Medical Emergency Tips For Your Dog 

medical emergency tips for your dog

Below you will find medical emergency tips for your dog and also things you should know in case of an emergency.


If your dog is not breathing you will need to perform artificial respiration. CPR is cardiopulmonary resuscitation. However, you may hear a heartbeat so chest compressions would not be necessary. This is something many people are not aware of. You don’t need to always do both. 

Clear any obstruction from your dog’s mouth. Close their mouth and place your lips over their nostrils. Give 3 breaths about 10 per minute. If you can’t detect a heartbeat, then chest compressions are necessary. Place your dog on their right side. Perform 5 chest compressions for each breath. The chest compressions should be below the front elbow. 


medical emergency tips for your dog

External bleeding – use a bandage or towel and apply pressure to the wound. If you have a bandage and gauze this can be used. For example, if the wound is on the leg you can apply gauze and wrap it with a bandage to maintain pressure. 

Internal bleeding – can be caused from a direct blow such as being hit by a car and is more dangerous. You need to get your dog to a veterinarian immediately. Signs include trouble breathing, swollen abdomen and pale gums. Blood can be present in vomit, urine, stool, saliva or from the nose.


Shock may occur from head injuries, significant loss of blood or from severe infection. Signs are a weak pulse, rapid heart beat or very little urinary output. Wrap your dog in a blanket to keep him warm and go to the veterinarian immediately. 

Broken and dislocated bones

Dogs will hold their leg in an unusual position and can have lameness, swelling and pain. Take your dog to a veterinarian immediately and be cautious transporting them. If there is a compound fracture do not put anything on it such as an ointment.


Signs include panting, drooling, vomiting, loss of coordination and collapsing. Don’t put your dog in cold water. Take him out of the sun or inside a cool house. Use ice packs, spray him with cold water or use a cold wet towel, but do not put them in cold water. Give your dog water and call your vet. 

Vomiting and diarrhea

Certain foods, poisons, gastrointestinal disease, kidney or liver failure or nervous system disorders can cause vomiting and diarrhea. Make sure your dog has enough water so they do not become dehydrated. This is a common issue from vomiting and diarrhea. Call your veterinarian. You will need to tell them anything that could have been ingested by your dog that is causing the issue. 


Keep your dog away from anything such as furniture or stairs that could cause them harm during the seizure. Seizures are also called epilepsy in dogs. You can try to comfort your dog during the seizure by cuddling them. Do not put anything in their mouth. Also, it is a myth that someone can swallow their tongue during a seizure so don’t worry.


emergency tips for your dog

If your dog is stung look for the stinger and remove it. Swelling, redness and pain can occur. Mix 1/4 cup aluminum-free baking soda with 1 to 2 teaspoons of water, and then apply the paste to the area that was stung.  Use an ice pack to relieve the swelling and pain. Give your dog water. Allergic reactions usually occur within 20 minutes but can be up to hours, so you need to monitor your dog. Call your vet and ask about giving your dog antihistamine. 

If your dog gets stung on the nose, mouth or neck you need to watch that swelling does not interfere with breathing or swallowing for the next several hours. If your dog is stung several times take him to the vet immediately. Treatment is needed urgently to prevent shock, loss of circulation and to try to avoid organ damage. 


Forceful coughing, drooling, gaging, keeping their mouth open and pawing at their face are all signs of choking. Try to dislodge the object by forcefully patting your dog between the shoulder blades. Also, you can forcefully squeeze quickly on both sides of the rib cage. 

If you need to reach in your dog’s mouth it’s best if someone else can hold their mouth open. You can then look to see if you see the object in the back of their mouth or throat. Try to pull the object out. Take your dog to the vet if the object is lodged. Do not use force as this can injure your dog worse. 

Things You Should Know In Case Of An Emergency

medical emergency tips for your dog
  • Your vets number
  • How to get to the animal emergency clinic – put the address and also the number in your smartphone. Clicking on the address should automatically take you to your map app which saves time, especially important in an emergency. 
  • Animal poison control number – call 888-426-4435 in case your dog has ingested something toxic. They may charge a consultation fee.  
  • Pet CPR – there are in person classes and also online classes that do a great job in teaching pet CPR. 
  • Basic wound treatment to stop bleeding. You will learn this in a pet first aid class which is usually taught along with pet CPR. 
  • Having emergency funds or pet health insurance to pay for the cost 

About The Author

Performance Dog Wheelchairs wants you to know that physical limitations are not the end to mobility. Our purpose is to give others and their dogs the ability to seek new adventures and overcome physical challenges with one of our handicapped dog carts.

We offer a full support dog wheelchair, a dog wheelchair for back legs and the patented SitGo Dog Wheelchair which is also for the hind legs. This is the only one on the market that allows your dog to go from standing to sitting without having to remove it. 

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