Emergency Pet Plan

When we experience our own healthcare emergency

What happens to our pets when we’re having an emergency?

The Coronavirus pandemic has me asking myself, “how do I plan for the worst while hoping for the best…even for my pets”?  Whether we’re hospitalized for illness or an unfortunate accident happens, we should have a plan for the most vulnerable members of our families.  There are a few very simple steps we can take to ensure our pets are cared for while we are away and tending to our health needs.

  • Determine who you trust to care for your pet and is also willing to keep your pet safe and happy while you cannot.
  • Supply them with everything they’ll need beforehand for your pet’s well-being.
    • The contact information for your veterinarian including, email address and phone numbers. 
    • The contact information for your local overnight veterinary emergency clinic. 
    • It is a good idea to keep an updated authorization form on file with your family veterinarian and the local emergency clinic.  This should include an agreed-upon form of payment as some hospitals require deposits for some emergencies. 
  • Food and medication needs can be tricky for some pets.  Be sure to give precise instructions for giving food and any medications your pets may be taking.  For new caretakers, the act of administering medications accurately may seem very daunting.  Be sure to keep an active list of medications. If there are several kinds of medications with varying directions, you may wish to create a calendar or schedule for giving meds and keep it updated as you never know when an emergency can happen. 
  • Be sure the caretaker has a key to your home and relationships with your pets.  There would be nothing more frightening for your pets than living with a stranger for a few weeks.  Remember, they haven’t a clue what is happening or why. 
  • Pack a bag for your critters.  You can put favorite toys, treats, and maybe something that smells of home for comfort.  When my father passed away, I kept the jacket he wore everyday draped over his dog’s crate and she was immensely comforted.  It didn’t replace Dad, but it did have the scent of safety. 

Using your local boarding facility, like the one here at Christensen Animal Hospital is also a great option.  If you make arrangements with a neighbor to drop off your pet in the event of an emergency and have pre-planned arrangements with the facility, the admission should be fairly stress-free.  For pets who require medical care in your absence finding a medical boarding facility may be crucial for your pet’s better health.  When using a boarding facility, it is best to name a caretaker on the account to make any important decisions on your behalf.  A form may be required at some facilities for a pet care proxy to make decisions when you cannot.  Give us a call if we’re your medical boarder of choice and we’ll be sure to have all of the required documents in place and ready to go, no stress involved.  Remember, being prepared for the worst allows us room to hope for the best.  We will get through this uncertainty together.  Just ask us for help. 

Practice Manager

Changes During COVID-19

Christensen Animal Hospital is a Wilmette community staple and that part is not changing.  We take seriously the human and animal bond and are very careful to help strengthen that bond when it is needed the very most.  Our pets provide a source of comfort that is unmatched and we are all they’ve ever known.  This is precisely why is it so very important to keep ourselves healthy for our families, including our pets.  In light of COVID19, we have made some changes and will continue to make changes as the situation evolves. Please check back for the lastest Christensen Animal Hospital News and COVID19 response updates.

  • We have switched to curbside service and have been practicing curbside service successfully for over a week.
  • We have changed our cleaning protocols to be sure we’re sanitizing behind ourselves and the pets we treat. 
  • We have begun offering transportation services for those who are ill and not able to transport their pets to us for treatment.
  • We have also started a delivery option for food and medication for the duration of the shelter-in-place order.
  • Our boarding facilities are available as usual and to welcome any pets whose owner is infected with COVID19 and/or hospitalized. 

The Bond: Jenn & Charlie

The Bond:  Jenn & Charlie

Jenn, our Client Service Manager, tells the story of how she and Charlie met and his introduction to the rest of the family.  Charlie had a rough beginning, but from rough beginnings often comes the strongest bonds…

I met this little man back in July of 2010.  We had our beagle, Rocky, and were looking to adopt a fellow pup.  We came across “Stallone”, as he had been named, at a local shelter.  He was estimated to be about a year and a half old.  I initially went by myself to the shelter to visit.  And I brought my family back later.  Rocky and he met and got along great!  We came to find out “Stallone” was diagnosed with kennel cough, so after our adoption application was approved (we were 1 of 21 families who applied!) he stayed the week for treatment.  Once that was completed, he was neutered and came home!  He now goes by Charlie.

Charlie is such a character!  He is goofy, fun, smart, and bullheaded all in one little body.  He is my son’s very best dog, and the bond they share is unbreakable.  Charlie simply loves him.  He also is very protective of our family.  He is not a huge fan of the mailman, the UPS man, or any person who walks through our yard without permission!  But if he’s with us and we introduce them, he’s fine.  He’s quite the guard dog for only being 20 pounds.

Every night, about 8pm, he goes through a crazy phase.  He begins to roll like an alligator while trying to “bite lick” my husband or me!  He is totally playing around and doesn’t bite anyone, but it’s his way to get our girls to play with him and they immediately join!  His favorite toy to play with is Jewels, our whippet.

He has added a whole lot of love and laughter to our lives.  Our days wouldn’t be the same without him and I’m SO glad the shelter chose us to be his furever family. We love you, Charles Barkley.  

The Bond: Linn & Thomas

Thomas – The day was just too much for him.

We often hear about the bond between humans and animals.  There is a certain connection we all share with animals and especially our own pets.  I’ve heard some say, “We had an instant bond”, or “It was love at first sight”.  One of my own experiences involving my now 10-year-old cat, Tom, was very similar.  I was working late at the clinic, and I looked up to see a team member in my office telling me, “You absolutely have to meet this kitten”.  Well, I wasn’t terribly fond of cats at the time so I reluctantly followed her over to the front lobby.  I watched as this very young kitten, probably about 6 weeks old was being passed from team member to team member and back to the officer who brought him to us. 

This little black disheveled kitten was screaming its little head off, all four legs and paws stretched out in distress and seemingly shouting, “Leave me alone!  Put me down!  Where is my mom!?”.  He was pretty cute I had to admit and suddenly the thing was passed to me!  I’d never held something so little, and he was already so angry and scared that I was sure he was going to bite me.  So, what do I do?  Of course, I accepted him into my hands and honestly thought I was going to drop him.  He ran up my blouse and hid under my hair.  He became quiet, so quiet I thought something happened to him on the journey up my blouse.  As we stood around listening to the officer tell us how he found him, the kitten rested on my shoulder, under my hair.  Our conversation with the officer and side conversations distracted from the kitten for about five minutes. Then, one of the gals on duty that night lifted my hair and saw he was fast asleep. 

“Looks like he found a mom”, one of them said.

…and so, he had.

Thomas is no longer the desperate, distraught, and disheveled itty-bitty soul he was; in fact, he is an avid defender of all things tidy, very demanding, and right where he was meant to be.  I was never a cat lover.  “Was” is the operative word in that sentence.  The bond Thomas and I share is unlike any bond I’ve experienced, and as pet owners, we know every pet is unique and the relationship, unique to us.

Over the next several months we’ll be exploring stories about the bond each of us shares with our pets and how each of those bonds is unique, compelling, and everlasting. In addition to our “The Bond” series, we’ll also be posting other series, articles, and snippets along the way.


Practice Manager