Steps to Ensure that Your Pets are Well Taken Care of When You Can No Longer Provide Care
By guest blogger Jessica Brody
The average life expectancy of a Labrador Retriever is 12 years. Overall, pets have a shorter life span when compared to that of humans. Even though you know this fact, it is still difficult to cope with their death. Have you ever wondered how your pets would feel when you are no longer here? What will happen to them in case they outlive you?
Senior pet owners consider pets a part of their family. Which is why it becomes your responsibility to make plans to secure the future of your pets. Some of the steps that you should take to ensure that your pets are well taken care:
Choose caregivers from among your friends and family
Have a talk with your friends and family, and choose at least two caregivers (people who are willing
to take on the responsibility). In case something happens to you or there is an emergency, these people will act as emergency caregivers. Ensure that you give them all the details such your veterinarian’s name and any special instructions about feeding and caring for the pet. Remember to give them spare keys to your home, and let them know about whatever permanent provisions you have made.
- Keep your neighbors informed
You may be close to your family and friends. However, if you live alone, they are not the ones that are always around you. Your neighbors can be a great help in situations where you are incapacitated. Therefore, see to it that your neighbors are well informed about your pets. Tell them how many pets you have and what their names are. Provide them with contact numbers of your temporary caregivers as well as your emergency contact details.
- Find out more about organizations that take care of pets
Most of the organizations cannot take care of your pets after you are unable to because they severely lack funds. They may be able to look after them for a while, until they are handed over to your permanent caregiver. However, there are some sanctuaries and pet retirement homes that dedicate themselves to take care of pets whose owners are no longer around. All you need to do is pay them a small donation, and they will take care of your pets. However, this must be used as a last resort as pets may very well be distressed because of the confinement.
- Include pets in your will
Your lawyer can help you draw the kind of documents needed to include pets in your will. While this will ensure you have taken care of all the legal details related to your pets, you should be aware of its downsides. For one, your will may come under dispute, and it may take weeks or even months to resolve it. For another, it may actually take some time for your pet care instructions to be carried out.
- Set up a pet trust
According to the American Animal Hospital Association, 47 percent of pet owners are willing to spend any amount of money to save their pets. So a trust fund doesn’t seem that far-fetched, does it? A pet trust is a legal document that can provide for your pets when you become ill or incapacitated. In fact, you can choose when the trust should come into effect. The best thing about these trusts is that during the probate process, certain assets can be excluded.
It is always good to be prepared for worst case scenarios. Making future plans for your pets makes certain that they don’t suffer much after you can no longer take care of them.
We have created a short booklet that walks you through setting up a plan for your pets should you become unexpectedly ill and can't get to them. We'll send one to the first 50 people who email firstname.lastname@example.org.