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Animal emergency? Think P.E.T

Animal emergencies can happen any time of day. If your pet is unwell or hurt and your vet clinic is closed, please follow these three steps:

  1. Pause. Think for a moment about whether your pet needs emergency care or could be seen by their vet during normal business hours.
  2. Emergency call. Phone your vet clinic for advice if you think your pet needs emergency care or you’re unsure.
  3. Take. Follow the advice you receive to either take your pet to an emergency service provider, or book an appointment during normal business hours.

In Aotearoa New Zealand, too many animals are being seen by emergency clinics that do not require an emergency service. By following the P.E.T steps, you can help keep emergency clinics for emergencies only so that sick animals can get the treatment they need quickly.

Be ready for the holidays

Your vet clinic will likely be closed for some or all of the summer holidays. Find out when it will be shut, and its emergency service number, just in case you need it.

The holiday season can be a very busy time for vets, so it may take some time for your pet to be seen. Vet teams will really appreciate your patience and kindness while they are working to get to your pet.

Here are some tips for these holidays:

  • Know what human foods are poisonous to pets and keep these out of reach. Check out the foods that can be harmful to your pet.
  • Ensure your pet has access to plenty of shade and water.
  • Never walk your pet on hot footpaths: if it’s too hot for your hand, it’s too hot for their paws.
  • Never leave pets in the car.
  • If you’re heading away, take note of the closest vet clinic.
  • If your pet takes medication, make sure you have enough for the holidays.

Looking after your pets to prevent emergencies

All pets should be registered with a local veterinary practice. Just like people, pets need good health care and being registered helps you to take really good care of them. Make sure you know the clinic’s opening hours and the number to call if there is an emergency. 

Need to register with a vet clinic?

Find a vet clinic

Looking after your pet helps prevent them from getting sick and needing emergency care. Here are some great tips:

  • Keep their routine vaccinations up-to-date.
  • Book a daytime appointment at your vet clinic if you think your pet might be unwell.
  • Ensure your pet has good food and shelter.
  • Keep your pet safe and secure while at home and when you have them out in the community by:
    • making sure they can’t get into anything they shouldn’t be eating
    • having a secure home so they can’t escape and wander off
    • exercising them in animal-friendly places.

Resources for NZVA members

Are you an NZVA Te Pae Kīrehe member? Check out our free ‘Animal Emergency? Think P.E.T’ materials and resources.


Download member resources