Why Pet Insurance?

How Much Does an Emergency Vet Visit Cost?

The vet bill for an emergency vet visit will usually depend on whether it is for a cat or a dog and other factors like the breed, type of emergency, location and the services needed like diagnostics, medications, etc.

It will be difficult for us to give you an exact answer as on average it can be anywhere between $500 - $5000.1 To understand better, let us first define an emergency.

What is an emergency in pets?

A medical emergency in pets is a serious and often sudden health condition that usually requires immediate veterinary attention to help prevent severe harm or death. Here are some examples that can be called an emergency in pets –

  • Trauma – Accidents, falls, animal attacks, etc. leading to fractures, deep wounds or excessive bleeding.

  • Labored breathing – Rapid or shallow breathing or respiratory distress such as wheezing, choking, or gasping for air.

  • Collapse – Sudden unconsciousness or unresponsiveness

  • Seizures – Recurrent or prolonged ones

  • Paralysis – Sudden limping, or inability to use one or more limbs.

  • Bloody vomit – Constant vomiting or diarrhea with mucus or blood in it.

  • Allergic reaction – Face or muzzle swelling, excessive itching, or difficulty breathing as a reaction to certain allergy

  • Stroke - Excessive panting, drooling, lethargy, vomiting, or collapse after exposure to heavy heat.

  • Pregnancy issues – Inability of a pregnant dog or cat to deliver pups after the water-breaking.

Apart from these, eye injuries, belly bloating, poisoning, hypothermia, etc. are also some common medical conditions that may require an emergency vet visit.

How Much Does an Emergency Vet Cost?

Emergency costs can be broken down into the components that it may typically involve. They can include the following1

  • Diagnostics including blood work, imaging, exams, etc. - $180 - $2501

  • Medications - $100 - $1502

  • Surgery - $1500 - $4000 or more1

How Much Does It Cost for an Emergency Treatment for Pets?

We can dive further into looking at average emergency vet bills depending on the medical condition. For some of the illnesses mentioned above that may require emergency visits to the vet, the average costs are –

  • Surgical removal of a foreign object – up to $30001

  • Ear Infection - $400 - $5001

  • Hospitalization for serious conditions like Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (Bloat) - $3500 - $45001

Why is an Emergency Vet Service more expensive?

  • The staff is usually highly trained for emergencies that come their way from car accidents to cancer.

  • Emergency vet facilities typically include ICUs, oxygen cages, advanced medical equipment like CT scans and MRIs, etc. These are usually missing at a traditional vet practice.

  • Emergency vet clinics work off hours like nights and holidays as an incident can occur at any time and time can play an important role in the treatment.


We know that taking care of a pet can become difficult at times owing to the financial burden, especially during emergencies. According to an article published by Now Toronto:3

The average annual expense for dog owners in Canada is $3020.

Pet parents with smaller dogs spend an average of $2595, while pet parents with larger dogs spend an average of $4605

Since 2021, the average cost of dog ownership has increased 23%.

The average initial cost of getting a new dog is $2580

How to pay for an emergency vet visit?

While you can dip into your savings to pay for an emergency vet bill, with pet insurance you can get up to 90% back of the eligible costs.* Depending on the cause of the emergency visit, many emergency cases can be covered under a pet health insurance plan. And if you’re thinking that only something major can induce an emergency, you’re wrong. Something as basic as your dog or cat eating a lot of chocolate can also call for an emergency visit. And the vet bill for treating it can put a significant dent in your finances.

How can pet health insurance help during an emergency?

If your dog or a cat gets into a fight and gets injured or eats something they are not supposed to and you have to run to an emergency vet clinic, pet insurance can help you ensure you can get the best care for your pet with less worry about the high costs.

Dog Insurance can help provide financial assistance for eligible veterinary care in case of unexpected accidents, illnesses, or injuries. Our plans can help pet parents manage the eligible costs of covered veterinary care and help ensure that their pets can receive the best treatment possible. Here are some ways that Spot pet insurance plans can help:

  • Covers Unexpected Veterinary Costs:

    Spot pet insurance plans cover the eligible costs of unexpected veterinary treatments, such as emergency surgeries, X-rays, and prescription medications for covered conditions.

  • Peace of Mind:

    With Spot pet insurance plans, pet parents can know that they can provide the best care for their pet with less worry about the cost.

  • Wellness Riders:

    Wellness Riders can be added to any Accident & Illness plan at an additional cost, and help pet parents get cash back on eligible preventative care services like; wellness exams, vaccines, dental cleanings, flea and tick preventative, and more.

And if you are a cat parent –

Cat Insurance helps to provide pet parents with additional financial support and peace of mind when it comes to the health and wellness of their pets. With a Spot plan, pet parents can receive up to 90% cash back on eligible vet bills.* This way pet parents can focus on caring for and supporting their pets. Spot's also offers preventive care add-ons for an extra cost, which can help cover the eligible costs of spaying and neutering, dental cleaning, vaccinations, and other routine care services.

Get a quote today!

*Reimbursement is based on your pet’s age at enrollment and renewal.


“Emergency vet visit cost in Canada,” Brokerlink, https://www.brokerlink.ca/blog/emergency-vet-visit-cost-canada, Mar. 13, 2023

“Cost of Dog Parenthood in 2024,” Rover, https://www.rover.com/ca/blog/cost-of-dog-parenthood/, n.d.

“Owning a Dog in Canada will cost you over $3000 in 2024,” Now Toronto, https://nowtoronto.com/news/10-yrs-of-trust-can-disappear-in-a-moment-airbnb-responds-after-canadian-shares-nightmare-experience-with-london-hosts/, Jan. 10, 2024.

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