Tips to Prevent 4 Common Pet Emergencies

It's scary to consider that the unthinkable — poisoning, heatstroke, an attack by another animal — could happen to our beloved pets. But if there were something you could do to lower your pet's chance of having one of these emergencies, would you do it? We're sure you would— especiallyif you could prepare yourself by knowing how to respond.

Check out the gallery below for tips on helping prevent four common emergencies that veterinarians treat pets for. And, please, share! You never know — you may save a life.

Emergencies You Should Be Prepared for

Pug Panting



We can't say enough about the dangers of heatstroke in dogs. One of the most common misconceptions is that it affects only canines left in cars. But if you're outside exercising in hot weather, your dog runs the same risk of heatstroke — and maybe even more so. Know the signs: heavy panting, loud breathing, vomiting, disorientation and collapse, among others. And do what you can to lower the risk for your dog: Keep walks short, bring water and exercise before the sun comes up or after it sets.

Cat Fight


Attacks by Other Animals

Fights and attacks by other animals can happen so quickly — one second everything seems fine, and then you're rushing to the veterinary emergency room. Although not all situations can be prevented, understanding your cat or dog's body language is one of the keys to avoiding conflict. For cats, it's important to prevent them from roaming the outdoors, where they're more likely to get into fights, territorial or otherwise. For dogs, many attacks happen at the dog park or where lots of canines are off leash. Scope out the local dog park for safety before you let your dog in and always be attentive to how your dog is interacting with others.

A-Z Pet Poisons



You know that dogs can't eat chocolate and to not keep lilies around the house if you have cats. But pet poison risks go way beyond those two. Many other common household items can poison cats and dogs: batteries, laundry detergents, grapes, tobacco and e-cigarettes, unbaked bread dough... the list could go on forever. Run a safety check to really get a handle on what your pet could gain access to. Ask yourself: Are my prescription medications somewhere that my cat could knock over the bottle and eat them? Could my dog rummage through a purse on the coffee table and steal any sugar-free gum that contains xylitol? Review our list of pet poisons and really make an effort to eliminate your pet's potential access to anything on it.

Golden Retriever Chewing Bone



You may be tempted to slip your begging dog a spare bone from your most recent culinary exploit, but we're here to tell you: Please don't. Any bone — whether it's from chicken, beef, pork, fish or another source — can cause choking, broken teeth, tongue and gum injuries, and much more. Bones also splinter, and the pieces can puncture parts of your dog's digestive tract, like his esophagus, stomach or intestines.

Another big choking hazard is loose pieces from destroyed toys. This could be anything from stuffing that your dog eats while dissecting a plush toy to a little bell or feather that falls off a cat toy. So how do you help avoid this? Check often to make sure your pet's toys are in good condition (with no rogue pieces threatening to fall off) and don't leave him unsupervised with any toy that could be destroyed.

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