What would you do if….

Your dog started limping while you were on a walk?

Or if she started overheating during a hike?

Have you thought about how you’d handle it if your dog accidentally ate chocolate late at night after the vet was closed?

What if your dog started choking?

It’s not always fun to talk about, but are you prepared for a pet medical emergency?

Knowing first aid basics can help keep you calm, and possibly save your dogs life, until you can get to a veterinarian.

Here are some basic emergency tips from the American Red Cross:


To determine if your cat or dog is dehydrated, pull up on the skin between the shoulder blades. It should spring right back; if it stays tented this is a sign of dehydration.

Signs of pet poisoning include bleeding externally or internally, dilated pupils, drooling or foaming at the mouth, seizures or other abnormal mental state or behavior.

If your pet has a seizure, make sure it is in a safe place, but do not restrain the animal. Keep your hands away from its mouth as your pet may not know who you are during a seizure and could bite you.

Signs of heat stroke or heat exhaustion include collapse; body temperature of 104 degrees F or above; bloody diarrhea or vomiting; wobbliness; excessive panting or difficulty breathing; increase heart rate; mucous membranes very red; and increased salivation.

Pets bitten by other animals need vet attention to prevent the wound (even if minor) from becoming infected and to check for internal wounds. Never break up a dogfight yourself because you could be bitten.

If your pet is bleeding, apply direct pressure using gauze over the bleeding site. If blood soaks through, apply more gauze (do not removed soaked gauze) until you can reach a veterinary hospital.


ASPCA Poison Control App:


Red Cross Pet First Aid App:


Print our free emergency contact form.