How to be Prepared In Case of a Pet Emergency

Pet Health

Tammy George

It’s a fact of life, unfortunately, but emergencies happen. Accidents and illnesses impact people and their beloved pets, but the way we deal with the emergency can change the outcome.

Lost Pet

If your pet is lost it is ideal that you have a good quality photo of your pet. With social media, pet owners can inform a large number of people in their local area about their loss in a short period. The sooner owners can get the message out the better the chance of having their pet returned. Have a quality photo ready that shows your pet's full body and even have a description drafted so you don't need to write it while you are stressed.    

Fire Emergency

If you live in a fire risk area, you should be ready to act during fire risk season. Decide if you will leave or stay and defend. If you are going to leave, you need to do it early so be ready with a plan. Know exactly what you will take for each family member and pets. Even better have the essentials packed and ready to leave. You don’t need to take your pet’s current belongings; you can keep spares in your pet’s emergency kit.

Your pet’s emergency pack should include the following:

  • Food and water bowls
  • A few day’s worth of food and water
  • A lead or carry crate
  • Pet bedding
  • Contact details of your pet's insurer
  • Any medications & details of medical history

Also, include a document with your contact details in case you need to leave your pet with someone you don't know.

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If your pet was involved in a car accident or was injured by another animal at the park, would you know where to take them? Write down your vet’s opening hours, so you don’t waste time driving there only to find they are closing in 15 minutes and aren’t able to provide care overnight. Have the phone number and address of your usual vet as well as your nearest 24-hour vet handy.


Being informed when you arrive at the vet practice will give your pet the best chance of recovery. If you know your dog has eaten chocolate, try to take in the wrappers so your vet can calculate how much they have eaten.

If you saw your dog was bitten by a snake try to get a look at the snake without putting yourself at harm so it can be identified and the right anti-venom administered quickly.

Going Away

Not all accidents and illnesses happen when the pet is with their owner. If you are leaving your pet with a pet sitter while you go away, it’s important to pass on essential details. Along with the food and bedding, make sure your sitter knows the phone number and address of your vet and your pet insurance policy if you have one.

Valuable time will be wasted if your sitter tries to make contact with you to find out the vet’s location or if you authorise to pay the vet bill. However, it’s important that your pet's carer can make contact with you if an emergency occurs. If you are going overseas, calling you can be more difficult than if you are holidaying in Australia. Give them the contact details of your hotel, any phone number you will have access or your social media account if you are using one.

Emergency situations involving our pets isn’t something we should dwell on but taking some time to be prepared for the worst case scenario can make a stressful time a little easier to manage.

HIF Pet Insurance Cover

We all love spoiling our fur-kids, yet only 26% of dogs and 19% of cats in Australia have pet insurance - and that could be very hurtful when the vet bill arrives! With HIF Pet insurance, you'll enjoy affordable cover for cats and dogs of all ages. Plus, claiming is easy thanks to our online member Pet Pawtal!

Tammy George

Please note: Tammy's blog is general advice only. For further information on this topic please consult your healthcare professional.

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