4 Ways To Handle Midnight Pet Emergencies Like A Pro
Is there anything worse than the 3am pet parent panic mode? You know the one when you are blissfully sawing logs only to be rocketed awake by the melodious sounds of your dog hurling.
Seriously. Is there a more effective alarm clock? I think not. I have literally gone from deep REM sleep to standing on the bed, locating Coco and swooping him into the bathtub in 15 seconds. No lie. I mean, my bedroom is carpeted. Ain't nobody got time to shampoo a carpet at 2am.
Having raised dogs for almost two decades now, I definitely have had my share of the pre-dawn terrors. From the rather comical sleep chases to terrifying seizures and even a bout of parvovirus, I can attest first hand that your level of fear is always heightened when issues strike during the wee hours of the morning.
Not only is your pet in distress but you feel extra helpless because your veterinarian's office is closed. There are no reinforcements! So what's a dog mom to do?
The Short List
1. Don't Panic
You have got to calm down -- seriously. Panic will only make it harder for your to assess the situation. So breathe, Babe.
Is your pet truly in any life threatening condition or are you over reacting? If you're not sure, steps two and three will be most helpful.
2. Vet Talk
Just like in football (idk why I am quoting football since I don't watch it at all...but let's roll with this one) when it comes to pet care, the best defense is a good offense. (Ha! What do you know. That was an epic sports reference. Yay me!) This means you need to have a plan.
New to pet ownership? Have a chat with your vet about common pet problems. Is your particular dog breed prone to any health problems? If so, why types and what are the symptoms? What are the general pet issues most owners run into with a new puppy?
For example, you could ask your vet when is your dog's vomiting evidence of a serious condition which requires immediate vet attention? What types of over the counter medications should you keep handy and for what types of ailments?
If this is your first dog, it is totally normal for you to panic every time something unusual happens with your paw child. So ask your vet and be prepared. And don't forget to ask if there is an emergency hotline for your vet after hours. Help could just be a phone call away.
3. You Don't Know What You Don't Know
In addition to conversations with your vet, educate yourself regarding potential medical emergencies you could encounter.
Read pet health journals, books and magazines. Or you can always ask other dog moms during those puppy play dates. And if you run into something confusing or conflicting advice, bring a list of questions and ask your vet. Knowing what could potentially happen is half the battle.
4. Pay Attention to Your Dog
Watch your puppy for changes in behavior, signs of distress or discomfort. Your pet's behavior is totally part of the equation when trying to identify if you are dealing with a true emergency or not.
So be observant. Watch for patterns and then call your vet. Part of your dog's healthcare professional's action plan is going to be based on behavioral indicators. So staying claim like we talk about will help you provide some important information.
For example, not too long ago, Coco woke me up in the middle of the night having what looked like a major seizure. As terrified as I was, I was able to secure him, observe his behavior and then call the emergency vet hotline for assistance. My staying calm was the key to getting Coco the care he needed.
Now I know this post did not go into specific medical emergencies, symptoms and remedies. But that is because I am not a vet. I'm a dog mom.
That being said here are some resources from pet professionals regarding common pooch problems:
So the morale of this story is: consult your vet BEFORE the 3am panic mode is engaged. Those annual vet visits are not just to update your dog's shots. They are your time to express your concerns and get valuable information from your dog's medical expert.
Do you know of any other resources for new dog moms? Share them with the squad below!