We would all like to think that we will be there for our pet’s entire life but life sometimes has other plans. What will happen to your pets if you have a life altering event such as a serious long-term illness or a major car accident? What will happen to your pets if you died?
Have you talked to family members or friends to find an appropriate place for you pets? What happens if no one close to you is able to take care of your pets? What about the financial responsibility of your pet’s care?
Here are some suggestions:Have a photograph of your pet and on the back write down the pet’s name, date of birth, tattoo number, microchip number, vet clinic and phone number. This is especially important if you are a multiple pet family. Don’t assume family members can tell them apart and know their history.
Write down all the information you think is important for someone taking over your pet’s care. What do they like, dislike, what are they fed, how many times a day are they fed, do the like other animals, do they like children, what are they afraid of, what are their favourite activities, do they have a chronic medical condition, do they have allergies. All this information is important.
Make arrangements for short-term care, 2-3 days. Your pet could possibly still stay in their home at this point. Leave money for the pet’s care in an envelope with all the pet’s information in case the pet needs vet care or supplies. Let someone close to you know these arrangements have been made.
Make arrangements for long-term or permanent care. If your pet was adopted through a rescue, the rescue would need to be contacted and would help in the placement or have the pet returned to the rescue. You should consider leaving instructions in your will and some financial considerations for their continued care.
While any discussions about our mortality or the what-if’s can throw us and are not easy, but your pet counts on you for their care and well being. It is part of being a responsible pet owner. Many of us have elderly family members with pets and this is an important discussion to have with them before you are in a crisis situation. At that point you are physically and emotionally stressed, having to find appropriate care for your family member’s pets is one thing important thing you need to do and if a plan is in place things work out much better for all concerned.