Generally, pets have shorter lifespans than their human companions so a large number of pet owners have never considered what would happen to their pets if something unthinkable were to happen to them. Americans own nearly 181 million cats, dogs, and birds, which doesn’t include horses, fish, small animals, and other pets. Of those pets, an estimated 100,000 to 500,000 of those pets end up in shelters each year due to losing their owner. With the high number of pets that animal shelters handle each year, it can be unlikely that your beloved pet may find another loving home. This is especially true for older pets.
Unfortunately, no matter how young or healthy you are, accidents can happen to any of us at any time. Without the proper measures, your pets could be left to suffer after you’re gone. However, there are steps you can take to ensure that your pet will be looked after in the event of severe illness, accident, or death.
Designate an Emergency Caregiver
First, find a close friend or family member that is willing to act as an emergency caregiver in the event that something happens to you. You’ll want to ensure they have access to a set of keys to your house, care and feeding instructions, as well as contact information for your veterinarian.
Next, put a card in your wallet as well as post emergency notice signs on your car and your house to let emergency responders know you have pets and how many in case of a car accident or fire.
Make Formal Arrangements
While it’s a good first step to have a friend or family member promise to care for your pet in the event that the worst happens, it’s not enough. Work with a lawyer to draft up a set of documents to ensure that your pets will be taken care of. This could be in the form of a special will, a pet trust, or another legal document that will specify ownership, as well as outline feeding and care requirements.
CheckMyPets.com can help you with designating emergency care providers and posting notices so that you can have peace of mind. If you’re interested in more information, please read about how Check My Pet works.