I have two very busy, very curious dogs. These traits add up to trouble, as I found out last year when my puggle ate up a lot of ibuprofen after my coonhound-mix grabbed it off the the counter for him. Yeah, they work in tandem and it’s not fun.

As result, my dog had to be hospitalized for a week. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon for anyone who has a pet. Animals are curious and get into things they’re not supposed to, which can lead to dangerous situations.

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Hospitalization isn’t just for around-the-house accidents, either. Anyone with a senior pet knows the increased vet visits and medications needed to help keep your pet healthy in its last years. It’s a fact of life you can’t ignore as a pet guardian, and as a result, there are some things you need to know to make life easy for your pet and the veterinarian providing care to them in the event they need to be hospitalized.

1. Wait for the Vet to Call You Back

The vet knows what they’re doing. They also have many other patients to tend to as well. By constantly calling, you’re taking time away from someone else’s baby. It’s hard, but be patient. The vet will give you a rundown of your pet’s progress usually at the end of the day, when they are done seeing other patients. If you need extra reassurance, you can ask the vet a rough estimate on the time they plan on calling so you can be prepared.

2. Look into a Payment Plan

If the hospital stay last more than a day or two, your final bill can be more than you’re prepared to handle. The best idea for these situations is to look into payment plans. Some vets offer these types of plans, where there are companies like CareCredit, which specializes in veterinary financing. Take some time to research your payment options and decide which one is best for your financial situation.

3. Keep Your Visits to a Minimum or None

Your pet is already in a scary situation. They’re away from their home and family in a strange place with strange people. A visit from their mom or dad may be comforting for a few minutes, but as soon as you leave, it becomes traumatizing for them. They feel abandoned and chances are, they will act out, interrupt the staff and get the other animals upset. It’s best for you, your pet and the vet office that you wait for further instructions.

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4. Fill Their Prescriptions 

Chances are likely there will be prescriptions from your vet that you will need to administer to your pet at home. Make sure those are filled before you take your pet home so you can give them their medicine right away.

5. Get Your Home Ready for Them

Your pet has been through a rough time. They were in a strange place without you, being poked and prodded or they may have had surgery. They don’t understand what was happening to them and why and you can’t communicate with them to tell them it’s for their health and safety. The best thing you can do is get your home ready for when they come back. Make sure they have treats, their favorite toy, a new toy and someone to snuggle. Spend time with your pet the day they get home because they were probably scared and missed you a whole lot.

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Image source: Wikimedia Commons

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