October is National Animal Safety & Protection Month, a month dedicated to the safe care and handling of our pets, and planning ahead for them, should an emergency arise. The facts are with over 70% of Americans with a pet at home, most of us know where the nearest pet store is but when asked where the nearest emergency veterinarian is, many are not be able to answer. That was certainly the case for me, when we had an emergency with my dog on a Saturday afternoon, well after my regular veterinarian's regular business hours. More on that later.
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? You will be when you read on!
In our pet emergency (explained below), I now realize we made a very stressful situation 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 time to do it. Hopefully, you are more prepared than I was. Use this as a good reminder to think ahead now, should there ever be a pet emergency!
We have all heard the stories. Many of us have pets, yet we are not prepared for a pet emergency. We know where a hospital is for a loved one, but the pet hospital may not be as well known. A co-worker told us a story of their own pet emergency when they were on vacation. They hired a younger family member to stay at their house with the dog while the family went 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 didn’t even know the house address they were staying at when they tried calling for help.
With this in mind, Parnell Living Science, the makers of Glyde Mobility Chews, 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 on your compujter. 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!
Protect Your Pet
There are many things you can do to be sure your pet is protected from unexpected occurrences. The easiest way to protect your pet is to take them for yearly checkups. As pet owners, we seem to be diligent in protecting their health as puppies. As they age, it should be no different. Some things to consider to discuss with your vet at your dog ages:
- Dental care. Imagine if you didn't brush your teeth often, if at all? The obvious signs of bad dental hygiene is bad breath and bad teeth. But this can also be connected to tooth decay, loss of teeth, and kidney and liver complications from bacteria-laced tooth infections. Staying on top of brushing your dog's teeth is an obvious task you can do. But you may want to check in with your veterinarian on how your dog's teeth are doing and when they suggest they be cleaned.
- Joint health. For dogs, having good joint health is key to their mobility. Active, agile dogs often have issues as they age within their joints. Osteoarthritis, or arthritis in dogs affects dogs of all ages and sizes. It is important to keep regularly monitoring their mobility and be on the lookout for changes in the way they do common activities and willingness to move. It is important to make regular assessments of your dog’s mobility.
An easy way to check in on your dog’s mobility is to take the Arthritis Quiz every 6 months to help prompt you what you should be looking for. It is always a good idea to use joint supplements for a preventative measure to keep their joints in good health for as long as possible.
My Own Pet Emergency (don't do this) snake bit
Amazingly, my beagle, Lucky, was bitten by a rattlesnake! We were on a walk when she found a real live snake, went in to sniff it and it struck her on the nose all before I could register what was happening. We were on a sidewalk in our neighborhood! The rattling tail AFTER the strike made it clear it was a rattlesnake. In a panic, we ran off to escape the snake. As we ran, my beagle Lucky started to slow down and was clearly swooning. I scooped her up and ran home carrying her. Once in the house, I yelled at my family in a panic. No one could understand what I was saying. A rattlesnake? They couldn’t believe it, until they saw me holding Lucky in my arms, her nose now swelling up to twice as large. The entire family decided we needed to go with Lucky in the car to take her to the emergency room for help. We quickly jumped into the van to go get her some help.
As we started to drive off rather quicklyl, 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. (This was before you always had a cell phone in your hand.) 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 a dog was not an emergency to this police officer. We were on our way.
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 in our part of the county and our options in dealing with them. The veterinarian had said Lucky's odds were with her because the snake bite was at the top of her nose, not near a major artery where the blood could pump the poison quicker throughout her body. This is another story for another time. Bottom line: Lucky was appropriately named. We are LUCKY she survived!
Now we are more prepared!
You can be too. Fill this form out and keep it in a handy location, should you need it. You can also leave this form filled out with those who watch your dog when you leave town. Then they have the numbers in case they need it too! Something as simple as this, which takes just a few minutes to fill out, could save you a lot of heartache and stress. Trust me. We now know!
Happy National Animal Safety & Protection Month! Here's your chance to BE PREPARED!