Medical emergencies don’t discriminate. When they happen, our attention has to turn to ourselves and ensure we get the care we need to recover fully. Sometimes, we aren’t conscious or aware of what’s going on when something happens to us.
Say you suddenly start to feel ill when you’re out with a friend. It gets so bad that they call an ambulance and transport you to the nearest hospital. Whether it’s your fever, pain, fatigue, or the medication they gave you, you drift off to sleep. You wake up a while later, feeling a bit better, and your first thought is, “Is my dog okay?” During all the chaos of your medical emergency, your dog’s care understandably slipped your mind. This happens to more dog owners than we think, and the guilt is difficult to deal with.
Medical emergencies aren’t your fault, and you can do nothing to prevent them. What you can do is have a plan for your dog’s care should a medical emergency happen. Follow the below advice to ensure your dog gets good care should a crisis occur.
Choose a Good Emergency Contact
One of the first things you want to do is choose a good emergency contact. Not only will this person be able to make critical decisions about your health when something unexpected happens, but they’ll also know how to take care of your dog and your home while you’re away.
Your emergency contact should be someone you trust, capable of asking and answering vital medical questions, who can notify your family, and who lives near you. This person should also be willing to coordinate pet care for you.
If they aren’t going to be the person taking care of your dog, be sure they have the number of the person who is. In addition, your emergency contact should know what information and possessions to give your dog’s caretaker to ensure they have all they need for quality care.
Write Down Your Dog’s Needs
Handing your dog over to someone who has no idea how to take care of them can do more harm than good. Your dog could come back to you traumatized, and then the both of you would be in recovery.
Writing down your dog’s needs might be the most critical step. Get so detailed that even a stranger could take as good care of your dog as you do. Include the following information:
- Exercise routine
- A bit about their personality
- If your dog is microchipped
- Daily schedule
- Health history
- Any medications they take
- How they respond to strangers
- Favorite places
- Veterinary and vaccination information
- Who else to contact about your dog’s care
- How to obtain a backup supply of your dog’s medicine
- How much water and food they consume and when
- How to get into your home
Consider whether or not you want your dogsitter to have constant access to your home. This is something that should be planned well in advance.
Consider an On-call Dogsitter
Of course, family and friends are great options for taking care of your dog if you have a medical emergency. However, they may only sometimes be available or willing to take care of your dog. And that’s no good for the unexpected nature of medical emergencies.
You need someone ready to take your dog, no matter the day or time. That’s where an on-call dogsitter comes in handy. You’ll be able to call this person whenever you need them, and they’ll get your dog and care for them as long as you need.
If a family member or friend is willing to take on this role, great. If not, you’ll probably need to hire a pet sitter. This isn’t a bad thing, considering pro pet sitters are incredibly knowledgeable in how to take great care of a dog and what to do in case of an emergency with their health.
Get Your Dog Familiar With Their Caretaker
One of the best ways to ensure your dog is in great hands when a medical crisis hits is to be intentional about getting them familiar with their caretaker.
If you let your dog get familiar with the person caring for them, they won’t hesitate to go with them when the time comes. They’ll also continue to thrive in your absence when so many other dogs might isolate and be overcome with grief because of the separation from their owner.
So, make sure your dog gets time with its caretaker regularly, whether that looks like going to the park once a week, daily walks, or coming over a few times a month to interact with your dog.
Run Your Plan By Loved Ones
When everyone around you isn’t on the same page, that can worsen a medical emergency. Sit down with your loved ones and ensure you’re all on the same page, not just about what to do with your health but what’s going to happen with your dog during your medical emergency.
Make sure they’ve met your dogsitter if you’ve chosen that route. If they’ll be taking on tasks you usually do with your dog, be sure they know precisely how to do them and anything else related to the care of your dog.
You never know when a medical emergency will happen. So, do the work right now to ensure your dog is well taken care of should you experience one.
Photo credit: Pixabay
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