Do you know where to go if your pet has an emergency after working hours?
If you’re a pet owner, you should be prepared for medical emergencies at all times. Besides knowing basic first aid, you have to know which veterinary clinics will be able to accommodate you if you have an emergency at odd hours, and which clinics are closest to you when there is no time to lose.
With ever-changing quarantine restrictions, it’s very important to update the information you have about the vet clinics that can accept emergency cases 24/7. I’ve learned this lesson the hard way, when my dog had a wound that was bleeding profusely and I needed a vet quickly. As it happened, all my go-to vets were closed because a curfew had just been imposed by the local government. With not much of a choice, we drove around despite the curfew and found a nearby veterinary clinic that was ready to treat my dog.
Following that stressful experience, I realized that I needed to update my emergency plan. Here’s what I’ve done which I hope you can also learn from:
Check the schedules of your vets/go-to veterinary clinics frequently. Every time there’s a change in quarantine status, there’s a big chance that your favorite vet clinic’s schedule will also change. This is the reality that we have to deal with in the new normal. Some vet clinics are forced to change their operating hours, or see less clients, or change their usual protocols for accepting clients, because of government-imposed restrictions. If you are on Facebook or Instagram, you can follow your vet clinic’s social media accounts (if they have any) as they are bound to announce schedule changes there.
Make sure you have updated phone numbers of your vet clinic. You also need to know which numbers to call. Some clinics have numbers that are manned 24/7, while there are those numbers that are only manned during office hours. Nothing can be more frustrating than to listen to non-stop ringing when you’re in an emergency situation because you do not have the right number to call.
Know the veterinary clinics around your area. Your trusted veterinarian might hold clinic somewhere far from your house, but if time is of the essence and your dog needs medical attention on the spot, you can’t waste time on the road or in traffic. During emergencies, the vet you need is the one who’s right there when you need his or her services. The best time to know what these clinics are, of course, is before there is an emergency. Make a sweep of the clinics that are closest to your home, and those that you can get to the fastest. You’ll never know when you’ll need their services.
Have your vet’s number on speed dial. This is always a time saver. Of course, you should remember not to send a barrage of messages to your vet outside of clinic hours, unless it’s a real emergency.
Know basic first aid. This is a must for every dog owner. You should also have a first aid kit that you can use for any emergencies that involve your dog.
Remember, emergencies are a fact of life. While you can’t avert them, you can at least prepare yourself for them.