What to do in case of a pet emergency


We are all educated at a fairly young age that if there is an emergency you need to call 911. It’s an easy enough rule to follow for human emergencies. But we don’t necessarily talk about what to do in the case of an incident involving our pets – who many consider to be loved ones.

A few weeks ago in my neighborhood we had a tragic loss of a fairly large dog, Bentley, to accidental suffocation in a mylar bag. A mylar bag is a type of chip or snack bag. This terrible incident is unfortunately not an isolated one. Our neighborhood is now acutely aware of how dangerous these bags can be to pets. 

The website, preventpetsuffocation.com, has excellent tips on how to be more vigilant as pet parents. One prevention tip is to cut up used chip bags. The last week of Novemeber 2016 was “Pet Suffocation Awareness Week,” as I’m sure will be this year as well. This week is near the holidays, which is when we all have gatherings and may not be as attentive to our pet’s environment.  

pet emergency
In Loving Memory of Bentley

Many of us gathered to help the grieving family as they figured out the next steps. The first thing you can do if you find your pet unconscious is administer Pet CPR. The American Red Cross has instructions here and they offer online courses. 

The next thing that is extremely important is having all of your pet documents in an easy to locate folder in your home. EARSCT has lists for being “pet prepared” that you can download to keep in your pet’s folder. You can also ask your veterinarian for documents they recommend as well.  

These documents should have your pet’s veterinarian’s number as well as local emergency clinics in the area you can contact for after hours care. We have three emergency veterinarian clinics in Fairfield County. 

Having an emergency with your pet can be extremely distressful for you and your family members as well. If you don’t feel that you are able to drive your pet or do not have someone to drive you to the nearest emergency clinic, EARSCT can provide emergency pet transportation. They also can provide other emergency services if needed throughout Connecticut.

I surely hope no one ever needs to use these services. However, I hope this also helps you to be “pet prepared” if you do find yourself with a pet emergency.

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Caroline is a mom of four, D born in 2011 (a son who left us at 3 years old after significant medical issues), H born in 2013 (daughter), and A & M born in 2016 (twin daughters). Originally from Westchester, she and her husband settled in Wilton in 2010. She became a stay-at-home mom after D was born. She serves on the board of STAR Inc. and is also very involved with the Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley, where she stayed for almost 3 months. She enjoys reading, tennis, cooking, baking, and grocery shopping!


  1. Caroline, thank you for writing this!! As much as we never anticipate it, dogs get into things. Food, toys (think shopkins = choking hazard) and even mouse/rat poison (that was our trip to the emergency vet, to induce vomiting after eating an entire block).

    I would add two thing a to this post.
    1. Keep hydrogen peroxide on hand at all times. It can be used to induce vomiting if a dog gets into poison or meds. Or decides that an entire bag of Hershey’s miniatures is a great afternoon snack while you’re out of the house. Google it now so you know what to do.
    2. There is another great emergency vet in Newtown – Newtown Veterinary Specialists. Longer drive, but I’ve been really pleased with the services there. Suka is in Dr. Hendricks care as we speak (planned and minor surgery).

    And, lastly… if you are ever in any doubt, just crate your dog while you’re out of the house (but without any collars). They perceive the crate as a safe place, and you know they are not getting into anything!

    Thanks again CH!! Xo,
    One of the neighbors. 🙂


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