They Depend on us, What Happens if we Aren’t There?
For most of us, our pets are one of the more essential parts of 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, plus 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 for caring for our beloved fur children could be changed, by something as small as we’re going to be late. In the worst-case, what if something life-altering happens like an emergency or even 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, neighbour, family member or co-worker that you can ask to help in a pinch. A good idea can be asking 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 where natural disasters have become slightly more common, there have been countless pets separated from their families. An ounce of planning might make a pound difference later. Find tips for preparedness here (https://www.ready.gov/pets).
Estate Planning for your Pet –
It always seems that the most challenging 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 people are guilty of not doing the proper planning for the event of their death, let alone what happens to their pet! But you cannot assume things will be done the way you would like after you are gone, so you must make those wishes known while you are here. The bare minimum you can do is identify a caretaker, discuss a plan 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. This way identified caretaker has the means to continue care that your pet needs or is used 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.