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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Pet Emergency Information

Pet Emergency Information


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We know how important the well-being of your special pet is to you. Of course, you always make sure they are vaccinated and have had their check-ups, but sometimes the unexpected happens. It could be something right in your own house. What do you do? We have put together some tips to help your pet in case of an emergency.


  • Take a pet first aid class or buy a first aid care guide
  • Always call ahead to let the vet know you are coming in with an emergency
  • Transport injured pets in a large blanket, which can be used as a stretcher and keep them warm

Pet Poisoning
Family pets risk all kinds of poisoning every day; things like insecticides, weed killers, antifreeze, acids, fertilizers, paints ... the list is extensive.

Here's what you can do if your pet is poisoned:

  • Keep your pet warm and quiet.
  • Try to determine what the poison was, when it was ingested and the amount swallowed.
  • Immediately call your veterinarian or your nearest poison control center
  • When you take your pet to the vet, bring the label or container of poison with you
  • Keep poisonous materials properly stored and out of reach of pets
  • Keep emergency numbers handy by the phone

Heatstroke kills family pets every year because they are left in cars on warm days. Look for signs of rapid breathing, panting or collapse.

What you should do:


  • Remove your pet to a shaded or cool area
  • Sponge or hose your pet down with cool water (do not use ice)
  • Encourage your pet to drink small amounts of water
  • Contact your veterinarian for further instructions

Cuts and Wounds
Deep cuts and wounds are common in pets due to broken glass and sharp objects.

If your pet is bleeding:

  • Apply firm, continuous pressure directly over the bleeding site using thick gauze pads or clean cloths to control bleeding
  • If the area is painful, you may need to muzzle or restrain your pet to avoid bites
  • Transport your pet immediately to the nearest emergency veterinarian hospital or your veterinarian's office

Shock is the result of an injury or disease to the body that produces inadequate blood circulation. Pets in shock show signs of weakness, grey gums, shallow breathing, a weak pulse and may collapse.


  • Transport your pet to the nearest veterinary hospital or emergency clinic
  • Wrap your pet in a blanket to keep him warm and comfortable
  • First aid can be attempted while on route to the hospital
  • Do not give your pet any water or food
  • Keep the head slightly lower than the body and the tongue extended to keep the breathing path open

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