Pet Blog / Emergency Pet Care: When Do You Need It and Is it Covered?

Emergency Pet Care: When Do You Need It and Is it Covered?

Emergencies and accidents can happen at any time, and when you aren’t prepared, panic sets in fast. So, how can you be sure you’ll know what to do if your companion ever needs emergency pet care? Well, in addition to knowing how to respond to an emergency to keep your pet as safe and stable as possible, it’s also worth having the right emergency pet insurance so you can worry less about the financial cost of helping your dog or cat recover. 

What do you do if your pet has an emergency?

If your pet is suddenly exhibiting symptoms of illness or distress, or they’ve been injured in an accident, it’s time to act quickly. 

  • Be prepared with a pet first aid kit – This is one way to ensure you’ll have the tools necessary to treat your dog or cat on your own until you can get to a veterinarian. You might even consider taking a pet first aid course so you can learn how to react in different types of emergencies.

  • Know where to go in the event of an emergency – This is critical, as it can save valuable time because you won’t need to waste any time trying to figure out which veterinary offices in your area are open and ready to treat your pet. Some offices have extended hours, staying open later than other regular vets. Also, there are 24-hour veterinary offices, as well as those that are only open after-hours to help in the middle of the night or over the weekend.  

Let’s say that your pet is having an emergency. What can you do? As soon as possible, contact a local emergency pet vet to let them know what’s going on, and to tell them that you’re on the way so they can start preparing for your arrival. Also, if you have a first aid kit, they can guide you on how to help your pet while you work on getting them to the hospital. 

Tip: If you’re going to be traveling with your furry friend, do research in advance so you’ll know where to go in the event of a pet emergency. 

When should you take a pet to emergency care? 

Sometimes, it’s obvious when an animal needs emergency care. Other times, it might be harder to determine if you can wait or if you should rush to the ER. 

You know your pet best, so if you notice signs that they’re not doing well, and it’s after-hours or you aren’t near your regular vet’s office, calling an emergency vet is a smart move. Even if you aren’t sure if your companion needs prompt care, the vet can give you advice and let you know whether or not you can wait for your regular vet’s office to open. 

Here are some examples of signs that you need to seek out pet emergency care:

  • Seizures
  • Loss of consciousness
  • Trouble urinating or defecating
  • Trouble breathing or rapid breathing
  • Bleeding
  • Diarrhea or vomiting, with or without blood, especially if it won’t stop
  • Pale gums
  • Choking or ingestion of an object
  • Paralysis or difficulty moving
  • Heatstroke
  • Poisoning
  • Injury
  • A pulse that’s rapid or weak
  • High or low temperature

How much do emergency pet services cost? 

A trip to the pet emergency vet can leave you with a surprisingly high bill. On average, a visit might cost anywhere from $800 to $1,500. 

Like regular vet care, the costs of a trip to the ER for your pet will depend on various factors, such as the treatment your companion receives, whether or not surgery is required, where you’re located, and the veterinarian you use. 

Does pet insurance cover emergency vets?

No matter what, it’s wise to expect the cost of emergency care to be higher than regular vet care. After all, the more specialized and urgent the care, the more expensive it will be. 

If you’re worried about being able to afford emergency vets, the good news is that the right pet insurance plan may be able to give you the financial support you need. You can find policies that provide coverage for accidents and injuries, accidental poisoning, illnesses, and emergency surgery. Just keep in mind that plans vary, so it’s wise to read the details carefully before selecting one. 

Are you ready to search for the best pet insurance plan for emergencies? Check out the options on the Direct Benefits Marketplace, where you can easily compare what different providers have to offer.