Tuesday, January 28, 2014

On the Road: Dealing with Pet Emergencies

When we owned own our dog, we were fortunate that we did not have to deal with any pet emergencies while on the road. However, in talking to pet owners who have taken their pets on vacation with them, I found that these travelers were the victims of excessive charges in trying to obtain help for their pets. The owners were well aware that they were being overcharged, but they felt they had no other choice.

When we traveled with our dog, we usually had one destination in mind. If we were staying with friends, we had them check with their other friends who were pet owners to find a vet for our dog. We had this information at the beginning of our stay and were prepared in case we had an emergency. If we were not staying near friends, we would ask other dog owners who were staying in our hotel and also the hotel staff for their advice in this matter.

Some travelers encounter an emergency situation for their pets in locations where they do not know anyone. Checking message boards on websites like Yelp is an option. Asking customers in a pet store is another opportunity to obtain information. If they are fortunate to be near a university that has a veterinary program, vacationers should try to get an appointment there. If the schedule is full, the clinic can always refer another doctor.

If they have a pet who is on medication, travelers may consider switching the pet's prescription to a pharmacy that has national outlets. For example, if the prescription is at Target or Sam's Club, owners will be able to obtain refills if a problem should occur no matter where they are vacationing. Their regular vet would be able to call in a prescription for them. Many vacationers are prepared for their own needs on a trip, but they should also make sure to have all bases covered for their pets as well.  Taking the time to do this research before leaving on a vacation will make pet owners better prepared to handle health concerns for their beloved members of the family.

(Photo taken in 2003)
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