Veterinary

Can You Call A Pet Ambulance For Your Dog? How To Transport Your Pup During An Emergency

Tara Maurer

Last Updated: July 8, 2024 | 3 min read | Leave a Comment

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Curious Basenji dog puppy climbs on the table with fresh vegetables at home in the kitchen
Image credit: life_in_a_pixel, Shutterstock

In the event of a medical emergency, a quick response time is crucial for your pet’s care and recovery. But for those who don’t have access to a vehicle or other pet-friendly transit, seeking immediate treatment can be a challenge. Enter pet ambulance transport.

Many organizations are now introducing emergency and non-emergency services to ensure no pet lacks medical care due to unavailable transportation.

Can You Call An Ambulance For A Dog?

As a human, if I need medical assistance, I call 911 and wait for an ambulance to arrive. Unfortunately, that’s not the case for pets.

In a pet emergency, you can call 911 for your pet; however, 911 services may not be equipped to handle pet emergencies and may not send an ambulance. For faster response times, your best resource is your veterinarian or a pet emergency service. Take time to familiarize yourself with pet emergency services in your area.

Are There Ambulances For Pets?

Depending on your location, you may have access to an animal ambulance service. Unfortunately, there are no national vet ambulance providers. Before a situation occurs, check with your veterinarian and familiarize yourself with any services in the area. You may have a dog ambulance in your area that’s just a call away.

How To Transport Your Pet In An Emergency

Just like the human ER, vet emergency services offer extended hours and accept walk-ins. Here are some transportation tips for when your dog has an emergency but you don’t have a vehicle or access to an emergency vet ambulance.

Ride-Hailing & Ridesharing Services

Transportation services like Uber, Lyft, and cab companies often allow dogs in their vehicles. Contact the company or driver to request a vehicle and a driver who is okay with dogs. In the case of Uber, Lyft, and other ridesharing apps, it is up to the individual driver’s discretion on whether or not they will allow dogs to ride in their car.

Some companies offer local pet taxi services to bring your pup to the vet or emergency clinic. Check online or contact your vet for pet transportation services in your area.

Phone A Friend

While this may seem obvious, we sometimes lose insight during stress-inducing or emotional situations. In the event of an emergency, a dependable friend or family member can help you transport your pet to the urgent care clinic.

Pet Strollers & Wagons

A stroller or wagon can be especially helpful if your pet is immobilized. If you own a bike, consider a bike trailer for faster transportation. Some companies also make dedicated dog stretchers.

Other Options

Contact your local emergency hospital if you can’t transport your pet to the vet. Another good resource is one of the U.S.’s two animal poison control centers:

Both services are available 24/7 for emergency support, but expect a fee for each.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some frequently asked questions regarding pet ambulance services. Don’t see yours? Ask us in the comments.

How Much Does A Pet Ambulance Service Cost?

The cost of an ambulance for pets will vary by organization, service, and location; however, emergency transportation typically starts at around $200.

What Is A Canine Emergency?

Any of the following should be considered canine emergencies and require immediate veterinary consultation or care:

  • Broken bones or lameness
  • Choking or difficulty breathing
  • Eye injuries
  • Heat stroke
  • Ingestion of toxic substances (e.g., antifreeze, chocolate, grapes, insecticides, poisonous plants, prescription medications for people, rodenticides, and xylitol)
  • Refusal to drink for 24+ hours
  • Seizures
  • Severe bleeding or bleeding that doesn’t end within 5 minutes
  • Severe vomiting or diarrhea
  • Unconsciousness

Pet Insurance For Accidents & Emergencies

Accident-only pet insurance policies help cover costs for injury-related vet visits. These plans are typically less expensive than accident and illness pet insurance but can save you significant money in an emergency. View our top pics for the best accident-only pet insurance plans, especially since not every company offers it.

Why Trust Canine Journal?

As with all living creatures, our pups may have unexpected health issues. Tara has experience with emergency care for her pets, which is just one of the reasons why she is dedicated to ensuring our readers have the information they need to provide the best quality of life for their furry friends. Tara is part of the Canine Journal team, which has over a decade of experience researching, testing, and writing about anything and everything dog-related. She also has 8+ years of experience in the wellness industry, with expertise in pet nutrition and supplementation.

The information provided through this website should not be used to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease; it is not intended to offer any legal opinion or advice or a substitute for professional safety advice or professional care. Please consult your health care provider, attorney, or product manual for professional advice. Products and services reviewed are provided by third parties; we are not responsible in any way for them, nor do we guarantee their functionality, utility, safety, or reliability. Our content is for educational purposes only.

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