Emergency pet care guide: Essential tips for safely moving your sick or injured pet

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By Mahtab Ahmad

If your pet is injured and unable to walk, getting them to the vet can be a challenge. People who are injured simply call an ambulance. But you end up driving the ambulance and acting as a paramedic when your pet is injured. In such cases, it takes some ingenuity to find a transport mechanism quickly. It’s more difficult if your pet needs immediate transport and you’re alone. Knowing the right techniques and precautions can help minimize stress and prevent further injury. Here are essential tips to safely transport your ailing pet, whether it’s an emergency trip to the vet or a move to a more comfortable location at home. (Also read: Is your dog in pain? From aggression to shivering, here are 6 hidden signs you shouldn’t ignore )

Moving a sick or injured pet requires careful planning and gentle handling to ensure their safety and comfort. (Freepik)
Moving a sick or injured pet requires careful planning and gentle handling to ensure their safety and comfort. (Freepik)

Tips to move sick or injured pet

“If your pet has been injured, staying calm is truly the best thing you can do to help. Your pet needs to know you got this and you’ll do what it takes. A stretcher is a great thing to have in your pet’s emergency kit. If you don’t have a stretcher on hand, it’s okay! You can create a DIY stretcher to keep them stable. Depending on the injury and size of your dog, you can use any of the following: Towels, blankets, bedsheets, a child’s stroller, a wagon if it’s available or even a large bag with handles you cut the sides of,” says Dr. Lisa Lippman, Veterinarian in her recent Instagram post.

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She added, “If you think they’ll need the stability and support of a solid surface while you transport them to the vet, try a boogie board, whiteboard, or any piece of sturdy wood you have on hand. Next, you need to be aware that injured pets are scared and in pain, so they could lash out, and you need to make sure you are protected from any unpredictable behaviour. If needed, you can muzzle your pet with a knee-high sock or scarf to keep you both safe.”

Here are more tips by Dr. Lisa that can help you move your sick or injured pet.

1. Stay clam: This is the most important thing you can do to help your pet. They need to know that you can handle this.

2. Support and stability: Keep a pet stretcher in your emergency kit for use if your pet can’t walk, has collapsed, or experienced trauma.

3. DIY stretcher: No pet stretcher? Get creative. The right item depends on the size of your dog – try a large towel, sturdy blanket, or bedsheets. For a solid stretcher, try a boogie board, whiteboard, or any flat piece of wood you have handy.

4. Transport: Driving? Make sure they are strapped in securely and don’t speed. Walking? Try a stroller, wagon, shopping cart, or wheelbarrow lined with blankets. Try to get a friend or family member to help.

5. Avoid bites: Pets who are scared or in pain can lash out. You can use a necktie, knee-high, or a scarf to create a muzzle.

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