by guest blogger, Michelle Maskaly
For many of us, our pet is our child.
We worry about them, freak out when they don't feel good and always try to provide them with the best care possible. It also means when there is something really wrong with them you go into complete panic and can't remember your own name. (At least if you are like me)
There are some simple steps you can take in advance to make sure when an emergency does happen, you are prepared so even if you're freaking out, your pet gets the best care possible. I was glad I had done these things when Toby hurt his leg and we ended up at the emergency vet clinic at 1 a.m. on a Saturday morning.
- Keep a folder, or envelope with copies of all your pet's important information easily accessible. It should include their birth date, latest vaccinations, current and past medications including dosage amounts, any surgeries, previous health history and primary vet phone number. Since I travel a lot with Toby I keep a copy of almost all of these things in my car and his to-go bag. Most of the information is already on his vaccine sheet from the vet, so I just write the other facts on there and make photo copies.
- Know your vet's business hours, the nearest 24-hour emergency clinic and if there is a clinic that your vet is affiliated with. Some vets work at these clinics, so you may just see your regular doctor there should you have to go. While an affliated clinic can't always access your pet's medical records, many can automatically send the information over to your vet first thing in the morning.
This came in handy when Toby got hurt, because I didn't have to waste time searching for an open clinic, and before my vet's office opened they had already heard about Toby's condition and called me to make an appointment for that morning.
- If you have a second home, or travel with your pet to a specific area alot, ask your vet if they know of any other vets and/or emergency clinics in that area. Their professional network is just as big, if not bigger than yours, so you just don't know where they may have a connection. Plus, going to place recommended by a vet you already trust will help.
- Have extra blankets easily accessable. I always keep an extra blanket in the car for myself if I were to break down in the winter and couldn't use my heat, but year-round I always have an extra blanket for Toby, too. When we were in the emergency clinic Toby started shaking, and while I'm sure it was his nerves, I was worried he was cold, so I ran out and got an additional blanket to wrap him in.
- Carry a notepad. When you're in panic mode, you typically can't remember anything. So, all the information the vet is telling you will likely pass right through you. If you write down the key points they are telling you, it makes it easier to remember later when you need to tell your primary vet.
Hopefully, you won't need to use any of the items you've prepared in advance, but if you do, at least you'll be prepared.