Top Emergencies in Dogs

Updated: April 27, 2022

Your furbaby is an important part of your family. In times of emergencies, your dog can’t complain how they’re feeling so it will be up to you to assess how they feel. This is why you need to know what the top emergencies in dogs are and when to seek medical help.

Breathing difficulties

If your furbaby is having some trouble breathing, especially if they are already breathing through their mouth, get them to the vet as soon as possible. Your dog may:

  • be choking on something
  • have some fluid in the lungs or chest cavity (dyspnea)
  • may be experiencing severe pneumonia
  • may have some serious underlying issues such as metabolic diseases

"In times of emergencies, your dog can’t complain how they’re feeling so it will be up to you to assess how they feel."

Burns and scalds

Another one of the top emergencies in dogs are burns and scalds. This happens when your dog gets in contact with fire, boiling water, or harmful substances like acids. Additionally, burns and scalds can also happen to incontinent dogs, paralyzed dogs, and dogs with poor hygiene. These dogs are sometimes left sitting on their own mess inside their confinement areas or are left wearing their diapers and belly bands for long periods of time. 

Have your dog’s burns and scalds be checked by your vet as soon as possible to avoid any further infections. Also keep in mind that proper hygiene, sanitation, and safety check in your dog’s environment is the main key to helping your dog avoid burns and scalds.  

Note: In case of a diaper burn, give your fur baby the comfort and care they need to avoid having any diaper urine burn by picking the best and super-absorbent Pet Parents® dog diapers and dog belly bands. These are made from soft and non-abrasive WickQuick® proprietary fabrics that wick away liquid fast. These diapers and belly bands for dogs help prevent diaper rash and urine burns, allowing your pup to be comfortable all the time. 


Heatstroke happens during hot weather. It can also happen when pet owners leave their dogs inside their cars with little to no ventilation. Additionally, while any dog can experience heatstroke if left in a warm place for too long, there are some dog breeds that are more susceptible, like the snub-nosed dogs. These are dogs with snouts shorter than the normal ones. Some of these dogs include Pit Bull Terriers, Mastiffs, Pug, Bulldogs, Boxers, and many others. 

Furthermore, a dog who is overheating, according to the American Kennel Club Canine Health Foundation, may collapse or experience convulsions, vomiting, diarrhea, and gums or tongue may turn bright red to blue. 

The signs of heatstroke include:

  • labored breathing or panting
  • increased heart rate
  • sudden collapse
  • lethargy
  • bleeding nose or gums
  • very pale or very red or bluish gums

These are the most obvious and quickly recognized symptoms of heatstroke in dogs, but there are a lot more, depending on what the heatstroke situation is.

As first aid, cool your dog down by immersing them in a basin or tub of cool water or water them down with a garden hose. You can also place wet towels on his body. Do not use ice or ice water as this may cause your dog’s temperature to drop very quickly and can cause more harm than good.

If your dog appears to be sick or exhausted during very warm days and you notice heatstroke signs, don’t ignore it! Take your pup to the vet immediately.

Accidents and traumas

If your dog has recently been in a hit and run accident, had a gunshot wound, had a bad fall from an elevated area, etc., these accidents and injuries are included as top emergencies in dogs. Your dog may look and act okay after the accident, but it is recommended best to consult with your vet immediately to evaluate any possible traumas and internal bleeding.

Infections and life-threatening complications can occur if veterinary treatment is put off and moved to a later time. 


Gastroenteritis is the inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract of your dog. It can be caused by infection from medications, parasites, bacteria, viruses, or even from new foods. As the VCA Hospitals notes, most dogs with gastroenteritis will have intermittent episodes of vomiting and vomit may contain foamy, yellowish bile. 

Gastroenteritis will also include bloody diarrhea, accompanied by vomiting and lethargy. Gastroenteritis is a very serious condition that can promptly lead to dehydration and then death. This demands immediate veterinary attention. 

Allergic reactions

Allergic reactions in dogs take place when the immune system of your dog overreacts to a substance known as an allergen. Pollen, certain foods, certain plants, certain household products, dust mites, insect stings, certain medications, and vaccines are possible allergens. 

When a dog gets in contact with certain allergens they’re reactive to, it will cause swelling of the face, throat, lips, eyelids & ears, itching, diarrhea, distress, difficulty in breathing, and worse, shock & collapse. 

You can provide allergy-fighting supplements like Pet Parents® Immune & Dog Allergy Supplement. This will help provide your furbaby with dog immune support. It has Bio-Mos®, a branded prebiotic-type, which helps promote the body’s innate resistance to pathogens. Pet Parents® Immune & Dog allergy Supplement also has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that alleviate the symptoms of these allergic reactions. 


Poisoning, of any kind, is always an emergency. If your dog is able to ingest suspicious and toxic substances, call your veterinarian immediately. There are a lot of substances in your home that are toxic to your pup, including fruits and vegetables (like grapes, onions), chocolate, household plants, household cleaners, human medications, pesticides, and more.

Do proper research to learn about all of the household items that can be toxic to your dog and keep these items out of reach.

Your pup's natural survival instincts tell them to appear fine and hide their pain. You know your dog best and you will be aware of even the slightest changes in their behavior. If you notice any of the top emergencies in dogs stated above, take your pup to the vet as soon as possible.

"You can provide allergy-fighting supplements like Pet Parents® Immune & Dog allergy Supplement. It has Bio-Mos®, a branded prebiotic-type, which helps promote the body’s innate resistance to pathogens."