Taking Your Dog to an Emergency Vet – Everything You Need to Know

Taking your dog to an emergency vet is something you would wish you never have to do. But if your beloved pooch suddenly starts limping or you notice blood on their paws, you might have no other option but to rush them to an emergency veterinary clinic.

If your pet gets sick or hurt themselves at home, you probably won’t have any trouble in taking them to your nearest vet. But what if they get hurt during traveling or in the middle of the night when your regular vet is not available?

Proper knowledge is your most valuable asset, especially when it comes to handling pet emergencies.

This article will help you learn everything you need to know about taking your dog to an emergency vet (before you actually need one).

Ready for a 101 lesson for dealing with a dog in distress?

Let’s begin.

Types of Veterinary Services

You might not have paid attention to it, but thankfully, the medical emergency system for pets is as sophisticated as that for humans. However, emergency vet practices run in a slightly different manner.

Here are the different types of veterinary services that you need to know about:

Full-Service Veterinary Clinics

As is evident by the name, full-service veterinary clinics offer a wide range of services. The staff at these clinics provides routine care and performs wellness exams in addition to administering vaccines and performing minor surgeries.

In case of an emergency, you can take your dog to a full-service veterinary clinic. But keep in mind that they are generally open during normal business hours only. However, some clinics might have an on-call vet who can come see patients on short notice.

After-Hours Veterinary Hospitals

After-hours veterinary hospitals are designed to serve patients when full-service clinics are closed for the day. This means that they will usually be open round the clock on weekends and even on designated holidays.

After-hours vet clinics only handle urgent cases and provide triage care – i.e., they will examine the condition of your dog and provide the necessary first aid before referring them to another vet or hospital where they can receive proper treatment.

24-Hour Emergency Vet Clinics

Up until a few years back, 24-hour emergency vet service was only provided in certain animal-care teaching hospitals. However, today you will hardly have any difficulty in finding an emergency vet in your region that operates 24 hours a day.

In some metropolitan cities, these types of veterinary clinics might also provide an ambulance service to pick up sick or injured pets from their homes.

When Your Dog Might Need an Emergency Vet

Some things, such as a broken nail or a bleeding nose, are clear-cut signs that your dog needs immediate medical assistance. But at times, your canine companion might be suffering in silence, and you wouldn’t have a clue!

After all, you might not have suspected that a sneeze was a sign of a dangerous viral infection or that slight limp was actually because of a sprained ankle.

Here are some of the most common warning signs that your dog needs to see a vet as soon as possible:

Odd Eating Habits

It is not uncommon for dogs to skip a meal or two, especially if the weather’s really hot or if they already have had too many snacks before.

However, if their appetite has suddenly decreased for no explainable reason, you shouldn’t delay taking your dog to an emergency vet. They might be having gastrointestinal problems, or it can even be a symptom of more deadly diseases such as cancer.

Poor Coat Health

Regardless of the age or breed, your furry friend’s coat should be thick and shiny. If their coat’s been looking rather rough and dull lately, something isn’t right with their health.

You might notice white scaly patches of dandruff, but even if their skin isn’t visibly inflamed, poor coat health is alarming enough to take them to a vet.


Dogs getting tired after moderate exercise is not a good sign unless they are in their senior years. If your pet seems relatively uninterested in going out for a walk, playing, or participating in other similar activities that they previously used to enjoy, know that something is troubling them. They might be having sore muscles from exhaustive play on an earlier day, or they might be feeling lethargic due to an onset of fever or other viral infections.


Occasional vomiting is not that big of a deal. But if your pooch seems to throw up every other thing that you feed them, you should take them to a vet right away.

Frequent vomiting can make them feel dehydrated, so seek medical help as soon as you can.

Red or Watery Eyes

Excessive discharge or red and watery eyes are usually a sign of infection or an eye injury. If not treated immediately, it can lead to reduced vision or, in extreme cases, even cause permanent blindness.

Going to the vet will ensure that your dog gets proper medication to cure the infection and alleviate any related pain.

Things to Remember When Taking Your Dog to an Emergency Vet

Call Before You Visit

It is a good practice to call an emergency vet service and let them know the issue before you leave your home or while you are on the way. This gives them sufficient time to prepare the necessary stuff and have everything ready by the time you arrive.

In a life-threatening situation, this can make a world of difference for your pet.

Don’t Be Surprised by the Bill

Emergency veterinary services are usually quite expensive. Plus, the medical costs can be quite high, depending on the type of first aid that your dog needs and the treatment that they receive thereafter.

You might be able to negotiate things, but be prepared, just in case.

We sincerely hope that you never have to rush your beloved pooch to an emergency veterinary clinic. But if the need ever arises, you would now at least know whom to contact and what to expect.

by Bobby J Davidson || You can’t buy love, but you can rescue it™

Facts About Animal Homelessness:

  1. Only 1 out of every 10 dogs born will find a permanent home.
  2. The main reasons animals are in shelters: owners give them up, or animal control finds them on the street.
  3. Each year, approximately 2.7 million dogs and cats are killed every year because shelters are too full and there aren’t enough adoptive homes. Act as a publicist for your local shelter so pets can find homes. Sign up for Shelter Pet PR.
  4. Approximately 7.6 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. Of those, approximately 3.9 million are dogs and 3.4 million are cats.
  5. According to the National Council on Pet Population Study and Policy (NCPPSP), less than 2% of cats and only 15 to 20% of dogs are returned to their owners.
  6. 25% of dogs that enter local shelters are purebred.
  7. About twice as many animals enter shelters as strays compared to the number that are relinquished by their owners.
  8. It’s impossible to determine how many stray dogs and cats live in the United States. Estimates for cats alone range up to 70 million.
  9. Only 10% of the animals received by shelters have been spayed or neutered. Overpopulation, due to owners letting their pets accidentally or intentionally reproduce, sees millions of these “excess” animals killed annually.
  10. Many strays are lost pets that were not kept properly indoors or provided with identification.
  11. According to The Humane Society, there are about 3,500 brick-and-mortar animal shelters in the US and 10,000 rescue groups and animal sanctuaries in North America.

Here are a some adoptions for consideration:  puccicafe.com/adoptions