Ever come across a snake on a path in the bush? What do you do? Eeek, panic, freeze. Or stop, review and take precautionary steps.

The key to remember in a pet emergency – your pet has swallowed something dangerous, got into a fight, has something stuck in his throat, hit by a car – is that you need to keep calm – so you can do the right thing that will aid in the recovery of your pet.

It’s important that you don’t transfer your stress on to your pet, and as we know pet’s can be highly attuned to our moods and demeanor.  So keeping calm will not only help you manage the situation, but also help your pet.

Your pet is entirely dependent on you to do the right thing and whilst she may not be able to tell you exactly what’s going on, she will certainly be giving you some indications that things are not right.

So, now’s the time to muster all your resources to deal with a difficult situation.


What do I need to immediately do in a pet emergency?

“If your pet is suddenly ill or injured, they are depending on you to do the right thing. You should head for the vet straight away, after calling ahead to make sure they are there. And if it is after hours, make sure you keep the number of an emergency vet clinic on your fridge.”



The best way to calm yourself, is to BREATHE!  I dont know about you, but if I am stressed, I find myself holding my breath!  The worst thing possible!  So take a good gulp of air (slowly), and most important after holding it for a second or two, let it out SLOWLY!   Repeat as necessary, so you that can bring yourself down to earth and deal with the issue at hand.

In some cases you might just need to jump straight into the car and head for the emergency vet. Often your vet cannot really make a diagnosis without seeing the pet.  If you absolutely know that serious intervention is going to be required and you have hands free – call the vet from the car and let them know you’re on your way (but do not exceed the speed limit!).

It’s important to know at all times where you would take your pet in an emergency.  So you’re not busy phoning and googling when there is an emergency at hand.    (Most vets have the info on the answering service when they are closed so that would be a good place to start if you dont know where to go).

But bottom line, is there’s nothing like a Plan to help you be calm, focussed and prepared. So we recommend that you simply write down 2 things and put the list somewhere easily accessible (on your phone, on the fridge, in your car, in your wallet). Also give the list to pet sitters, dog walkers, and your children if they are at home and taking care of your pets.

1. Your vet’s phone number and address (handy if someone else is attending to the emergency
2. The name, address, and phone number of the nearest 24-hour
veterinary emergency hospital.

In the meantime, spend some time understanding what can be toxic to pets , and ensure that your environment is as safe as it can be. Also read the story of Cookie and Cassidy to see what it can cost if your pet gets into the wrong food!


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Liz Walden

Liz has a passion for all things cat and dog, and was one of the first in Australia to bring Pet Insurance to the market. She has headed up Petsecure marketing for the past 10 years, and is committed to promoting and supporting the amazing work done by rescue groups around Australia, and those who work to promote a better life for all animals

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