Categorized | Care, Health, Tips

Pet 911: Four Steps to be Prepared for Your Pet’s Medical Emergency

We all hope, and even expect, that our pets will live long, happy, and healthy lives. They are well-fed, well-loved, and given the best veterinary care. Because we don’t expect emergencies, we are often surprised when they inadvertently arise. Preparing for your pet’s medical emergency, even if hypothetical, is one of the most important ways you can help your pet stay safe and healthy. Here are four important steps to help you prepare for an emergency.

1.Know your animal clinic’s hours, phone number, and emergency info.
Program any important numbers into your cell phone. Know where the nearest 24-hour emergency animal clinic is and how to get there. The Central Animal Emergency Clinic and many others are always on call and ready to help in a life threatening situation.

2.Keep a crate or other pet-carrier on hand.
In the event of a true emergency, you may not be able to keep your pet safe as you drive him to the nearest clinic. A sturdy crate or other pet-carrier is an important tool in emergency situations. Animals that are usually calm and friendly can become frightened when injured. A crate will keep the animal’s movements to a minimum.

3.Keep a well-supplied first-aid kit in your home and your car.
Your veterinarian can tell you exactly what you need to keep in your kit. At the very least, you should have it supplied with medical tape and scissors, antibiotic cream, disinfectant, flea and tick preventative, latex gloves, and hand sanitizer. Clean towels, extra collars and leashes, trash bags, and strips of cloth are also useful in pet related emergencies. If you aren’t sure what to include in your emergency kit, there are plenty of online resources that can help you know what  your pet’s specific breed might need.

4.Learn how to handle your sick or injured pet.
It is important to learn this critical skill before you need it. New techniques are hard to master when you are in panic mode. Often, animal clinics offer classes on animal first-aid. In addition, a good pet first-aid book can be a valuable reference to have on hand. In the event of an emergency, remember that your normally friendly pet might growl, bite, or scratch if he is in pain. Keep away from your pet’s face just in case.

Medical emergencies are inevitable. These steps are easier to implement when you are not in the middle of a crisis. Having a solid, well thought out plan will give you and your pet more time if an emergency does occur. Your preparation could save you the heartbreak and guilt of losing your pet. It doesn’t take long, and your pet will thank you for it.

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