What Are Common Emergency Procedures For Pets?

What Are Common Emergency Procedures For Pets?

by | May 9, 2024 | Urgent Pet Care

Emergencies can happen at any moment, and when they involve our beloved pets, quick and informed action is crucial. Understanding common emergency procedures for pets can mean the difference between life and death. At Urgent Pet in El Cerrito, CA, we’re committed to ensuring the health and safety of your furry companions, especially in times of crisis.

Overview of Pet Emergencies

A pet emergency refers to any sudden and unexpected situation that poses an immediate threat to your pet’s health or life. Examples include severe injuries, difficulty breathing, poisoning, and heatstroke. These emergencies often require prompt veterinary attention to prevent further complications or fatalities.

How to Handle a Pet Emergency

Remaining calm is key when faced with a pet emergency. Assess the situation carefully and prioritize safety for both you and your pet. Immediately contact Urgent Pet in El Cerrito for guidance. Follow any first aid instructions provided by our experienced staff and, if necessary, transport your pet safely to our clinic.

How to Avoid Pet Emergencies

Prevention is always better than cure when it comes to pet emergencies. Schedule regular veterinary check-ups and ensure your pet is up-to-date on vaccinations. Pet-proof your home and yard to minimize risks of accidents or ingestions of harmful substances. Supervise outdoor activities and be mindful of potential hazards. Keeping toxic substances out of reach can also prevent accidental poisonings.

Common Emergencies in Pets

Choking or difficulty breathing:

  • Signs of choking include pawing at the mouth, gagging, or difficulty breathing.
  • If choking is suspected, perform the Heimlich maneuver for pets or seek immediate veterinary care.

Trauma or injury:

  • Trauma can result from accidents, falls, or animal attacks.
  • Keep your pet still and handle them gently to avoid exacerbating injuries.
  • Transport them to Urgent Pet for thorough evaluation and treatment.


  • Common household toxins include chocolate, xylitol, certain plants, and human medications.
  • If poisoning is suspected, contact Urgent Pet immediately and try to identify the ingested substance. Do not attempt to induce vomiting without veterinary guidance.


  • Symptoms of heatstroke include excessive panting, weakness, and collapse.
  • Move your pet to a cool, shaded area and apply cool water to their body.
  • Seek veterinary attention promptly, as heatstroke can be life-threatening.

Contact Urgent Pet Care for Immediate Assistance:

Every second counts in an emergency. Being prepared for pet emergencies is essential for every pet owner. By familiarizing yourself with common emergency procedures and having Urgent Pet’s contact information readily available, you can act swiftly to ensure the well-being of your beloved pets. For immediate assistance with your pet’s emergency, contact Urgent Pet in El Cerrito, CA, at 510-838-4669.

Nilanthi Kulasekara, BVSc

Dr. Kulasekara, also known as “Dr. K,” has over 25 years of experience as a veterinarian. She has worked in emergency animal hospitals in Massachusetts, Maryland, and California, and most recently as a full-time relief veterinarian concurrently at three emergency hospitals in the East Bay. Whatever happens, our doctors have the knowledge, the experience, and the equipment to treat any case that comes through the door.  So even if your pet comes to us with a true emergency, we will stabilize them before helping you get them to the appropriate emergency hospital.

Dr. Nilanthi Vipuli Kulasekara Veterinarian at Urgent Pet Doctor Headshot holding puppy