Have a pet emergency? Here's how to prepare to make it less stressful

John Gregory Image
Tuesday, September 12, 2023
Have a pet emergency? Here's how to make it less stressful
Needing to rush your pet to a veterinary hospital can be scary, but being prepared can help ease some of that stress.

Needing to rush your pet to a veterinary hospital can be scary, but being prepared can help ease some of that stress.

Here are some ways to prepare your furry family member in case of a medical emergency.

First, you'll want to have a first aid kit.

It should include things like gauze, bandage wraps, antibacterial cleanser, isopropyl alcohol and antibiotic ointment. You may also need a muzzle for your dog as they could bite if they're in a lot of pain.

Keep the kit where you can find it easily and bring it along for any adventures with your pet.

Pet first aid courses can also teach you what to do if your pet is choking, bleeding or having a heat stroke. However, there are times when you might need to take them to the vet.

Dr. Amber Karwacki says a sign that they may need to be taken to the vet is when they're displaying behavior like staying off their feet and not participating in their usual play sessions or walks.

"Any vomiting or diarrhea, definitely give us a call. Minor coughs and sneezes - if it's occasional, that's fine, but if it's getting more frequent... we need to see them," she said.

Cat owners may need to be a bit more watchful as felines tend to hide their illnesses. Something might be wrong if they're walking funny, they aren't using the litter box quite right or they just aren't behaving like their usual selves.

Getting your pet comfortable with their carrier, the car and their veterinarian can also cut down on stress.

Karwacki recommends that cat owners keep their carriers out where they can see them.

"Maybe put their favorite blanket in there, a toy, maybe even feed them in their carrier so it's not something of a surprise that they're getting shoved into at the last minute, and they're comfortable in that space."

You can also make vet visits less stressful for your cat or dog by getting them used to the car, stopping by the vet for treats and focusing on low-stress handling.

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