By Karin Krisher
Preparing for the holidays is tough. You’ve got to have bags packed or beds made,
tables set and turkey cooked. If you are a vet or a pet owner, you also have to think
of the animals, and that adds an extra element of holiday excitement (and stress!) to
your season. Here are Vetri-Science’s tips on preparing for holiday pet emergencies.
Vets, because your role in this process is slightly simpler, we’ll start with you. The
most important thing you can do to help your customers and patients is to provide
up-to-date emergency information.
Do you have a voicemail ready that provides your holiday hours and indicates which
emergency clinic your patients should visit? Or do your patients know your personal
emergency line, if you do holiday visits or house calls? Your role in the holidays and
helping with emergencies is to be sure your customers have access to appropriate
care contacts, plain and simple. It can’t hurt your patients if you stay relatively
available for quick emergency phone consults, too.
Pet owners, your role is slightly more complicated. Holiday pet emergencies are
hard to predict, prevent, and cope with. So take it all in stride. The most important
thing you can do is prepare. Have easy access to your pet’s medical records and
history, your vet’s and emergency vet’s phone numbers, a small pet first aid kit
for quick fixes, and a car, so your pet can get to the vet fast if necessary. Have any
prescriptions filled before the holidays.
You can also prepare by being particularly attentive. Consider your pets in all of
your plans. If you’re having guests, tell the guests your pets don’t eat table scraps,
and set aside a room for your pets to go for quiet time. Try not to disrupt routines.
Attempt, instead, to maintain their regular exercise and feeding schedules, despite
the changes in yours. (Invite your guests for a winter walk!)
Finally, make decisions. Being proactive is the most important piece of handling
a holiday pet emergency. When you suspect something’s up, call your vet or
emergency vet. Don’t wait for it to get worse—that can be a mistake that leads to
greater stress, worse illness and higher bills.
But don’t let that potential stress take you down from the start. Worrying too much
also isn’t productive. Trust that whatever comes your way this holiday season,
you can take steps to mitigate the damages. Both vets and pet owners have special
holiday responsibilities. Taking care of those makes for a happy, healthy holiday for
Have you ever dealt with a holiday pet emergency? What was the outcome? Share
your story with us on our Facebook page!