oneplan pet insurance

The expert’s guide to handling the 3 most common pet emergencies


Jade Poole from I Write Words

adorable-animal-breed-pet blog

Top tips you need to know that could save your pet’s life

We never know when things might go wrong, that’s why it helps to be prepared for the unexpected, especially when it comes to the health and safety of our precious pets.

A pet emergency can be a very scary situation to find yourself in, mostly because your pet is unable to communicate with you as to what is going wrong - if only our pets could talk to us like we talk to them - am I right? 

If you are like any other pet owner out there, then your precious furry member of the family’s well being is a big concern for you.

Which is why we have put together this simple yet effective guide to handling the top 3 pet emergencies - choking, cuts/wounds and poison.

So keep reading fine-furry pet loving friend, because this guide could save your pet’s life...

How to tell if your pet is having a medical emergency

Here are some of the obvious tell-tale signs to keep an eye out for:

●        Pale gums

●        Excessive bleeding

●        Issues with breathing

●        Changes in body temperature

●        Rapid breathing

●        Rapid or weak pulse

●        Paralysis

●        Seizures

●        Loss of consciousness

All of the above symptoms in a pet can be an incredibly overwhelming thing to witness, but the trick is to act fast and think clearly when your pet is having a medical emergency.

What should I do in these situations?

1. Before anything else, chat with your vet now…

The first thing you should do (and I mean like right now) is get hold of your vet - make sure you have saved his or her emergency number on your phone and know they are open after hours for emergencies. If not, find a vet who is.

Make sure your pet insurance details are also on hand in case of an emergency. Most pet insurers (like Oneplan) will have a handy smartphone app where you can instantly access your policy and cover details. It also helps to have pet insurance that lets you go to any vet of your choice (Oneplan does that - awesome, right?)

When your pet is in an emergency you will have to act quickly to apply basic first aid and then rush them to the vet once you have done what you can.

As soon as you notice your pet is having a medical emergency, phone your vet and prepare them for your arrival, then do what you can to save your pets life.

2. Apply some basic first aid

Now that you have called your vet, you might need to treat your pet before getting him or her to the vet. Make sure you have a basic first aid kit prepared for pet emergencies, there are some that you can buy from your vet or pet store, or you can make one yourself.

Cut or wound

If the wound is dirty, then you will need to flush it out with a saline solution or warm salty water.

Then apply a clean bandage or cloth over it and apply firm pressure to stop the bleeding.

If you can, elevate this part of the body to restrict the blood flow to it.

Wrap your pet in a blanket or towel and hold them to keep them calm.

Remember, your pet picks up on your emotions. If you are panicking, then your pet is likely to freak out too. So stay calm and react in a calming manner.

Go to the vet.


If your pet is choking, then you will need to place your fingers into their mouth to see if you can remove the obstruction.

If you are unable to do so..then follow these instructions…

For big dogs - you will need to put your arms around their belly, joining your hands. Make a fist and then push firmly up and forward, just behind their rib cage, then place your pet on his side. Check his mouth to see if the object has removed itself from his airway. Using your fingers to feel along the sides of the gums and inside the mouth.

For small dogs - Lay your dog on his back and apply pressure to the abdomen, just below his rib cage. Check to see if the object has dislodged.

For cats - Pick up your cat and hold his back against your tummy, with his head up and feet hanging down. Place your fist under his rib cage and with 4 forceful thrusts with your fist, push inwards and then upwards at the same time, check his mouth to see if the object has removed itself from his airway.

Go to the vet.


If your pet has ingested poison, then you need to try and induce vomiting ASAP! You can use a teaspoon of baking soda mixed in half a cup of water, or a teaspoon of mustard in a cup of water. Your dog should vomit in 10 to 30 minutes. You will need to rush to the vet as soon as you have given him one of the mixtures mentioned above, be careful as he might get sick in your car.


I truly hope you never have to use this guideline, but it’s good to be prepared if the time ever comes.

And of course, knowing your pet has amazing cover with pet insurance will help too!

Until next time,

The Pet Insurance Team

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