Are you prepared for a pet emergency? Would you know what to do if your pet ingested a toxic chemical, or if they suffered a fracture or a seizure? What if they  got burned or were not breathing, would you be ready to render first aid?  Knowledge of what to do is critical in helping your pet until they are able to be treated by a veterinarian.  Safe For Your Pet is all about keeping your pet safe, so just how do you know if you are prepared for an emergency?  What is considered an emergency?


Pet Emergencies

If any of the following is happening to your pet, you should consider it an emergency and be ready to take action.

  • Been hit by a car
  • Ingested a poisonous substancefree_291177
  • Is having a seizure
  • Is having trouble urinating
  • Is having difficulty breathing
  • Has excessive diarrhea, vomiting or bleeding
  • Animal bites
  • Heatstroke
  • Choking


The American Red Cross offers, at many locations across the U.S, training in pet first aid and CPR. This education can  teach you how to handle a pet emergency so you know what to do to help a pet until they can receive medical care by a veterinarian. You can visit The American Red Cross online for class offerings in your area.



stethoscopeThe American Red Cross also suggests that you assemble a pet first aid kit to assist you in the case of an emergency.   Always remember that pet emergencies can happen when you are away from home, so make sure your kit  is available when you may need it. The following are some items that could be included.


Pet First Aid Kit

  • Phone numbers for both your veterinarian and your local  animal emergency hospital. It is good to call ahead if you are able as the vet may be able to provide first aid info over the phone
  • Gauze, tape and bandages to cover wounds. Make sure to only include non-stick bandages
  • Elastic bandages that can be used to apply pressure to help stop bleedingfirst_aid_kit
  • Scissors
  • Towels or cloth to clean wounds
  • Leash and muzzle – some pets can become aggressive when they are in pain or when scared.
  • Rectal thermometer and eye dropper
  • Hydrogen peroxide and milk of magnesia – these can both be used to counteract poisoning, but only under direction of a veterinarian
  • Diphenhydramine – this can be used in the case of an allergic reaction, but again only by a vet’s direction


The American Red Cross created a Pet First Aid App that is available for iphone or Android phone users.  It is a great app that I recommend all pet owners download. It has a lot of info on the emergencies discussed here, instruction on CPR, a place to store contact info for you vet and your pets records.  It is for both dogs and cats and it even has quizzes so that you may make sure that your knowledge is up to date!



10 comments on “Pet Emergencies – How To Know If You Are Prepared

  • Having a pet is a huge responsibility that shouldn’t be taken lightly. I used to have cats years ago but it never occurred to me to be prepared for all these emergencies. The Pet First Aid Kit is a great idea. I think a list of phone numbers to call during an emergency is important too. Thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks Yvonne! Pets are just like our children and I think that it is so important to be prepared. How horrible to know that if your pet got injured and you did not know how, or were not prepared to help them? Emergencies happen and we should all be prepared.

      Take Care,


  • I wouldn’t have thought of contacting the Red Cross for my pet. That is good to know. Good idea to have a first aid kit for pets. Even CPR for a dog? Very interesting. You’ve provided quite a bit of good information for anyone that has pets. I don’t usually think of doing this for any pets.

    • Hi Kevin, I don’t think that many people think about it. I know that I have had to rush a dog to the animal ER before, but my research showed me that I too am not prepared. I am going to put together my first aid kit tomorrow, after I sign up for a Red Cross class!

      Take Care,


  • Pet owners often face a struggle when their pets have medical emergencies. When I move to new city, one of the first things I do is looking for a vet.

    You article, “Pet Emergencies – How To Know If You Are Prepared”,
    is a great asset for a checklist on what to do when your pets needs help.

    Thanks so much.

    • Hi Caito, thanks for taking a moment to read my post and thanks for thinking of your pets first thing when you relocate! It would be bad enough to have an emergency, but it would be much worse to not know where to go for help in a new location. Don’t forget the Pet First Aid App that is available for iphone or Android phone users made by the American Red Cross. It has a neat search feature that allows you to search for veterinarian close to you based on your location.

      Take Care,


  • I will have to show that video to my wife as well for the CPR. I can see and have seen some of those things happening to animals in the aspect of dying from terrible accidents to give way to the face of death unfortunately. This is very sad for the owner and can be prevented with your help . Thanks

    • Hi Andrew, please share the video with all of your family and friends and not just the ones that have pets. If is important to now that we can all be educated on how to save the life of an animal in an emergency. Thanks for taking the time to read my post and sharing !

      Take Care,


  • Everything you stated here is so true. It’s easy to forget about being prepared for the emergencies. I spend a lot of time and energy picking out healthy pet foods and treat, but it’s just as important to have a plan set in place when the unthinkable happens. Thank you for the motivation to do so!

    • Hi Shelby,

      Pet emergencies do happen, but even the best pet parents find themselves not prepared when they happen. Personally, I think that we just don’t want to think about our pets becoming injured, sort of a out of sight, out of mind type of thing. If we do find ourselves faced with an emergency, the outcome for both us and our pets will have a much better results if we have that set plan in place. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your great comments!

      Take Care,


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