Life + Arts

Pet emergencies, how to prepare for them

A pet owner staying calm and calling 911 amidst a pet emergency.

Stefanie Chavez/The Cougar

Pets are loyal companions that find their way into people’s homes and hearts. To many people, they’re almost like another member of the family. Unfortunately, like any other family member, pets are occasionally susceptible to needing immediate medical attention.

How does one prepare for emergencies regarding their pets? Most people know to take their pets in for regular check-ups, but not many pet owners think about the worst-case scenario.

For starters, the El Paso Animal Hospital notes that people should be able to classify their pet’s state of emergency as critical, urgent or stable based on their symptoms.

When it comes to critical patients that need immediate action, pet owners should look for severe injuries, breathing problems, allergic reactions and more. If your pet’s emergency is critical, you need to have emergency options available immediately.

One way people can prepare is by keeping a first aid kit specifically for their pets. While most contents will mainly be used for minor issues that can be treated at home, people can also store valuable information in one place for easy access.

Learning the basics of first aid can also be beneficial. One way of gaining information on pet first aid is by taking a course supplied by the Red Cross. This way, pet owners can delay an emergency long enough for their pet to receive professional care. 

The El Paso Animal Hospital also provided first aid tips and recommended keeping a pet’s medical records and important phone numbers in the same location as medical items. Important phone numbers could include the veterinarian, emergency hospital and non-emergency police.

Other items that could be included in these kits are items that can help calm your pet, such as treats and toys. In the worst-case scenario, you might even want to keep a muzzle in case your pet reacts violently.

It’s also important to know the location of places like the nearest 24-hour emergency animal hospital. In potentially life-threatening scenarios, every second counts, so this can help you make decisions quickly.

When thinking about emergency veterinary clinics, it can also be a good idea to consider pet insurance.

Though this is mainly beneficial to pets who have more frequent trips to the vet, there are a lot of different insurance plans out there. Personal research and assessment of a pet’s medical history are needed before making a decision to start one of these plans.

One of the most important ways you can handle pet emergencies is to always be alert to any changes in your pet’s behavior. After all, you know your pet’s behavior best, so if you have a bad feeling, it might be time to take action.

No one can be truly mentally prepared for any situation that involves their pets being in pain, but the more you prepare for these types of situations, the less likely you are to succumb to confusion and fear if the moment comes.

Gracie Austin is a sophomore English major who can be reached at [email protected]

1 Comment

  • Miss Austin,
    Thank you for this article. It was very informative, I’ve never thought to have a pet first aid kit on hand for my dogs. I will be assembling one today thanks to you.

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