Can Dogs Get Knocked Out? Possible Damage If This Happens! (2024)

A Jack Russell terrier passed out on a white blanket.

No dog owner wants to think about their dog being knocked out or suffering a concussion, but it can happen.

Dogs are active and fast, so they can sometimes run into walls, cars, fences, and other objects or may even fall from porches, steep cliffs, and hills.

If a dog suffers a serious head injury or trauma, he or she could be knocked unconscious.

Can dogs get knocked out? Dogs can get knocked out if they are struck in the head, have a serious fall, or suffer any other type of head trauma. Some dogs recover quickly, and others can suffer concussions and other serious internal injuries after being knocked out. It’s best that your dog see the vet for any head trauma.

If you suspect your dog has been knocked out or are just wondering if it is possible for a dog to get knocked out, read on to learn more.

Can Dogs Get Knocked Unconscious?

Dog’s can get knocked unconscious if they suffer a serious head injury or trauma. This can occur if the dog is hit, falls from a high elevation, or runs into something large and solid.

When a dog is knocked out, they may also suffer a concussion. It is important to understand what happens when a dog gets knocked out and what care is needed.

What Happens to a Dog When They Get Knocked Out

When a dog gets knocked out, they may fall on the ground and be unresponsive for several seconds or even minutes.

Depending on the injury or trauma that occurred, the dog may bleed, suffer a concussion, lose their balance, and even bleed from the nose and ears.

Some dogs may suffer seizures after being knocked unconscious. 

How Do You Know If Your Dog Has Been Knocked Out

If you see your dog get hit in the head or run into something and fall over, they may pass out.

Your dog may appear to be unconscious or unresponsive but will be breathing and have a heartbeat. It can take several minutes for your dog to come to.

If you didn’t see your dog get knocked out but think it may have happened, watch for some of these signs:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of balance
  • Slow response
  • Lethargy
  • Dilated pupils
  • Weakness
  • Incontinence
  • Disorientation
  • Paralysis
  • Falling down
  • Seizures

Situations That Could Lead To Dog Getting Knocked Out

There are many things that can lead to a dog getting knocked out. Any type of trauma to the head could result in loss of consciousness and even a concussion.

Any type of blow to the head, a bad fall, and even viral infections can cause a dog to get knocked out.

Why Dogs Getting Knocked Out Is Rare

Dogs are very resilient and tough, so they do not get knocked out easily. A sudden jolt to the body may be enough to knock out a puppy, or it may just make them disoriented.

Dogs can take a lot of impact and trauma before their bodies start to shut down. If a dog has been knocked out, they likely sustained a serious injury to the head or body.

Can Dogs Get Concussions?

Dogs can get concussions. Many dogs who get knocked out also have concussions.

A concussion can occur anytime the dog’s brain is jolted and comes into contact with the skull or moves back and forth quickly. Dogs can get concussions from falls, hits, and even running into an object.

Symptoms of Concussions in Dogs

If you think your dog may have suffered a serious head injury or fall and could have a concussion, be sure to watch for these symptoms: 

  • Weakness
  • Trimmers
  • Shivering
  • Rapid breathing
  • Weak pulse
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Dilated pupils
  • Loss of balance

Additional Possible Injuries From Being Knocked Out

An older Boxer dog sleeping on the floor.

Any time a dog is knocked out, there is a chance of serious injuries. While concussions are the most common, there are other possible injuries that you should be aware of:

  • Missing or damaged teeth
  • Blindness
  • Busted eardrum
  • Bleeding nose or mouth
  • Broken bones
  • Loss of memory
  • Seizures
  • Injuries to the body from falling

Warning Signs To Watch for Following Head Trauma

If your dog has been knocked out or has suffered any type of head trauma, you should monitor them closely for some of these warning signs that could warrant a trip to the veterinarian:

  • Vomiting
  • Loss of consciousness lasting longer than 30 seconds
  • Bleeding from the nose or ears
  • Confusion
  • Lethargy
  • Stumbling
  • Paralysis
  • Inability to focus eyes
  • Loss of appetite

What To Do If Your Dog Gets Knocked Out

Any time your dog gets knocked out, it should be considered a serious injury. It’s best to take your dog to the vet to rule out any internal bleeding or trauma.

If your dog is still unconscious, make sure the mouth is open and the tongue is out so the dog can breathe properly while being transported.

Elevate your dog’s head and take him to a veterinarian as soon as possible.

Related Questions: 

Can Dogs Get the Wind Knocked Out of Them?

If a dog suffers a blow to the chest or any serious trauma to the body, they can get the wind knocked out of their lungs.

The air will quickly leave the lungs, and the dog may even make a sound as it happens.

Dogs usually recover quickly from these incidents, but if the trauma is too severe, it may lead to further complications and require medical care.

Can Dogs Knock Themselves Out?

Dogs can knock themselves out by running into furniture or walls, jumping from a high elevation, or taking a hard fall.

Dogs are strong and resilient, so it usually takes a severe trauma for them to lose consciousness.


If your dog is knocked out or suffers serious head trauma, they should be checked out by a veterinarian to rule out a concussion or other internal injuries.

It takes a severe fall or blow to the head to knock out a dog, and it can take several days for a dog to fully recover. Some dogs can suffer long-term problems after being knocked out.

Providing quick medical care and monitoring your dog closely will give him the best chance of making a full recovery.