October is National Animal Safety & Protection Month, a month dedicated to safe care and handling of our favorite animals. Parnell Living Science is honoring this month with pet safety tips to prepare you, should there be a pet emergency. This article focuses on how to be prepared in a pet emergency.
Almost 70% of Americans own a pet. It is estimated that 1 in 3 pet owners will need to seek unexpected emergency veterinary treatment. Pet emergencies happen but seldom are we prepared for them. Are you?
My Pet Emergency
Amazingly, my beagle, Lucky, was bitten by a rattlesnake! We were on a walk when she found the snake and it struck her on the nose before I could register what it was. The rattling tail after the strike made it clear it was a rattlesnake. As we ran away, Lucky started to slow down. I scooped her up and ran home carrying her. Once in the house, I yelled who knows what at my family. They couldn’t believe it, until they saw me holding Lucky in my arms, her nose now twice as large. We all quickly jumped in the car to go get her some help.
As we started to drive, we realized: where were we going? It was Saturday afternoon: our veterinary clinic was closed. In my panic, I forgot my cell phone at the house. My husband thought he had his phone. But in his haste to leave, he had brought the remote control to the television instead.
I was trying to keep Lucky awake as she was moving in and out of consciousness; we needed to get somewhere fast. We saw a police vehicle and waived the officer down and asked what to do. He knew of the location of the closest pet emergency room. He gave us verbal directions on where to go. I’ll admit, we wanted a police escort but it was clear it wasn’t an emergency to the officer. Once we arrived at the emergency clinic, they were real professionals and took us back immediately for treatment. We learned about how rare rattlesnake bites were and our options in dealing with them. This is another story for another time. Bottom line: Lucky was appropriately named. We are lucky she survived!
In looking back, I realize this was a very stressful situation which became more stressful because we hadn’t planned ahead. There were so many questions we didn’t know the answers to. And trying to do it in an emergency situation is not the right thing to do. We were all crying and saying goodbye to our beloved beagle because we weren’t sure what was going to happen to her. We lost valuable time driving without knowing where to go. Had we not found the police officer, we would have just watched my dog pass in my arms. The idea makes me nauseous. We truly had luck on our side.
You might already be more prepared than I was. But if not, use this as a good reminder to be prepared now, should there ever be a pet emergency!
After attending a recent pet conference, one point was made which rang true for me: many of us have pets, yet we are not prepared for a pet emergency. One person told the story of their own pet emergency when they were on vacation. They hired a family member to stay at their house with the dog while on vacation. When something happened to their dog, the family member didn’t know what to do or where to go because they were not from that area of the city. They realized they really didn’t even truly know the house address to call for help.
With this in mind, Parnell Living Science is offering a FREE downloadable Pet Emergency Info Sheet to use in your own pet emergency kit. Simply download the 8-1/2” X 11” PDF and print it out. By going through and filling out the emergency information detail, you will save valuable time in an emergency. Use it in many ways:
- Fill it out for yourself so you have all the numbers you need in one place. Be sure to put this somewhere you will easily find in case you need it, such as hanging on the side of the refrigerator.
- Leave it with your pet sitter or pet boarding facility, should you chose to travel without your pet.
- If you are traveling by plane or car, secure this sheet on the travel crate in case you and your pet become separated.
Part of being prepared is thinking ahead. Simply by reading this article, you are more prepared should there be a pet emergency in your life. If you fill out the new Pet Emergency Info Sheet, you will be ready, and so will the people who care for your pets. Parnell Living Science wishes you nothing but good health and safety for your pets!