Unlike us humans, pets have shorter life spans. That means in the long run, you may witness your furry pal’s passing. However, what if you become ill or get involved in an accident and become incapacitated, who will take care of your pets?
As a pet owner, it is your responsibility to provide your pets with shelter, vet care, food, water, and of course, love. And since we cannot tell what will happen in the future, we also have to ensure our pets continue receiving the care they need. That is the reason why we have to plan for our pets’ future.
So, how do you plan for your pet’s future? Below are some handy guidelines.
Preparing for the Unexpected
When a person dies or encounters an unexpected illness, pets are often overlooked. In most cases, people will only find out about the person’s pet a few days after the tragedy. To keep this situation from happening, here are some precautions to take:
- Look for responsible relatives or friends who are happy to act as temporary caregivers in case anything bad happens to you. Give them access to your house, provide them with care instructions, give them the name of the vet.
- Be sure your close neighbors and relatives know the number of pets you have at home. Make sure they know the names and contact details of the individuals who agreed to serve as emergency caregivers.
- Always carry with you a card with the names and contact details of your temporary pet caregivers.
- Invest in quality dog cages which will be used in case your pet needs to be transferred in the future.
Long-Term and Permanent Care in the Event of a Death
The proper way to ensure your pet is in good hands in the future is to make legal arrangements for pet care. It’s not enough that you speak with your friend verbally about caring for your pet. You need to have an attorney to write a will or document dedicated to the care and welfare of your pet.
Choosing a Future Permanent Caregiver
If you have multiple pets, you need to decide whether they’ll all be going to one person or to different people. However, we suggest you keep them all together, especially if they have bonded longer.
When it comes to selecting caregivers, you may consider your adult kids or mature friends who have already bonded and met your pet. Remember, this will not be easy for your pet, so at least, make the adjustment phase comfortable and convenient.
Once you have selected a potential caregiver, discuss your expectations with them. Let them understand everything associated with caring for your pets. They’ll be having full discretion of your pet care, so choose a permanent caregiver carefully. He or she should be a person you fully trust to give the best interests of your four-legged buddy.
Entrusting Pets to Organizations and Shelters
The sad truth is that not all shelters and pet organizations have the space and funds to care for your pets when you leave. You cannot also guarantee whether someone will be willing to adopt your pet, although some shelters might be able to offer temporary boarding and care for your pet up to the time he or she will be picked up by your assigned caregiver.
If you ever find an organization or a pet retirement sanctuary that will accept your pets, you might need to give a donation or pay a certain fee in exchange for a guarantee that they will be able to find your pets a new caregiver or a new home until their passing. Be wary, though these places may also offer long-term confinement and your pets might not be accustomed to such kind of living.
Now, if you really are determined to entrust your pet care to an organization, make sure you choose a well-established shelter or organization that has a great record of quickly finding responsible owners and homes.
It is normal to be concerned about your pet’s well-being after your death, but sad to say, some pet owners take their concerns to the extremes, that they reach the point of requesting their pets to be euthanized.
The good news is that this provision is often considered invalid by legal systems, especially when the animals are still young and if other humane alternatives are available.
Then again, there are cases when euthanasia is accepted. For instance, if the pet is already very old and requires extensive treatment for a disease, it may be unfair to all parties to request indefinite care.
Seeking Legal Assistance
Before you proceed with making formal arrangements for future long-term pet care, it is best that you seek legal assistance from professionals. They can guide you in the process of preparing legal documents for the best interests of the caregiver and your pets.
Accidents and deaths are inevitable. That is why you have to take time to plan for your pet’s future. Although it’s a topic many people want to avoid, it’s still something you have to pay careful attention for the benefit of your pets.