For most of us, our pets are one of the most important things in our day to day lives. We rush home to make sure they can go out; we make sure we can be home around their feeding times and some of our pets need certain medications at certain times. How many of us have made plans to ensure these things happen in the event something happens to us?
Our routine in caring for our beloved fur children could be something as small as we’re going to be late but in the worst case what if something life altering happens like an emergency or even our death. Let’s talk about things you can do to plan on each of these levels.
Create a “Buddy System”- Identify someone in your circle, maybe a friend, neighbor, family member or co-worker that you can ask to help in a pinch. This can be another pet owner that can you can reciprocate for in times of need. This buddy should be convenient to your home to help with things like letting your pet out, feeding them or just providing some companionship to break up a long day. Knowing there is someone that can fill in creates a great deal of peace of mind for pet parents.
Emergency Plan– Consider having a second plan in place should you have some sort of disaster that may require relocating from your home. This might include having a travel kit ready for your pet to stay with family or just having a list of pet friendly lodging options or emergency providers that allow you to shelter with your pet. The worst possible thing I can imagine is having to evacuate my home to an emergency shelter and finding out I could not bring all my family members. In this age of natural disaster after natural disaster there have been countless pets separated from their families. An ounce of advance planning might make a pound difference later. Find good tips for preparedness at https://www.ready.gov/pets.
The most common “disaster” is a home fire. We will provide a link to provide additional tips on this in addition to having your emergency kit prepped. For instance, where do your pets go? Could you tell firefighters where to find your pets if they were scared? If you keep them kenneled is the kennel near a door that is easily accessible? https://cpicaz.weebly.com/pet-fire-saftety.html
Estate Planning for your Pet- It always seems the hardest part of being a pet owner is the fact that you know you will outlive your pet. We have all lived through the pain and loss when you lose your best friend. Very few of us consider what would happen if we do not outlive our pets. Many parents of human children are guilty of not doing the proper advance planning for the care of their young children in the event of their death…let alone the dog! But you cannot assume things will be done the way you would want them done after you are gone if you do not make those wishes known while you are here. The bare minimum you need to do is to identify a caretaker…discuss it with them….and put it in writing. If you want to make it more binding there are legal steps that can be taken to see that your wishes are carried out. This might include leaving specific instructions in your family trust or your will. You may also identify a monetary allowance to make sure that your wishes are carried out and the identified caretaker has the means to continue care that your pet needs or is accustomed to. You may even establish a separate pet trust that spells out all aspects about the care of your pets in the event of your death. Laws may vary from state to state so you will want to seek legal counsel to properly plan. For more tips on this type of planning https://www.aspca.org/pet-care/pet-planning/pet-trust-primer
Have you made plans for your pets’ care if something happens to you?