Does you pet sitter know what to do in a medical emergency?
We don’t like to think it will happen while we are away but you never know. Your pet ends up having a medical emergency while you are out of town and they are left with a pet sitter. Does your pet sitter know what to do in this situation? Does you pet sitter know who to call? Does your pet sitter know who your regular veterinarian is or where the closest animal emergency room is?
Pet Sitters need to be able to keep a cool logical head in an emergency or medical situation. They need to be able to correctly asses the situation with the pet and decide the course of action.
First choice obviously in a medical situation with a pet is to call the owner immediately IF it is not immediately life threatening. A pet sitter can call the pet owner and assess the situation with the pet owner over the phone and ask them what they would like the pet sitter to do.
If the pet sitter can’t get a hold of a pet owner in a situation? Most pet sitting services have a form called a “Veterinary Release”. This form allows the pet sitter to be able to take the pet to their veterinarian and get treatment started until the pet owner can be reached. If your pet sitter has this form it is also a good idea to give a completed & signed copy of it to your veterinarian ahead of time to keep in your pets medical file. This way there is no hesitation or gap in time in your pet receiving medical care.
If the pet sitter can not get a hold of the pet owner the next step is for them to call the regular veterinarian. They can asses the situation over the phone with the veterinarian and decide if the pet needs to be seen either immediately, an appointment needs to be set up, or if treatment can safely be provided at home without being seen.
If it is a holiday or weekend and the regular veterinarian is not available the next choice is the closest animal emergency room. This is where it is also beneficial for the pet sitter to have the Veterinary Release form. It will allow your pet to receive the necessary treatment until they can speak with the pet owner.
In a life threatening situation the pet sitter needs to keep a calm level head. Does your pet sitter know Pet CPR & First Aid? This knowledge can save a pets life, get them stable or generally help the pet until seen by a veterinarian. A pet sitter needs to
be aware of the pets surroundings and behaviors to be able to provide useful & helpful information to the veterinarian. If there was a possible poisoning or an object that caused an injury – what was it? What could it have been?
If is only the pet sitters responsibility to get the pet to the vet. After that they are no longer responsible for your pets care. Pet sitters are not responsible to pay any veterinary bills. Most clinics & ER’s will take a credit card over the phone or expect payment upon your return. Its $100 just to walk into an animal emergency room and an estimate of services provided are usually provided to the pet sitter or owner prior to any diagnostic work being done. The diagnostics and treatment ultimately can not be done until it is approved by the owner of the pet. So make sure there is some way to get a hold of you while out of town in case a major decision or authorization needs to be made for your pet.