It’s a sad fact, but part of caring for a pet you love is being ready to care of it when it’s sick. It’s a challenging, worrying time, so today we’re taking a look at some of the things you can do to prepare, so you can feel ready and relaxed when the time comes. Our pets can pick up on our emotions very easily, so anything you can do to reduce the inevitable stress when they’re sick will help them.
You can’t be perfectly prepared for your pet being ill: every kind of pet is prey to many different kinds of health conditions and illness is quite naturally unexpected. There are a few simple steps you can take however, that will help you be ready for some of the most common issues you could encounter.
- Register with a vet
It’s a good idea to register your pet with a vet as quickly as you can after you bring it home. It’s actually your legal responsibility to do so, under the the UK’s Animal Welfare act of 2006, as part of your responsibility to protect your pet from pain, suffering, injury and disease.
Registering early means you’ll already have a relationship if something unexpected and serious happens: they’ll know what normal looks like for your pet and be more prepared to diagnose what is abnormal.
- Be ready for emergencies
Health problems don’t always strike during office hours. Find out where local out of hours vets are and keep their address and number handy so you know exactly where to go if there’s a crisis in the middle of the night. It’s also worth making sure you know where to get online vet help, in case you need advice.
- Stock up
There are a few useful things you can keep in your cupboard to use if and when your pets are sick. If you have a dog or cat that suffers from indigestion, for example, it’s worth keeping specially formulated pet indigestion remedies on hand. It’s also worth having rice in your cupboard as this makes part of a good substitute diet of easy to digest food in the event of sickness.
As well as foods and medicine, think about equipment: do you have a carrier to take your pet to the vet in if you need to? For cats and dogs these are easy to find, and it’s worth buying one before you need so you have the time to acclimate them to it. For lizards, snakes and fish, you might need to look harder to find a comfortable, secure carrier.