How to Prevent Pet Emergencies

As a pet owner, you know that pets have a way of finding mischief or sickness when it is least convenient – in the middle of the night or during a weekend or holiday. In order to avoid paying emergency vet fees from going to the vet during those times, it is important to learn how to prevent common pet emergencies.

The following are issues requiring urgent care that the team of Veterinarians at Cumberland Animal Hospital sees most frequently.


Vomiting and diarrhea is one of the most common issues for pets. Sometimes it can resolve itself on its own, while other times it is an indication of a larger problem. If your pet is experiencing either, it is important to note the duration due to the risk of dehydration.

While there is no real way to prevent GI-distress, it is important to make sure your pet has access to fresh water and is given a diet recommended by your vet. Be sure to keep human food and the garbage can inaccessible. If you have any concerns, be sure to call the veterinary team at Cumberland Animal Hospital.


As most of us know, our pets will sometimes eat anything they have access to. There are many toxins in our homes that we may forget about that our animals can get to. Prescription medications, cleaning supplies, poisonous plants, human food and more, there are many sources of toxins that surround our pets and we don’t always know which ones will pique their curiosity. Fortunately, if ingested and treated soon enough, most cases can be resolved.

The best way to avoid an emergency is to become familiar with common toxins and make sure they are not accessible. The ASPCA has a good guide online if you want to look up items in your home. Their website lists common toxic substances broken down by category including:

  • Poisonous Plants
  • People Food to Avoid
  • Poisonous Household Products
  • Human Medications and Cosmetics


Pets can experience a number of injuries from sores to fractures. As a pet owner, if you see blood, it can be worrisome. However, trauma such as that from blunt force, leaves no external signs. If your pet has experienced trauma, give our office a call so we can advise you on what to do.

As not all accidents can be prevented, there are some simple ways to avoid injuries:
• Leashing your dog when you’re walking or in an environment where there could be hazardous plants, wildlife or even other dogs. Keeping your dog leashed is important.
• Avoid dog parks – Even if your dog is socialized and gets along well with other dogs, it can be hard to predict what other dogs will do.
• Using a kennel at home – For pets that get into mischief when left alone, it is best to crate them until they can be properly supervised.


The high heat and humidity of North Carolina can mean milder temps year round, but can also mean a higher risk of heat stroke year round. Avoiding extreme heat is critical for your pet’s well-being. Heatstroke happens when normal body systems cannot keep the body’s temperature in a safe and normal range. Animals do not sweat or have efficient cooling systems like humans. Therefore, they easily get overheated.

One rule to follow on warm or hot days is to NEVER leave your pet in the car. Even on a warm day, temperatures can increase to life-threatening levels in such a short amount of time. Leaving your pet in the car, even if it seems like just a few minutes, is not worth the risk. Even with the windows cracked, your car is still far too hot for a pet and may result in someone breaking the window to rescue the pet, criminal prosecution in some states, or may result in a fatality of the dog.

Signs of heatstroke include but are not limited to:

  • heavy panting
  • excessive drooling
  • frequently lying down
  • a fast or irregular heartbeat
  • vomiting/diarrhea
  • lack of appetite
  • neurologic signs such as seizures or stumbling


The Cumberland Animal Hospital in Fayetteville, North Carolina understands how important it is to keep our pets safe year-round. If you have questions or concerns about your pet travel plans, call us at 910-822-3337. Cumberland Animal Hospital’s veterinarians in Fayetteville, NC are always available to assist you. Call us to schedule an appointment or ask any questions.

Of course, not every incident requires a trip to the ER. However, if your pet is acting out of character or exhibiting signs of distress, it’s important to follow your gut. Rather than waiting and questioning whether it’s critical enough to bring your pet in, the best thing to do is call our office. If it’s after hours, call our partner urgent care line at 910-864-2844.