7 Tips To Finding A Vet During The Holidays
Published on: December 7, 2016 | Author: Starwood Animal Transport
During the holidays, you and your furry family members may be headed over the river and through the woods to visit Grandma, friends, etc. You may even be traveling by plane. Whether it’s a one-day trip or an extended stay, it is essential to be prepared in case your pet becomes ill or injured away from home. See our article here were we discuss how to find a veterinarian while abroad.
These 7 tips will help you find a vet and help you avoid the need for one:
- If the people you’re visiting also have pets, make sure they know where their nearest 24/7 animal emergency clinic is, too. You’d be surprised how many pet parents overlook this, then panic when they cannot reach their regular vet after hours.
- If the people you’re visiting don’t already have a family vet, do some advance research. Look online for great reviews – same as you would to select a permanent doc for your pets. Call to ask if they are willing to see non-regular pets quickly, should a problem arise during regular clinic hours.
- In the US, Petplan Insurance provides an online “find a vet” tool. (Other pet health insurance companies do, too) All you have to do is enter a ZIP code to see a local list of vets and a map. In the UK, VetsNow operates 53 emergency clinics. This link shows a map of all their locations. And of course you can always Google “find a local veterinarian” so see a variety of other options.
- Of course if your pet takes regular medications, vitamins, etc. you’ll want to take a sufficient supply with you (plus a little extra, just in case … this time of year you never know what the weather will do, and you don’t want to be caught short).
- If your pet has a tender tummy, take a supply of his regular food, too. Switching “cold turkey” to another food can cause digestive problems in some cats and dogs. For that matter, be careful what you allow any pet to eat during the holidays.
- It’s so tempting to share all the edible wealth – from sweet treats to turkey skin and gravy – but don’t do it. These things (even “minor” ingredients and seasonings commonly used to prepare holiday delicacies) can cause severe digestive and other health problems for cats and dogs. A few things can permanently damage internal systems or even kill your pet.
- Remember that pets have a broader definition of “edible,” and anything from poinsettias to tinsel and wrapping paper can also cause terrible gastric distress. (Poinsettias are poisonous to people as well as pets.) Many pet parents don’t realize that rawhide and pig’s ear chew toys can upset a dog’s stomach. They are also coated with flavoring and coloring chemicals you may not want your pet to ingest.
Be prepared even if you aren’t leaving home
If there’s a problem with your pet, all your vet first. Be sure you know your own vet’s holiday schedule, if they will be closed on non-usual days or times. But call even after hours. Some vets respond to emergencies themselves, and virtually all of them have a recorded message telling you what to.
Be sure you know where your nearest animal emergency clinic is located – exactly where. Have a mental plan of the fastest route to get there. You should have this information at hand all year around – in a true emergency, you’ll be in a hurry and too frazzled to look up directions or drive around looking for the clinic. Know their hours, and post their phone number on your fridge. Post the number of the ASPCA’s Poison Control Hotline, too – 888-426-4435.
With so many potential pet health and safety hazards during the holidays, it’s smart to monitor your pet carefully. Watch for any signs something could be amiss, such as changes in behavior, appetite, potty schedules, etc.
We all look forward to the holidays. The frenzy as well as kicking back. Food, family, and friends. Despite your best efforts, your kitty or pup could get into something they shouldn’t. Or they could be injured. If you’re prepared ahead of time, you’ll know exactly how to respond. A trip to an unknown vet or the emergency pet clinic could be quite costly. But the alternative is unthinkable.
Having that “what if” information at hand will give you much greater peace of mind. Whether you’re at home or away, you and your Furred One can enjoy the holidays together, worry-free.
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