Who to Call for Emergency Pet Care: A Comprehensive Guide

As a pet owner, the health and safety of your furry friends are paramount. You never expect an emergency, but when it does happen, do you know who to call? Picking the right services at such a time can be overwhelming. That’s where this comprehensive guide comes in—helping you make informed decisions about who to call for emergency pet care. We’ll walk you through various emergency pet care options and their respective services.

Emergency Vet Clinics

When your pet has a major health problem, the first people you should call are typically veterinary professionals. Emergency vet clinics provide critical care to pets suffering from life-threatening illnesses or injuries. 

Whether your pet is experiencing severe distress, traumatic injuries or needs immediate surgery, these clinics are equipped to handle virtually any emergency situation. Their staff members are trained to handle emergencies and can provide fast, efficient care.

Animal Emergency Clinics

An example of such a clinic is an animal emergency clinic like the ones found in major cities. These specialized clinics focus exclusively on emergency care and are open 24/7, unlike most regular vet clinics. They have the necessary equipment, personnel, and expertise to handle anything—from accidents and injuries to severe health issues that can’t wait for regular business hours. When searching for the nearest clinic, you can usually find their information on their homepage or by visiting your regular vet’s website.

Veterinary Labs

In some instances, your pet’s emergency might require diagnostic tests or other specialized services that are not available at your typical vet clinic. For instance, pets ingesting toxic substances or experiencing unexplained symptoms may require complex laboratory analysis to determine the cause and appropriate treatment. You may need to get in touch with veterinary labs, like a pet pharmacy in San Diego, for these specific tests.

On-Call Veterinarians

Some veterinary practices offer on-call services for emergencies, which means you can contact your regular veterinarian outside their regular office hours for urgent assistance. These vets might offer a greater degree of familiarity with your pet’s medical history. 

This can be especially helpful in situations where your pet has chronic conditions that require specialized knowledge or care. However, on-call services might not be equipped to handle complex emergencies, in which case, you will be directed to an emergency clinic.

Mobile Veterinary Services

For situations where you cannot transport your pet to the clinic, mobile veterinary emergency services can be invaluable. These services send a veterinarian or veterinary technician directly to your home to provide emergency care. Not all mobile veterinary services are equipped for handling critical emergencies, but they can provide essential care at your doorstep, or even guide you on stabilizing your pet for transport to a more specialized facility.

Animal Poison Control Centers

If your pet ingests a potentially harmful substance, it’s crucial to act quickly by contacting an animal poison control center. These centers can provide crucial guidance on whether a substance is poisonous to pets and any emergency steps to take. Most centers operate 24/7 hotlines staffed with professionals who can guide you on treating your pet while waiting for professional care. They can also advise you on whether you need to take your pet to the clinic.

Animal Welfare Organizations and Animal Control

In cases where an injured or sick stray animal is found, you might not be in a position to offer it shelter or take it to a clinic yourself. In such circumstances, contacting an animal welfare organization or your local animal control can help. These organizations typically have the resources and experience to provide emergency care and even rehoming services if required.


When your pet’s health is on the line, time is of the essence. By knowing who to call in these stressful situations, you can help ensure that your furry friend gets the prompt, adequate care they need. Our comprehensive guide introduced you to the different emergency pet care options available, giving you the knowledge to make informed decisions during crucial moments. While we hope you never have to face a pet emergency, preparation is key; after all, your pet’s well-being is worth it.