Any time we are faced with the unexpected, there’s always one thing that can help improve the outcome: preparedness. And this is no exception when it comes to caring for our pets. Dogs and cats don’t get hurt or sick on a schedule, and it always seems to happen at a time when we feel the least prepared. So are you and your pet prepared?

That’s why I want to help you meet unexpected health issues head-on. Having an Emergency Kit on hand for your pet at all times will help you care for your furry friend until they can get the help they need (that is, if home care is not enough). These items are especially important to keep on hand for traveling, or for a sudden change in plan that can happen in the event of a hurricane, wildfire, flood or other disaster that means moving your pet with a quickness.

Below are the following list of Common Emergencies and actions we need to perform in order to help our pets during emergency situation. You can go ahead and scroll down to learn about my recommendations for making your own kit at home. 

pet injured

Why Do I Need an Emergency Kit for My Pet?

If your pet falls ill or gets injured, and you can’t get them to the vet right away (holiday weekends or a trip out of town have always been Mona’s favorite time to take a spill), you need to have a backup plan to keep them safe and comfortable until your vet can step in. Sometimes, emergencies can be effectively managed at home, if you do it right. Follow my recommendations and save yourself from a midnight visit to the ER.

GI Upset

This is one of the most common “emergencies” that pet parents face. Since our pets can’t tell us more about why they’re vomiting (“Well, I ate the rest of your lasagna when your back was turned…”), this often feels very urgent for pet parents. And while nausea and vomiting can be signs of serious illness, sometimes our pets just get a little tummy upset.

At the first sign of vomiting, you should withhold food for at least twelve hours. Letting your pet’s stomach rest will help it reset and prepare for the next shift. Continue to offer water, and give them some Activated Charcoal in the meantime. Feed them something nice and bland for their first meal (once they’ve made it 12 hours without vomiting), and don’t forget the probiotic. If your pet can’t hold down any water, it’s time to head to the vet.

If your pet has diarrhea, try offering some simple fiber-rich foods to help firm things up. potatoes, turnips and sweet potatoes are all fiber dense, and you may already have them on hand if you feed The Original CrockPet Diet. Banana and pumpkin are also great choices as a snack or incorporated in food. Bring some powerful probiotics onboard right away.

If vomiting or diarrhea persists for more than 24 hours, you may want to call the doc to make sure there’s not something serious at play. Pancreatitis, bowel obstruction and even food contamination can be quite serious for four-legged friends, and require professional treatment.

Keep on Hand: Probiotics, Activated Charcoal

Bleeding or Trauma

If your pet had a run-in with a sharp edge or some broken glass, you can help stop any excessive bleeding and evaluate their wound before you bring them to the vet.

After using clean water to flush the area, cover the area with sterile gauze pads and wrap the injury with VetWrap. This will keep the area clean, and help apply pressure to stem excessive bleeding, until your vet can take a look. Consider keeping Yunnan Bai Yao on hand, to help if excessive bleeding does occur. Yunnan Bai Yao is a Chinese Herbal formula, used to stop bleeding and promote healing from minor wounds and internal injuries.

Scratches and minor surface wounds can sometimes be cared for at home, by soaking the wound in epsom salt water daily and keeping it clean and dry. Only your vet can tell you if your pet’s injury requires medical attention like stitches, and you should always bring your pet for help if their wound does not stop bleeding, is not healing or becomes infected.

Keep on Hand: Gauze Squares, VetWrap, Yunnan Bai Yao

Injury or Over-do

Just like us, our pets sometimes overestimate their physical capabilities, and think they can conquer feats their body just can’t keep up with. Pets often get hurt by jumping from high places, changing directions suddenly, falling or just over-exercising. 

Especially as they age, pets can be prone to strains or just getting sore every once in a while when they’ve done too much. Keeping a nonsteroidal antiinflammatory in your Pet Emergency Kit will save the day if your pet had a misstep and is feeling sub-par. Inflapotion and Herbaprin can help relieve aches and pains, and help your furry friend rest comfortably while they heal.

If your pet is unable to bear weight on any limb, or expressing signs of pain for more than 24-48 hours, call your vet. Animals are experts at hiding pain and discomfort, so any outward signals of pain should be a red flag. Panting, limping, excessive grooming, changes in eating or sleeping patterns, being more vocal or sudden changes in posture or behavioral are all signs that your pet is in pain. 

If you notice these things, and they don’t improve with rest or gentle pain relievers, there could be something more serious happening.

If your pet has chronic arthritis or another condition that causes occasional or chronic discomfort, make sure you’re working with your vet to make sure you’re giving the right dose to keep your pet comfortable. If you’re looking for gentle and natural ways to keep your pet more comfortable, I’m happy to connect with you via consultation.

Keep on Hand: NSAID, Inflapotion, Herbaprin


Bring the rest of your emergency kit (just in case something undesirable happens on the road), and toss in a bottle of Liquid Nutricalm. It’s a natural herbal tincture that will help calm your pet’s nerves while you travel, and help you all better enjoy the ride. Nutricalm is also great to use during thunderstorms or any other time your pet feels anxiety.

A portable water bowl or system for your pet is also crucial for travel. Sometimes it can be tricky to find a suitable source for your pet when you’re on the road, and dehydration is very dangerous (especially in warm weather).

Keep on Hand: Nutricalm

Keeping a well-stocked Pet Emergency Kit is a great way to help your pet hurdle minor health snags from home. These ingredients will help keep your pet safer and more comfortable until they can get thorough treatment, or help them recover quickly from minor snafus.

Don’t ever try to treat a serious wound or illness without a licensed vet, and always err on the side of caution if you’re not sure when a professional is needed. Maintain a well-stocked kit during hurricane season, and always be mindful of your pet’s accommodations in weather-related emergencies or natural disasters. After all, your pet is part of the family, and keeping your entire household prepared will help you avoid major issues in the face of an emergency.

*If your pet becomes extremely ill or injured unexpectedly, these recommendations are not intended to replace the care or advice of a licensed veterinarian. If you suspect your pet is urgently ill or injured, you should always bring them to the nearest available veterinary hospital.

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Dr. Ruth Roberts has supported thousands of dogs and cats to overcome health hurdles like kidney disease, GI Illness, allergies, cancer. Her natural approach to healing creates a gentle yet effective path for your pet to take on their journey to wellbeing. 

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-Dr. Ruth Roberts, DVM, CVA, CVH, CVFT, NAN