No one wants to need one, but the emergency pet hospital is a welcome sight in the face of a sudden illness or accident. Even though you are likely to cross your fingers and wish that finding one of these 24-7 medical centers is something that you'll never do, isn't it comforting to know that they're there? Instead of waiting hours (or all night) to get some answers as to what's going on with your furry friend, you can call or visit an emergency pet hospital for immediate help.
When you need care for your cat, dog, guinea pig, hamster or ferret on-the-spot, there's no time for thumbing through phone books or going online to Google. When you get your pet, start the search immediately. This way you have a number on-hand and ready to go just in case. What should you look for in emergency animal service?
- Accreditation. The American Animal Hospital Association (AAHA) accredits animal hospitals in the U.S. Only between 12 and 15 percent of veterinary hospitals have this accreditation, according to the AAHA. Accreditation shows the hospital's commitment to quality and the safe care of your pet.
- A veterinarian. It seems like a no-brainer, but you want to make sure that the hospital actually has at least one vet present at all times. In the event of emergency, you don't want to show up only to find that a tech or receptionist has to call the vet in from home.
- Care that's consistent with your values. While the emergency vet isn't the person who you'll bring Fluffy or Fido to on a regular basis, you still need a pro who matches your needs as a pet parent. The Humane Society of the United States notes that finding a vet with the same approach to care that you have is key in making the right choice. Keep in mind that the vet is always the expert. Your job is to find someone who has the same beliefs as you when it comes to animals. This doesn't ever mean that you tell the vet what to do.
- Cost. Emergency veterinary care varies widely in cost. When searching for an animal hospital, ask what the after-hours or weekend fee is and if they accept pet insurance for this type of service.
- Location. You probably wouldn't drive two hours to an ER in another city if you broke your leg or had a stabbing pain in your side. Likewise, you shouldn't consider an animal hospital that's too far away too. In an emergency, you need time on your side. Look for a vet that you can get to quickly if needed.
For more information, contact Animal Emergency Clinic or a similar location.