No one likes going to the emergency room. It is a scary feeling which not only stresses us out but also stresses out our pets. Now I realize there are times when we have no choice. As a matter of fact it is better to be safe than sorry. Other times there are things we could have done differently to prevent that dreadful panic trip to the emergency room.
Practice preventative care. Be sure to visit your veterinarian at least once a year for a physical and blood work. Preventative care is all about early diagnosis so you can help prevent or spot problems before it is too late.
Pay attention to your dog’s weight, eating and drinking habits. A few extra pounds could take years off your dog’s life. Moreover, sudden weight loss can be a sign that something bad is brewing. If notice your dog is drinking more water or urinating more than usual, this could be a sign of several harmful conditions such as diabetes.
Use a leash. Provide a safe environment for your dog by using a leash when you are out and about. Even some of the best trained dogs can jump out in the middle of traffic. Keep a tight grip on the leash also in the event of an unexpected surprise such as another dog in the area. The last thing you want is to put your dog in a situation which could cause him harm.
Keep your dog out of the garbage. Exposure to your garbage, table scraps and other foreign objects can cause painful and sometimes life-threatening conditions. If it is in your garbage can it is probably bad. So keep a lid on your garbage can so your dog is not tempted to snoop around.
Dog proof your home. Sometimes we unintentionally put our pets at risk by not realizing which household products (while safe to us) can be toxic or even fatal to our pets. Dogs are like small children which means you have to keep dangerous items picked up at all times so they can’t get into them. For some reason dogs think everything around them is edible until proven otherwise
Plan. Make sure you know where your local emergency room is. Write down the phone number, hours of operation, address and directions. Keep the information on your refrigerator along with a map on how to get there. You will be surprised how you are not able to think straight when you are dealing with trauma. So do your pet a favor and make it easy on yourself.
Prepare. Make sure you have your dog’s medical history with you and any medication he is on. The emergency vet will want to know when the symptom’s started, whether he has been vomiting, what the vomit looks like, etc. The more information you can give your vet the faster he can diagnose and hopefully solve the problem.