Helping a sick dog can be stressful. Here are some tips to help you handle health emergencies:
MAKE A LIST OF EMERGENCY CONTACTS
Make sure all family members have easy access to these numbers. It helps to place this list on the fridge and keep it in all mobile phones.
Veterinarian’s number: It helps to call ahead when there is an emergency. Vet clinics also may offer expert advice by phone.
After-hours animal hospital: Dogs don’t always get sick during business hours. Ask your vet to recommend an after-hours facility and keep that info handy. If you are traveling and need emergency assistance, the American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) offers a handy search tool that lists AAHA-accredited hospitals.
Poison Control hotline: The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA.org) operates a poison control center and hotline (1-888-426-4435). There may be a consultation fee, but it is worthwhile for 24-hour access to information. Also, bookmark the site and visit if you are curious about potentially dangerous plants or food. For example, aloe and raisins are toxic to dogs.
CREATE A PET FIRST-AID KIT
Purchase a prepared kit, or stock up on the essentials. An emergency kit should include:
- Bandages, cotton balls and rubbing alcohol
- Latex-free gloves and tweezers
- Muzzle and leash
- Digital thermometer
- Activated charcoal (Consult your vet before giving this to your pet.)
- Benadryl (Consult your vet before giving this to your pet.)
- Clean cloths
- Elizabethan collar