3 Steps to Take During a Pet Emergency
An emergency situation can be stressful, especially if the incident involves a pet. When a pet is injured and needs to go to an emergency animal hospital, both the owner and the animal may experience a mix of emotions. It is important for a pet owner to remain as calm as possible, as this will help keep the animal calm. Here are three things to do during an emergency as well as tips on how to be prepared.
- Approaching Your Pet
If your pet is in pain or is nervous, it is likely that its normal behaviors will give way to anxiety-produced ones. That means that it may want to scratch or bite you as a means of defending itself. Therefore, an owner should approach the pet slowly to gauge its reaction. Even though you may be tempted to rush forward to provide help, it is best to remain calm and soothe the pet.
- Secure the Animal
If it is possible to put the animal in its kennel or cage, an owner should do so. Otherwise, wrap the pet in a towel and gently place it in the car. This helps to secure the pet, which can provide comfort and protect it from further injury. Additionally, animals may feel more at ease in their cages or kennels, as it is a familiar place.
- Call the Facility
While many emergency animal hospitals do not require an appointment, it is still a good idea to call ahead and alert them that you will be bringing in your pet. They will want to know the pet’s symptoms. This can help the staff prepare for treatment, especially if the animal is in need of immediate attention such as emergency surgery.
One of the best ways to ensure that you take the right steps is to do emergency preparation. This will include a number of items, such as:
- Assembling a pet first aid kit: This should include items such as bandages, adhesive tape, cotton balls and antiseptic spray.
- Directions: Be sure to have printed or stored directions to the nearest emergency animal hospital so you do not have to spend time searching for it when a situation arises.
- Phone Numbers: Keep the contact information for the emergency facility, veterinarian and poison control center handy, such as stored in a smartphone or posted on the refrigerator.
- Medication: Make sure you have a list of your pet’s updated prescription information at all times so an emergency facility is aware of all medications.
Depending on your local emergency facility, you may be able to pre-register your animal before an incident ever occurs. This can expedite the process of checking in, as the hospital will already have much of the pertinent information they need in order to provide care for your pet.
Most pet owners do not like to think about experiencing an emergency, but planning ahead is a good way to ensure you are ready. Know the steps to take if an injury or illness occurs, such as staying calm and securing the pet. Doing things ahead of time, like having a first aid kit and keeping phone numbers handy, will mean that an owner is ready to take action when necessary.