Having to take your dog or cat to the emergency vet is every pet owner’s worst nightmare.
Not only is the emergency vet reserved for the most dire of situations for your pet, but it can be extremely expensive. Unfortunately, trips to the E-Vet are a very common aspect of pet ownership.
Knowing that it is more likely than not that your pet will require a trip to the emergency vet at some point in his or her lifetime should prepare pet owners for this unfortunate circumstance. So why are most dog and cat owners ill prepared for such a trip when trouble befalls their furry friends?
No one likes to think that anything bad will happen to their pet and it’s easy to get caught up in your emotions when your pet is sick, hurt, or in trouble. But when your pet truly needs you, the best thing you can do for them is to keep a calm, level head and be as prepared as you possibly can for this horrific situation.
With eight pets, I know all too well about the joys of late night trips to the E-Vet. I am familiar friends with the tears and the anger. But because I am all too familiar with these trips I can also impart some wisdom to help make your trip to the vet a little easier and to prepare you should the worst happen.
1. Consider pet insurance or create a savings account just for pet emergencies.
The best way to be proactive and prepare for pet emergencies is to create a financial safety net for you and your fur baby should anything happen to them. There are plenty of options for pet insurance these days and coverage options range in price. Most plans cost around $20 to $50 a month for a single pet and cover about 80-90% of expenses.
If pet insurance is something you want to consider I suggest doing a lot of research and comparing all your options to find the best plan for you.
If pet insurance doesn’t sound like something for you, your next best option would be to set aside some money each month into a savings account just for your pet in case of emergencies. Vet bills can be extremely expensive and while many people will generously donate to GoFundMe campaigns for sick or injured pets it’s always best to have a little bit of something stock piled just in case so that your pet can get the care he or she needs.
2. Bring along a friend or family member.
A friend or family member will not only help keep you company and pass the time, but they will also provide moral and emotional support for you in your time of need.
It’s always good to have someone there who can listen or who can share you pain and sorrow. Having a friend by your side will help make this experience a lot less painful, I promise.
3. Bring something to keep you busy.
When you are at the emergency vet, it feels like you are there forever! And more often than not you find that you are there for a long time. Emergency vets are busy and the care that your pet receives there takes times.
If you have the chance to I suggest you grab something to keep you busy while at the vet. Try and grab a book or headphones so you can listen to music to pass the time. You might even want to leave something in your car such as an adult coloring book or magazine in case of emergencies so that you will have something to keep you busy.
Most vets have TV’s in the waiting rooms, but somethings the mindless programs are not even to keep your mind off of what is going on behind the doors at the end of the hall. The best kinds of distractions are the ones that keep your mind active!
4. Know it’s okay to be upset or angry.
In today’s world, it may seem like it’s never okay to be mad or upset. People will often tell you that you are being irrational or that you just need to relax.
Know that when your pet is sick or injured it is okay to be mad or sad. It is okay to want to cry or scream. Don’t let anyone make you feel inferior or wrong for feeling that way. Trying to fight your emotions will only make them stronger. Accept how you feel, but know that the pain and anger will not last forever.
5. Refrain from taking out your emotions on the staff.
While it is okay to be upset and angry, it is not okay to take your feelings out on the vets and vet technicians who are trying to save or help your baby feel better.I promise you that they want to see your fur baby pull through as much as they do and screaming or taking your frustration out on them does nothing for the situation. It won’t help them and it won’t help your pet that you love so much.
If you feel your emotions getting the better of you, excuse yourself for a few moments and step outside. Try to take a few breaths and remind yourself that the staff are there to help you and your pet. If they are bringing bad news they don’t take it lightly and I’m sure it pains them nearly as much as it pains you. Having other people to lean on in a stressful and emotional time is a benefit. You don’t want to isolate the other person in the room who understands your pain. It will only make you feel worse in the end.
6. Get some sleep.
Taking your pet to the emergency vet can be exhausting. Often we find ourselves rushing our babies here in the middle of the night. We miss out on a full nights sleep and we are stressed and pushed to our emotional limits.
As tempting as it is to want to stay awake to be there for every little update, you have to take care of yourself as well. If you don’t take care of yourself how can you be expected to take care of your dog or cat?
Whether you sleep at the vet or drive home for a few hours of shut eye is up to you, but either way you need to make sure you are getting some sort of rest. Your mind, body, and pet will thank you later.
7. Stay with your pet through the end.
As much as we all hate to imagine the very worst scenario, it still is a possibility that our pets may not come home with us. As tempting as it may be to want to avoid the pain and heartache of being there in their final moments, it’s important as loving and responsible pet owners that you be there for them.
Try to imagine what it must be like for your pet in those moments. They are scared and they are hurting and the only person in the world they want to see is you because you have always brought love and happiness to their lives. As pet owners we need to be there for our fur babies and give them all the love when they need it the most. I promise you you will regret not being there with them in the future as much as it may hurt now.
While I know that trips to the emergency vet are never fun and are more often filled with heart break and tears I hope these tips help to make any trip you have to take in the future a little more bearable. However, just know that I’ll always be sitting here hoping that you and your fur baby never have to walk through the doors to the E-Vet and that your life together is filled with love, happiness, and health!