What to Do in a Pet Emergency

dog sitting in grass outside looking at owner

Emergencies happen every day and can occur at any moment in time. Most of the time, it is during a very inconvenient moment. It is crucial to prepare and be as ready as possible for any emergency that may happen in your life. For humans, it is easy for us to call 911 and get help. For animals, they rely on you to help save their lives. If there is an accident or urgent issue, it is necessary to have doctors on-call at a clinic that can easily aid in emergencies. If it is after hours, make sure to find your local 24-hour vet clinic. 

If you are currently experiencing a pet emergency, please locate your nearest 24-hour emergency animal hospital or come to our location. We have doctors ready to answer your questions and to prepare for your animal’s needs. 

Central Orange County Emergency Animal Hospital

3720 Campus Dr. Unit D, Newport Beach, CA 92660

(949) 261-7979

If you are looking to be prepared, then this is excellent news! We are going to provide you with valuable information you will need when a pet emergency does arise. 

Important Phone Numbers

Having a set of phone numbers on hand is going to make emergencies run smoother. Being prepared and having specific numbers on hand also save you time if you are fighting against the clock. Do not hesitate to call any of these numbers if you need information. 

  • Animal Poison Control: If you think your pet may have ingested a potentially poisonous substance, call 1-888-426-4435.
  • Your veterinarian’s emergency number: It is crucial to call to see if they can see your pet immediately or if they are equipped to handle the situation. If they are closed, then you need to call your local emergency clinic number. 
  • Your local emergency clinic: Most likely, this is the location you will be headed off to. Call and let them know why you are coming and what pet you are bringing in. 

Remain Calm

A critical factor to remember and implement is to stay calm. If your pet swallowed something dangerous, got into a fight, has something stuck in their throat, or was hit by a car, you need to keep calm; this way, you can do the right thing and focus on aiding in the recovery of your pet. Your pet can sense your feelings, and it is important not to transfer your stress onto your pet. Keeping calm will help you focus but also help your pet to remain calm. While you are relaxed, make sure to assess the situation. Is your pet breathing? Conscious? Bleeding? Once you’ve assessed the situation, you are ready to start making essential moves in order to help your pet. 

Call Your Vet

After you have fully assessed the emergency, you need to call your vet. If they advise you to come in immediately, then do so. If your vet is unavailable to you, (you are out of town, or they are closed), then you need to find and then contact a 24/7 emergency clinic near you. Make sure you familiarize yourself with your options in your local area. Make sure to research beforehand where you would go in an emergency situation so that you are prepared and know where you are heading to when the time comes. Before you head out of town for a trip with your pet, research the 24/7 emergency clinics in that area. This way, you are prepared in case of an emergency.

First Aid Kit

If you have a first aid kit for you and your family, you should also have one that is specially made for your pet. Items in this kit are relatively similar to those you keep in a human kit. There are pet stores that carry first aid kits for your pets, or you can simply make your own. This kit can be useful for stabilizing your pet before you have to make your way to the vet or emergency animal hospital. Keep your pet kit easily accessible to you at home. If you travel with your pet, remember to take it with you. 

Pet first aid kit may include: 

  • Thermometer and lubricant (water-based)
  • Gloves
  • Wound cleaner, anti-bacterial wound ointment
  • Gauze squares, bandage tape, wound pads, and bandage scissors
  • Eyewash
  • Tweezers
  • Generic Benadryl
  • Hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting)
  • Towels
  • Nail trimmer and styptic powder

Getting to the vet

This part of the emergency is where it can get tricky. As previously mentioned, remember to stay calm. Two ways of transferring your pet to the vet can take place. You either have to do this on your own, or you can have someone go with you. If you have someone going with you, you need to decide who is going to drive and who is going to watch and stabilize the pet on the way to the vet. The driver needs to make sure they know where they are going and that they follow all traffic laws so that your pet stays safe throughout the trip. Having two people transfer your pet makes it easier for all parties. 

If you are alone, have no fear, you can still do this. Make sure your pet is stable, and that they are placed in the vehicle safely where they cannot further an injury. If possible, barricade your pet with blankets so that they feel stable and safe while you drive. Next, remember to follow traffic laws, and know the best way to get to your destination. It can be very stressful and scary, but you need to stay calm for your pet to receive the care they need. Once you reach the clinic, if you need help moving your pet, you can ask for help; if not, try to get your pet into the office immediately. Since you called ahead of time, the staff at the emergency animal hospital will be expecting you and will be ready to assist you. 

If your dog gets into an accident or veterinary emergency in Newport Beach, stop by Central Orange County Emergency Animal Hospital! Our emergency vets are here to treat your pets and keep them safe. Give us a call if you need veterinary care anytime. If you need more information or would like to make an appointment, you can visit our website