• It is essential to develop an emergency plan ahead of time, when your brain is not in fight or flight mode.
• Have the contact information for the nearest emergency veterinary hospital. If that clinic is not open 24 hours a day, be sure to have the number for one that is.
• Have this saved into your phone, in a place you can easily find in your home, in your car, and in any other places your pet often is, such as with a pet sitter.
• Have the ASPCA poison control hotline number (888-426-4435) listed in your phone contacts as well (be aware there is a fee for the consult).
• Know the route to get to the emergency hospital of your choosing.
• Add in the address of the emergency clinic into your map app.
• Talk to your veterinarian to find out how the referral process would look. If you understand the process ahead of time, you can better focus on saving your pet’s life, rather than being concerned about cost and process.
• Speak with your veterinarian about a preventive care plan. Prevention is key to diagnosing and treating abnormalities before they turn into disease or injury.
• Have emergency supplies together in an accessible place – collar, leash, blanket/towels, muzzle (when injured pets can lash out in fear/pain), carrier, stretcher, etc.
• An emergency visit and the necessary care will often lead to big bills. If you have pet insurance, this cost may be covered (look into the many options – keep submission forms available to take with you to the vet). This will ensure that your pet will get the care he or she needs, and the financial burden will not get in the way.
• The hope is that you never have to put your emergency plan into action, but unfortunately emergencies do happen. Gather the information you need, so if you have to act quickly to save your pet, all you need to do is reference the information you’ve already collected.