Be ready to help a sick dog in an emergency! Find a 24-hour veterinary clinic. (Timo Balk Photo)
In the event of a pet emergency, minutes can mean the difference between life and death. You can’t waste time Googling emergency veterinary clinics, nor can you afford to get lost en route to the veterinary hospital.
What’s more, emergencies involving a pet are a very frightening experience for the owner. So even simple actions — like Googling a vet clinic or following GPS directions — can be difficult. So to avoid a potential tragedy with a sick or injured pet, consider the following preparations.
Finding a 24-Hour Veterinary Clinic & Emergency Treatment for Pets
The following measures will help pet owners avert tragedy if a dog, cat or other pet is injured or falls seriously ill.
- Keep a pet first aid kit in your home and in your car.
- Learn how to perform basic first aid for pets, including CPR for a dog or cat and the Heimlich maneuver for pets.
- Find the nearest 24-hour veterinary clinic or animal hospital.
- Drive to the nearest emergency veterinary hospital before an emergency arises – you need to be familiar with the route.
- Store the phone number to the 24-hour animal hospital in your cell phone.
To find the nearest 24-hour animal hospital, pet owners can ask their regular veterinary clinic. Also, many vets will provide the address and phone number for a local emergency veterinary hospital on the clinic’s voicemail for pet owners who call after hours.
There are also some great online directories for veterinary hospitals, including the Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Society’s directory.
More Tips on How to Help a Pet in an Emergency
If a dog or other pet suffers from a specific illness or condition that makes the animal prone to a medical emergency, pet owners should ensure that the nearest 24-hour veterinary clinic is equipped to help the pet.
In addition, pet owners should always call ahead when bringing a dog or other pet to a clinic for emergency treatment. This will enable the animal hospital staff to prepare for the animal’s arrival, enabling them to provide more prompt treatment.
If an owner is bringing their pet to their normal veterinary clinic for emergency treatment, they may be re-directed to a larger animal hospital if the pet’s injury or condition is beyond the clinic’s capabilities. So calling ahead is vital, as it can cut down on transportation time – something that’s essential when minutes mean the difference between life and death of a pet.