You should always have your vet’s phone number to hand and know name of your practice.

In an emergency, make sure you phone the vet before your arrival so they can give you advice on stabilising and transporting your pet and to ensure they are open, available and the closest service to visit. They may also be able to suggest additional first aid you can do to help the animal before or while bringing them in. Your usual vet’s may not be the closest in an emergency. Apps are available to download which locate your nearest vet.

Tell the vet on the phone whether your pet is conscious or unconscious and whether the dog is breathing or not breathing. If it is a life-threatening emergency, tell the vet immediately.

While making the call, keep the injured animal as calm and still as you can, only move them if it’s vital in order to keep everyone safe. If you have rung the vet and they advise bringing the animal in, a suitably-sized pet carrier your pet is used to is the safest way to transport them to the vet. Put a favourite toy or blanket in the carrier with them as familiar objects will reduce the amount of stress that they are experience.

It is critically important to continually reassure your pet as stress can make symptoms worse. Keep them calm and warm.

Ideally they should not have anything to eat or drink as they may require an operation. However if they are dehydrated, or they could be waiting a considerable time for help, you can give them small sips of water. Ideally, check with your vet first.

When you get to the vet they will need to know

  • Your pet’s name and date of birth, breed, gender and weight
  • Micro-chipping details
  • Vaccination information
  • Insurance details
  • Medical conditions
  • Medication
  • Previous medical history

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