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5 Ways to Protect Your Pets if You Pass Away

by Guest Contributor
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The loss of a beloved pet eventually impacts almost everyone. Aging occurs more quickly in cats, as well as rats, mice, reptiles, canines, and other animals than it does in humans.

You might be prepared to say goodbye to your pets before they say goodbye to you as a pet parent. But what if you fall ill or pass away prior to your companion?

As a responsible pet owner, there are several things you can do to make sure your pet is cared for after you pass away.

Making sure they continue to receive high-quality food, toys, and countless cuddles is the best thing you can do for them. After all, your pets should continue to receive care, as beloved members of your family.

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1. Recruit your family and friends

As you make plans for your pets’ care after your passing, ask your friends to do the same. Planning ahead with a friend can make asking them to take care of your pet easier. You can reciprocate by offering them the same help that they offer to you.

If you’re with three or more people, you can create a document defining each person’s duties for emergency pet care. It should also include information about each person’s veterinarian and any ongoing plans for your pets.

2. Choose a caretaker for emergencies

Select a minimum of one, and ideally two or three, dependable friends or family members who could take care of your animals while you’re away. These people may not adopt your animals and keep them as their own. Instead, they’ll look after your pets until they can go to their permanent residences. Ensure that the people you choose can handle the job to a T.

Alternatively, the emergency caregiver could take care of your pets in your home. They must live nearby and have time in their schedules for emergencies. Give them the name of your vet, the best payment option you have for any anticipated veterinary treatment, and any plans you have for finding your animals a permanent home.

The emergency pet sitters you choose would promise to look after your animals in an emergency if something were to happen to you. They should have full access to your home and instructions on how to take care of your pets.

3. Find your pets a long-term residence

If you have a friend or family member you can entirely trust to take care of your pets, you’re in luck. This person can be the same as your emergency caregiver who takes care of your pet as soon as you pass away. They could be someone completely different, like someone who lives too far away to be a caregiver in an emergency.

Before deciding on a permanent caregiver or guardian for your animals, take into account how the person has dealt with your pets in the past. Check to see whether their euthanasia and pet care stances align with your own.

You can leave instructions for your pet’s care after your death, but you have little control over the decisions that will be made by the carers in your absence. Selecting a caregiver who shares your values is essential.

4. Prepare someone to rehome your pets 

If you don’t have the right person to adopt your animals permanently, you can give their temporary caretaker instructions to find them new owners.

It could take weeks or months to find the perfect residence, which is an additional obligation. If you want to employ this strategy, be absolutely certain that your emergency caregivers are equipped to go above and above.

As an alternative, you might make a donation to an animal sanctuary or “pet retirement home” to make sure that they will take care of your pet after you pass away.

But first, be sure to visit and understand the business. Ask about their pet-care procedures and what would happen to your pet in the event that the organization ran out of funding and had to close.

5. Put your pets in your will

You can agree in writing or verbally with your friends and family to take care of each other’s pets in the event of a death. Nothing, however, is final unless it is mentioned in your will.

It is not necessary to list temporary caretakers in your will. Before anyone gets an opportunity to follow your directions, after all, they will need to step in. However, you must mention the final adopter of your pets in your will, along with any other bequests for your pets.

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Taking a Pet from a Deceased Owner

Drafting a care plan for your pet can be made simpler, as was already mentioned, by working together with friends and family. Along the road, you might find yourself providing either temporary or long-term care for a friend’s animal companion.

You should have a thorough discussion with the pet’s owner to make sure that you two are on the same page regarding the pet’s care. You will have to do your best if the individual dies before you have a chance to ask about the pet and how to care for them.

About the Author

Sarah Kessler is a writer at JoinCake.com, an end-of-life planning website with free resources and information on how to estate plan and honor loved ones’ final wishes.

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