Going Out of Town? Check Your Pet Emergency Plan

Holiday season with my best friendHaving an emergency involving your pet is bad enough, but having one when you are not there is even worse. It is important to have a plan in place in the event of an animal emergency. If you are going out of town and leaving your pet in the care of someone else, it is even more important.

Put your pet emergency plan in place this holiday season, before you enjoy the festivities.

Time to Do Some Thinking

Many people avoid thinking about unpleasant choices involving their beloved furry friends, but it is important to have a good idea as to what your wishes and needs might be should an emergency arise.

Have a family discussion about what type of care you would want to provide to your pet. Try to think about all the possible scenarios and make a decision about how you would proceed. A few jumping off points include:

  • Would we want CPR performed?
  • Would we want our pet treated if the prognosis was poor or uncertain?
  • What would our budget be if extensive treatment was required?
  • Where would we want our pet to be treated?
  • Would we be at peace with humane euthanasia if our pet was suffering and we could not be reached?

Of course, these types of questions may never need to be answered in real life, but having an idea as to how you would proceed can help when you are operating from a distance.

Outlining a Pet Emergency Plan

When someone else is caring for your pet, it is important to not only have a pet emergency plan decided on, but to have it clearly communicated. Before leaving your pet, be sure to write down all the pertinent information your pet sitter may need should an emergency arise. Having this information organized and clearly outlined can be invaluable.

Be sure to let your pet’s caretaker know:

Who to call – It is important that your pet sitter have the contact information where you will be staying and a few ways to try to get in touch with you. You might also leave another emergency contact whom you would trust to make medical and financial decisions on your behalf. On your phone list you should include your veterinarian’s contact information, as well as any preferred emergency veterinary hospitals your pet might need to visit.

Where to go – Leave your pet sitter detailed directions to our hospital, along with emergency hospital locations, so that valuable time will not wasted in an urgent situation.

Your financial commitment – Your pet sitter needs to have a rough idea as to what you would be willing to spend for your pet’s care. Because most veterinary hospitals do require payment at the time of service, be sure that you leave access to some form of payment or call us before you leave in order to make arrangements, should there be an emergency.

Your pet’s details – Leave your pet sitter a concise summary of your pet’s age, vaccination history, parasite prevention plan, medical history, diet, and any current medications so that he or she can relay that information as needed. Access to your pet’s medical records though our ePetRecords service can help with this.

Having a pet emergency plan in place before you go out of town helps everyone rest a little more easily. Hopefully, however, your pet emergency plan will not be needed this holiday season or any other, but if so, your careful planning will help us to provide the best care possible in your absence.