How Can I Be Prepared for a Pet Emergency?

happy pet owner speaking with a vet

When an emergency arises, it often happens when you least expect it and at the most inconvenient time. However, the key to safely and successfully handling any type of emergency is to be prepared. By knowing where you are going to go, or what you need to do, you can remain calm and get your beloved pet the help he needs.

Types of pet emergency

Pet emergencies can take many shapes and forms. Some of the most common pet emergencies that require veterinary intervention include:

- Allergic reactions

- Birthing problems

- Bite wounds

- Bleeding

- Breathing problems

- Difficulty urinating

- Eye problems

- Persistent vomiting or diarrhea

- Poisoning

- Sudden inability to walk/paralysis

- Trauma (such as being hit by a vehicle, suspected broken bone)

Have a well-stocked first aid kit

One of the most important things that you can do to be prepared for a pet emergency is to have a well-stocked first aid kit. This means that you will have the equipment necessary to give your pet immediate assistance until you can reach your veterinarian.

Items that should be included in your pet first aid kit

- Bandages

- Absorbent dressings

- Sticky surgical tape

- Absorbent gauze

- Eye wash

- Thermometer

- Bottled water (useful for rinsing wounds, cooling burns and rehydrating your pet)

- Scissors

In addition to having a first aid kit in your home, if you regularly take your pet out with you, it is also beneficial to have one in your vehicle. After all, emergencies are just as likely to arise outside of the home.

Your emergency professional

Your usual veterinarian will have important information about the health of your pet which could prove to be crucial when it comes to treating him after an emergency. However, many emergencies arise outside of your vet’s usual opening hours. For this reason, if your usual vet doesn’t offer an out of hours service, you should decide in advance of your first emergency which veterinary practisewith an on-call facility you are going to entrust with your pet’s care.

Make sure you keep the details for both your regular and out-of-hours veterinarian in an easy-to-reach place, so that you or a family member can call quickly and easily should an emergency arise.

Paperwork preparation

In addition to having details of your pet’s veterinarian, it is also very beneficial if you have copies of his medical history, including any details about any current medication he is taking, to hand. This ensures that your pet will get the continuity of care he needs if you need to pass the responsibility to look after him to someone else.

It is also very useful to have your pet insurance information available, or alternatively a clear credit card or other payment method so that you don’t need to be panicking about the cost of your pet’s emergency care.

Home evacuation

Some emergencies arise that necessitate the evacuation of both humans and animals from your home. These can range from something temporary to a more serious situation such as a natural disaster. If you live in an area where a natural disaster is more likely (such as in a city that experiences a lot of earthquakes) you may wish to have an evacuation kit prepared too. This should contain everything listed above, and…

- At least two weeks’ worth of food and water for each pet

- Bowls to eat and drink out of

- Bathroom supplies, for example a litter tray and litter for your cat, or poop bags for your dog

- Leash/harness

- Carrier or cage equipped with blankets and his favorite toy

You should also plan where you are going to go in the event that you need to evacuate.

If you would like to find out more on the best way to be prepared for a pet emergency, our knowledgeable and experienced team would be delighted to offer their advice. Please contact our offices at your convenience.