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De-stress Distress: Lifesaving First Aid Tips for Pets

  • Poisoning: If your pet is lethargic or experiencing vomiting or diarrhea, she may have eaten something toxic. Try to identify what your pet ate, and how much – are there candy or gum wrappers nearby, chewed leaves, a spilled bottle? – and call your vet. Keep your first aid kit nearby in case you’re directed to give your pet something to counteract the toxin. Do not induce vomiting unless directed – some chemicals can cause more harm if they’re brought back up. Get your pet to an emergency vet as soon as possible.

  • Seizures: Seizing pets might twitch and shake, foam at the mouth and/or vomit. Try to remain calm and clear away anything that could injure them, such as furniture. Do not try to hold your pet still, as they could inadvertently kick or scratch you. Try to track how long the seizure lasts, and keep your pet quiet once it’s ended. Call your vet as soon as your pet is calm. 

  • Bleeding: If you spot an open wound, don’t worry about examining it – focus on using clean, dry cloths to apply direct pressure to stop the bleeding. Do not wrap it tightly, but loosely tape a bandage over it as you transport your pet to the vet. If the bleeding is from a severe injury, such as a fracture, support the injury gently and get your pet to the veterinarian.  

“Remember, practice makes perfect,” says Benson. “Take a cue from school fire drills and stage pet-drills in your home. Rehearsing with the whole family can help ensure everyone knows where the emergency kit is kept, and help them remember what steps to take when a pet is in distress.”

To learn more about protecting pets in emergencies and every day, visit www.GoPetplan.com.


Top-rated pet insurance provider, Petplan, is the only pet insurance provider to have been included on Inc. Magazine’s list of 500 fastest-growing, privately held companies in America. In February 2013, Petplan pet insurance was at No. 34 on Forbes annual ranking of America’s Most Promising Companies – a list of 100 privately held, high-growth companies with bright futures. Petplan’s fully customizable dog insurance and cat insurance policies provide coverage for all hereditary and congenital conditions for the life of the pet as standard, and meet the coverage requirements and budget for pets of all/any age. Petplan pet insurance policies are underwritten by AGCS Marine Insurance Company in the U.S. and by Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company in Canada. The Allianz Group is rated A+ by A.M. Best (2011). For information, about Petplan pet insurance, visit www.GoPetplan.com, read the Petplan “Vets for Pets” blog, or call 1-866-467-3875.

policies by AGCS Marine Insurance Company, an Allianz company