How To Transport An Injured Dog To A Hospital

When someone’s dog is suddenly injured or shows signs of serious illness, the owner may be inclined to rush the pet to a veterinarian hospital. While professional animal medical services may be needed, it is important to get the pet there safely without making the problem worse or upsetting the dog. You might be tempted to load the dog into the backseat of your car or truck, but that is probably not a good idea, even if your pet is used to riding in that part of the vehicle. Here are some tips for safely transporting a dog to a veterinarian medical center.

Make Sure the Dog is Able to Travel

A very sick animal might not travel well in a personal vehicle. You may need to ask the veterinarian’s office to make a house call or for advice on transporting your dog to an aminal hospital. If the dog has wound that is heavily bleeding or a broken bone, or if persistent vomiting or diarreha are occurring, special arrangements might be needed to get the dog to a medical facility for animal emergency treatment. Call the vet’s office for advice or directions if you are unsure about taking your sick dog to the pet hospital.

Use a Safe Pet Carrier

A sick pet is best transported in a secure and safe dog crate. If you don’t already have one at home, get one that is the right size to give your pet enough room to comfortably lay down. The crate should be easy for humans to handle and open or lock but secure enough to keep your pet stable and unable to open the door – visit Cozy Crates for more information so you can make the right choice for your dog. Try to also keep the crate clean at all times in case of an emergency medical transport need. Store it where you can readily find and access it to save time during a pet emergency. The crate should be in good condition without risk of the handle breaking off or the door latch coming loose.

Make the Dog Comfortable for Transport

Depending on the nature of the injury or illness, clean up your pet if necessary to the best of your ability. Wipe off any blood or other bodily fluids as well as road grime or debris that the pet may have encountered. Be careful when handling your dog to avoid causing more pain or discomfort. Gently and loosely wrap a blanket or quilt around your pet for security and easier handling. The blanket might make your canine friend feel more comfortable and secure. If feasible, offer water and toileting before crating your pet for optimum comfort during transport.

Bring Supplies That May Be Needed

It’s a good idea to stock a first aid kit for your pet to keep handy for emergencies. Include the same type of supplies that a human emergency might require, such as bandages, pain reliever, and antibacterial ointment. If you are not sure whether to use any of these when your dog is injured or ill, ask the veterinarian’s office. You could also ask about bringing along a favorite toy and maybe a treat if the pet is able to have anything to eat. A scooper bag for toileting away from home may be helpful. Take the kit with you when driving your pet to the animal hospital in case something is needed along the way.

Call Ahead to Schedule a Visit or Dropoff

Keep your vet’s contact information handy or store it in your mobile phone for ready access in case of emergency. Include an after-hours number to call if the situation should arise. You may also want to plan ahead for the location of an emergency animal hospital to go to if the time comes. Call ahead to explain the situation and let them know you are bringing your dog in for evaluation and treatment.

Be Aware of Your Dog’s General Health and Safety

Just as you would do for a young child who cannot speak for itself, keep an eye on your dog’s overall health. If you notice signs of listlessness, a change of appetite or toileting habits, or an attitude shift, let your veterinarian know to see if your dog needs to be seen. Any injury that is potentially serious, like being hit by a car or shot by a BB gun, should be evaluated by a veterinarian even if your dog seems to be acting normal. Following an injury or if your dog seems to acting differently, monitor the changes and call the vet to see if this is significant and needs a medical assessment.

Pets are members of the household that require our attention and care. Don’t hesitate to have your pup checked if you notice any symptoms of concern. Early detection and treatment can help to prevent serious health problems.


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