Knowing what to do in an emergency can be the difference between life or death. Our vets have put together this guide for pet owners to help you learn which steps to take should a pet get seriously ill or injured.
Remember: if you’re worried about your pet, call your vet.
- Recognising an emergency
- What to do in an emergency
- Be prepared for an emergency
- A pet first aid kit
- Traffic accidents
- CPR for dogs
- Heatstroke in pets
If you are worried, always call your vet for advice.
Your pet definitely needs to see an vet as an emergency if they:
- aren’t breathing or are having difficulty breathing
- are unresponsive
- may have broken bones
- are having a fit/seizure
- are having difficulty moving or coordinating movements
- may have eaten something toxic
- have collapsed and can’t get up
- have been vomiting or passing diarrhoea for more than 24 hours.
- Don’t panic. If your pet is injured, you’ll be more help to them if you can stay calm.
- Call your vet. Explain what’s happened and let them know that you’re on your way and when you’ll arrive. If it’s an evening or weekend, you might get a message giving you details of your local out-of-hours vet.
- Don’t try to deal with serious injuries yourself. This could put you and your pet in danger. Animals can lash out when they’re in pain which can injure you and cause more complications for them.
- Don’t give your pet anything to eat or drink unless your vet tells you to.
- Keep your vet’s name, address and telephone number stored in your mobile phone, your landline, and kept in an address book or safe place around the home.
- Keep a pen and paper handy to take down any important instructions from your vet.
- Call your vet first. You’ll need to let them know there’s an emergency case on the way and follow any instructions you’re given e.g. if emergencies are seen on a different site.
- Keep a pet first aid kit at home and with you when you’re travelling.