I need urgent veterinary advice, who should I call?

Are you worried your pet needs emergency treatment? Follow our instructions below:

  • If the emergency is during normal weekday working hours, call your vet to find out what arrangements they have in place for you and your pet.
  • If the emergency is out of hours, such as at night, at the weekend or on a bank holiday, contact your nearest Vets Now pet emergency clinic or Vets Now 24/7 hospital straight away.

We have more than 50 out-of-hours pet emergency clinics and three 24/7 hospitals across the UK, so there should be one close to you.

If you need free veterinary advice on a range of life-threatening conditions please visit our online pet advice pages or type your query into our search tool (magnifying glass) above.

What can I expect when I call Vets Now?

We’ll provide advice over the phone and advise whether your pet needs urgent treatment. If your pet does need emergency care, we’ll normally ask you to bring them to one of our pet emergency clinics or state-of-the-art 24/7 hospitals.

We’ll also need to discuss payment for your pet’s consultation and treatment. If you have pet insurance, all or some of the costs may be reimbursed by your policy. But these can vary considerably so you should check what’s covered and what excesses apply.

Image of a dog owner seeking vet advice for Vets Now article on where to go for out-of-hours veterinary advice or online pet advice

What should I do in a pet emergency?

Emergencies happen when you least expect them. They can be stressful and traumatic for you and your pet. Here are some tips to help ensure your visit to our clinic or hospital is as stress-free as possible:

  • Call us as early as you can. This will give us an indication of when we can expect you and an idea of what kind of emergency it is. This is especially important if your pet is very sick because it enables our veterinary team to prepare some of the emergency treatments to save time when you arrive. It will also allow us to meet you at the door with a stretcher if your pet’s unable to walk.
  • Our vet surgeons will always see and treat the pet that’s most in need of urgent help, so there may be a wait depending on the seriousness of the situation.
  • If there’s going to be a delay, one of our vet nurses will perform a triage assessment to ensure there’s no risk to your pet. If the nurse has concerns, they may admit your pet to the treatment area to provide first aid such as oxygen therapy and pain relief.
  • If you have concerns about your pet while waiting, speak to the receptionist or nurse — please don’t sit and worry.
  • Once the vet has examined your pet, they will discuss with you any tests that may need to be performed, and any treatment that may need administering. At this stage, you’ll also be given an estimate of the potential costs.

Where can I get urgent veterinary help out of hours?

Vets Now partners with more than 1000 daytime veterinary practices who have chosen us because they trust us. We’re dedicated to out-of-hours care and have a full veterinary team on hand, throughout the night, weekends and bank holidays. If your vet is one of our partner practices, you will be informed of this when you call them in an out-of-hours emergency. Please call your nearest Vets Now clinic or hospital if you need urgent help.

What about online pet advice?

For non-urgent online pet advice, try our pet care advice pages or blog. If there is a subject on emergency veterinary care you feel should be covered by our emergency vets, and is not, please email a member of our team.