Nobody likes to think about it, many never do, we really all should. If you’re a pet owner or considering being a pet owner, you should be prepared for the day you have a pet emergency. This is by all means not a complete list, but it will give you some ideas to get you started. We hope this helps you to get help quickly for your pet if the need ever arises.
- The first and most important rule to always remember is to remain calm. You can’t efficiently help your pet if you’re freaking out, it will only work against you. This can be really hard to do for some people, after all that’s your baby in trouble! You must remember that when your pet is stressed, you remaining calm will help keep you from being bitten. A pet under stress is likely to revert to animal behavior and that means he/she may lash out at you in fear and pain. You cannot blame a dog for biting under emergency circumstances, but you can help to avoid the bite by being calm.
- Every human has or should have a family or general physician. Your pet needs a trusted, familiar veterinarian. Pets need regular check-ups, vaccinations and routine care just like humans do. I don’t know about you, but one of the last things I’d want to do in an emergency is to bring my pet to a veterinarian’s office that neither I or my pet have never seen before. Your pet is an expert at hiding it’s symptoms and the resulting stress whenever possible. This comes from the animal in your pet which is something that can never be bred out. Your pet is an animal first and foremost, then a pet dog or cat. It’s part of Mother Nature for an animal to hide an injury or illness as a means of survival. If they show they are injured or sick, they become prey to larger animals. Don’t add to your stress or your pet’s by being forced to trust a stranger in an emergency.
- Next is to keep the name, address and phone number of your pet’s veterinarian next to your phone. Some vets use a variety of after hours contact sources like paging services for example. Check with your vet to see if there is a separate phone number you should use that is the fastest way to reach them if need be. Add this number to the vetertinarian information you keep by your phone. This will save you the time of looking it up or calling telephone information. Those few minutes could mean the difference between the life and death of your pet and may be the most important suggestion we can make. Make sure that any babysitters, occupants and regular visitors to your home know where this information is. You may not be there when help is needed.
- Add the info to your cell phone. Not only are you helping yourself to help your pet but what if you and your pet are involved in an accident and you are unconscious? Having your vet info in your cell phone will help rescue workers to help your pet when you can’t.
- If you ever do need to contact your vet in an emergency you must remain as calm as possible. Before placing the call, take a deep breath and a few seconds to calm yourself. Why? Because if you call the emergency number all stressed out, crying or hysterical – no one will be able to understand a word you’re saying. This means you must repeat yourself until you can be understood. You will waste much less time if you can provide the necessary information and answer their questions the first time.
- Do not consider your local animal shelter to be a means of help in an emergency. These organizations are most often run by volunteers and are not generally available to assist with animals that have an owner. Because they are volunteer based, it takes time to page out the on-call person. Time that you may not be able to afford when it comes to your pet’s life.
- Do not call 911 if you have a pet emergency unless the emergency involves an accident with road blockage or injuries or danger to humans. Your Police Department is not equipped to assist with a pet emergency. All they will be able to do for you is to provide you with telephone numbers of local veterinarians which is something that 1) you should be prepared for anyway and 2) you’re spending time making a phone call to get the same information you can get on your own. As a back-up plan, locate your vet’s info in your telphone book and circle it in bright red. It will be much easier to see on the page this way, especially under the stress of an emergency.
Ok, so now you’re prepared for a pet emergency … how are you going to pay for it?