, then you’ll want to have the vet check out their jaw and teeth.
Most commonly affecting the wrists or the knees, sprains are soft tissue injury of the ligaments that may occur when a puppy takes a fall. This will be readily apparent in how your puppy walks; however, sitting around and not wanting to go anywhere may also mean a sprain.
Another common soft tissue injury, a strain, affects the tendons where the muscle is connected to the bone. Strains will also show when your puppy is walking, and they are most likely going to center at the thighs or in the hips.
If your dog has fallen awkwardly down onto its tail, then tail fractures may occur. While these will sometimes be visible due to bones breaking the skin, this will not always be the case. Another indicator of a tail fracture that you can look for is in how your puppy wags their tail.
If they are wagging oddly or in one direction only, this might well indicate a fractured tail.
Typically, your puppy is going to let you know right away with whining if they have broken a bone, but you need to check to make sure, as this is not always the case. You’ll want to get your pup to sit still so that you can gently probe with your hands to see if your dog responds as if in pain.
Not all breaks are readily apparent, so your vet can perform an X-ray to confirm if this is the case.
Head injuries such as concussions or internal bleeding in the brain are another possibility. If your dog seems dazed or loses consciousness, an immediate vet visit is in order to rule this out. Other signs may include erratic eye movement or your dog not interacting with you or their environment as normal.
Visit your vet immediately if this is the case.
Internal injuries are very hard to catch, but there are signs to look for. A rapid heartbeat or sudden lethargy can be an indicator of internal injuries. Also, check the gums. If they are becoming pale, then this is a huge red flag that your puppy needs to see the vet right away.
Finally, vomiting or black diarrhea are potential signs of an internal injury that need to be checked out NOW.
Want To Train Your Dog With Peace Of Mind?
If you haven’t trained your dog properly, then this is the perfect time to start. Whatever bad behavior your shepherd has, whether it’s barking at night or other bad behaviors, using the right training program is the key to having an obedient and happy pup.
The training program I love and highly recommend is Brain Training For Dogs.
With Brain Training For Dogs, you’ll save yourself a ton of time and effort. Instead of banging your head against the wall trying to figure out why your dog won’t listen, you’ll follow a path that has been tried, tested, and most importantly, that’s given proven results. Not to mention the fact, you’ll be able to fit the course around your schedule, not fit your schedule around a trainer or obedience class.
So instead of worrying about whether they’re going to be well-behaved or not, you’ll only have to worry about how much fun you’ll have with them!
And in most cases, it’s still going to be:
- Cheaper than hiring a professional.
- Cheaper than replacing everything they might break.
- And definitely cheaper than a lawsuit against you, if they decide to bite someone.
Just imagine how great it will feel to finally be able to trust your dog completely and never worry whether they’ll be naughty or not. Instead, you’ll have the peace of mind that you have a well-behaved pup, and the boundaries you set for them will always be there, EVEN IF YOU’RE NOT.
And the best part is it also has a 60-day money-back guarantee! So there’s no reason not to give Brain Training For Dogs a try!
So if you’re tired of your dog’s bad behavior or how they react around other people and pooches, then give it a try! You’ll be amazed by the results!
(You can also check out a full review here to learn exactly what the course has to offer!)
Some Closing Words
Today we’ve taken a look at the safety of the couch from a pup’s perspective. A fall from the couch can actually hurt your puppy; all it takes is a little bad luck or a clumsy misstep from your young pup. To this effect, you should discourage them from jumping or train them to simply come to the couch and wait for your assistance.
If your puppy does fall, be sure to check for the symptoms which we’ve given you today and watch them closely for a few days. Many injuries won’t be apparent right away, but if you see any of the signs that we have listed, then be sure to visit your veterinarian immediately. It is always best to err on the safe side!