What To Expect When You Take Your Dog To An Emergency Animal Hospital

Posted on: 7 July 2020

For most people, their dogs become beloved members of their family, so it can be quite alarming and stressful when they suddenly become ill or are injured. During normal business hours, you can contact your dog's normal veterinarian for a same-day appointment. However, illness and injury can often occur outside of normal business hours. Luckily, most cities and metro areas have multiple emergency animal hospitals to assist owners and their dogs when care is needed right away. Emergency animal hospitals operate quite different than a normal veterinarian's office. Continue reading to learn more about what to expect if you have to take your dog to an emergency animal hospital. 


Emergency animal hospitals do not offer appointments, not are they first come, first serve. In many ways, emergency animal hospitals operate much like an emergency room at a hospital for humans — the most critically ill or injured are treated first. When you arrive at an emergency animal hospital, it is important to know that animal patients are triaged. Upon your arrival, you will be asked several questions about your dog's condition, and a vet tech may do a short exam. If your dog is not considered critical, there may be a wait before they are treated. 

Initial Exam

When it is your dog's turn to be treated, they will be taken back to an exam room where they will be thoroughly examined by vet techs and a veterinarian. It is important to note that most emergency animal hospitals do not allow an owner into the exam room with their pet. This is because exam rooms are often small in size, and veterinarians need to work quickly to assess and diagnose what is wrong with an animal. Rest assured that your dog will be in very good hands even if you are not in the room.


After the initial exam is completed, a veterinarian or vet tech will come speak with you about your pet's condition and the recommended treatment plan. You will have the opportunity to ask any questions that you may have. In addition to outlining the recommended treatment plan, you will also be told how much treatment will cost. If you have pet insurance, your policy may cover a large portion of the treatment cost. In the event that you don't have pet insurance and you can't pay for your dog's treatment out of pocket, many emergency animal hospitals offer payment plans. 

Contact a local animal hospital to learn more.