3 min read

How to Prepare for a Pet Emergency


Channel your inner friend or family member who’s most likely to be the one who’s stocked up and prepared for an emergency. Think about how they will approach this situation. 


  • Nearly 70 percent of American households have a pet
  • The average cost for unexpected veterinary care for dogs and cats is between $800 and $1,500, according to Petplan 
  • Only 39 percent of Americans can afford out-of-pocket medical expenses for pets 

Prudence, according to Dictionary.com, is “acting with or showing care and thought for the future.” Being prudent helps save unwasted time and prevent anxiety-inducing situations when thinking about your pets’ health. 

Unsurprisingly, it’s bad for your mental wellbeing and your pets’ safety to not be thoughtful about the future and think ahead on what you should do in an emergency or accident. Emergencies or accidents happen very quickly, sometimes out of nowhere. If you’re a pet parent, a little foresight goes a long way toward preventing emergencies and looking after your pets’ safety! 

How to start emergency planning right away

  • Locate a veterinarian or a 24/7 animal hospital in your area in case your pets need immediate medical care. Add the contact information to your emergency kit. This takes seconds!
  • Know what disasters could affect your area, which could call for an evacuation and when to shelter in place.
  • Find out where you can find up-to-date COVID-19 information. Wag! created a resource center on COVID-19 resources for dogs. Bookmark it!

How to make an emergency plan for your pups

  • Create a buddy system in case you’re not home. Ask a trusted neighbor or utilize a drop-in visit with Wag! so a Pet Caregiver can come check-in on your furry friends. Make sure they are comfortable and familiar with your pets (vice versa).
  • If you use a pet sitting or boarding service, find out in advance if they will be able to help in case of an emergency.
  • Add your pets to your family budget. Financial advisors recommend including pets in the family emergency fund. According to Kaplan, families should earmark $5,000 to $10,000 for pets in the family emergency fund.
  • Get a microchip for your pets! Include your most recent address and phone number on it, plus one emergency contact.
  • Prepare an emergency kit for your furry furriends.

Pet insurance is popular among pet owners, and it makes sense to get this because emergency visits to the veterinarian’s office can get expensive! According to CareCredit, the average cost of an emergency vet visit is $800-$1,500. And if your dog or cat needs surgery, that can end up adding thousands of dollars to your vet bill.

Online, there are a lot of resources that can point you to what condition, symptom, or treatment your pets have. But you’ll often find multiple sites that tell you different information, so it’s difficult to know which information you should trust. In emergencies, it’s best to hear from licensed experts themselves. In addition, being prepared for all kinds of emergencies will prevent you from scrambling at the last minute in an emergency or accident.

In your next visit to the veterinarian’s office, ask your vet about how to fit your budget and your pet’s needs as best you can. Your veterinarian office might already have pet insurance available for you to subscribe to!

Fortunately, we’ve done the research for you, and you can compare plans to find the right pet insurance platform for you with Wag! Wellness. A little thought into this can go a long way, especially if you are at home and don’t have a lot of options or people to turn to. 

Wag! Health is another option that alleviates expensive emergency visits to the vet. Although Wag! Health isn’t a replacement for a regular vet visit, it is a service allowing Pet Parents to easily connect with licensed veterinarians for expert advice--at low cost. From minor wounds, coughing and sneezing, ear or eye problems, and so much more. 

Have an emergency question? Skip waiting in long lines or in a queue to talk to an expert on the phone,

Since there’s no place like home and the vet’s office likely isn’t your #1 easiest option due to COVID-19, why not bring the veterinarian to you? Get connected with a licensed expert instantly and get the advice your pet’s need. 

Benefits: low cost, convenience, and peace of mind

As pet parents, we should all try to stay adaptable and resilient during these times for our furry furriends. 

Need additional help? Check out these supplementary resources on our website!

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