Be Prepared for a Pet Emergency
It’s a fact of life, especially in Australia - emergencies happen. Whether it’s a storm or natural disaster, medical issue or a situation that requires evacuation from the house, it’s great to have a plan in place so that you and your family are ready to act safely if there’s an issue.
At the bottom of the page I’ve compiled a printable Emergency Guide for you as a pet sitter or pet owner to have filled out so that it can be easily referred to in case of any problems. You can also fill in the Pawshake Intake Form (from my 10 Questions to Ask A Pet Owner post) which has places to write personalised emergency contacts.
Putting together an Emergency kit for yourself and for your pets is a fantastic idea. According to DEPI Victoria, a good pet emergency kit should include:
- Food and water containers
- Leads, crates or carriers
- Food and water for a minimum three days
- An information list including your name, address and phone numbers, your pets name, description (a photo would be a good idea) and care requirements
- Pet first aid items and essential medications
- Pet medical history, vaccination certificate and veterinary contacts
- Blankets, towels and bedding
- Pet registration, identification and licensing records
- Litter trays and litter for cats.
Don’t forget to also keep all of your emergency numbers handy. For ease of reference, I’ve compiled a few common services and hotlines here so you can add them to your list. Stay safe this summer!
Australia-Wide 24 Hours Emergency
Emergency Police, Fire or Ambulance Service: 000
SES for storm, flood or disaster assistance: 132 500
State-Wide 24 Hours Vet Emergency
If you’re pet sitting, your client should have supplied you with their preferred vet’s phone number beforehand.
If there is a serious medical issue with any pet, get them to the nearest vet immediately.
If you’re worried, but not sure if your pet requires immediate medical attention, call one of these 24 hour vet clinics in your area for triage advice.
3359 5333 Pet Emergency Brisbane
1300 232 838 Animal Emergency Centre (Woolloongabba and Gold Coast)
4032 9999 Cairns Vet After Hours
5559 2221 Animal Emergency Service Gold Coast
9531 3437 Sydney University After-Hours Veterinary Hospital
9436 1213 North Shore Veterinary Emergency Centre
9758 8666 Homebush Animal Referral Hospital
4957 7106 Newcastle Animal Referral and Emergency Centre
4323 3886 Animal Emergency Centre Central Coast
6280 6344 Animal Emergency Centre Canberra
1300 148 990 Southern Animal Referral Centre - South Melbourne
1300 232 838 Animal Emergency Centre - Mount Waverley, Hallam and Frankston
1300 302 912 After Hours Veterinary Emergency Centre, Hobart
0409 331 682 Darwin Emergency Vet Hotline
1300 232 838 Animal Emergency Centre Adelaide
1300 040 400 Perth Vet Emergency
9412 5700 Western Australian Veterinary Emergency and Specialty
1300 652 494 Murdoch Pet Emergency Centre
Pet First Aid
Vet West in WA has written a great guide to all sorts of first aid procedures for pets, from splinting a broken limb to animal resuscitation.
Animal Poisons Advice
These websites are not to be used instead of a veterinary professional’s advice! If the animal has eaten anything that’s not its own food, keep a close eye on them, and contact one of the emergency vet hotlines above if you have ANY worries or the pet shows any discomfort. (Unfortunately the Poisons Information Centre Hotlines in all states don't provide information about animal poisons.)
- Guide to Pet Safety - Pet Poison Helpline - Note that this is an American website, so the phone number listed is not available to Australians. They have a lot of very useful information available on their website however!
- The ASPCA (America) List of plants that are toxic and non-toxic to pets - this is a huge list but can be filtered by toxicity and animal.
- Figure out if the amount of chocolate your dog ate is dangerous by using this Chocolate Toxicity Calculator.
- Pet Emergency Medical Fact Sheets by SARC Victoria