What will you do if your cat is stung by a bee or if your dog eats that chocolate bar you've left just a little too near the edge of the kitchen counter? In an emergency, will you recall the proper steps to perform CPR on your pet? Are you aware of common household plants that are dangerous to pets? Did you know that caffeine is poisonous to dogs and cats and can even be life-threatening? Most importantly, do you have a pet emergency reference guide in your home, in case you need to find the answers to these very important questions?
In another life, I used to work in publishing—flexing my creative muscles as a proofreader, copy editor, InDesign compositor, and project manager with educational, legal, and medical publishers. I have particularly fond memories, however, of the products I helped work on while at InforMed Publishing*, a one-time local (founded right here in Portland, Oregon!) publishing company that produced pocket guides for emergency medical first responders. While the bulk of our business catered to "prosumers" (professional consumers), we had a couple of break-out general consumer guides, too. One such guide was the Pet Emergency Pocket Guide.
Though InforMed Publishing was founded by emergency first responders trying to meet the needs of their professional colleagues, it was the Director of Production at the time, Rhienna Guedry, who thought the company would do well if it tried to reach a broader audience. It was under her direction that their Pet Emergency Pocket Guide was born. Most of us who worked in the office had pets, and she argued that the majority of first responders who bought our professional pocket guides would welcome an emergency guide geared specifically to their furry companions. So, she wrote one... and it was a huge hit!
There are certainly a lot of great books out there for the pet parent looking for a quick-reference guide, in case of pet home emergencies. The American Red Cross puts out a good book and free app, Pet Tech offers an emergency app for $4.99, and there are numerous other reference guides that delve into a lot more detail than the average pet parent may need. However, what I like most about InforMed's Pet Emergency Pocket Guide is its easy-to-read format, clear illustrations, and concise instructions. Small, portable, and chock full of useful information, it's still the guide I carry with me in my pet emergency first-aid kit.
Maybe I just appreciate good design (pats self on back) and useful information (great job, Rhienna), but I truly believe InforMed's Pet Emergency Pocket Guide can't be beat! Even if my ever-so-slightly biased review doesn't persuade you to purchase it, you should at least carry some sort of pet emergency reference guide for your home (and pet)... just in case. Hopefully, you'll never need to use it in an emergency situation, but being prepared is part of being a responsible pet owner. And, quite honestly, isn't the safety of your furry friend worth it!
*InforMed Publishing was acquired by Jones & Bartlett Learning, in January 2013. You can still purchase the Pet Emergency Pocket Guide from Jones & Bartlett Learning at their online store, or you can also find it on Amazon.com.