Most dog owners dread the day that their beloved furry friend passes away. Yet, while animals have shorter life spans than humans, there’s always a chance that we may cross the rainbow bridge before our cherished animal friends.
One of the biggest takeaways from the movie Hachi: A Dog’s Tale is that animals are unquestionably emotional beings. The movie showed us the entirety of one dog’s life from birth to death — including Hachi’s immense pain when his owner passed away. This movie gives us a meaningful reminder that dogs feel just as deeply as we do.
Your Dog is Family
If you’re no longer capable of caring for your canine companion due to unforeseen circumstances, could you imagine your precious canine buddy dealing with loss while living in a shelter environment?
Since 87% of all Americans consider their pets to be family members, making provisions for them should be a priority.
Documenting Your Wishes
According to Investopedia, “A will is a legal document that spells out how you want your affairs handled and assets distributed after you die. A trust is a fiduciary arrangement whereby a grantor (also called a trustor) gives a trustee the right to hold and manage assets for the benefit of a specific purpose or person.”
In creating a will or a trust, you should always consult tax and legal advisors. Depending on your individual circumstance, you may need both a will and trust to adequately cover your specific wishes.
When creating a will or trust, we tend to only consider our human family members. But why don’t most people include their furry family members, too? Pets need support after losing a loved one (just like humans).
Your pet will continue needing financial support and a good home after you’re gone. If you don’t plan ahead, your canine pal may end up miserable and confused in a place where they don’t feel safe or loved.
They will wonder why you didn’t protect them. Where did you go? What did they do wrong? They may no longer play like they used to. The happiness you see in their eyes when they cuddle or play will be gone with you. Our pups deserve to live happy lives until the end of their road, too.
It isn’t a comfortable thought to think about when you’re unable to care for your pet anymore (but you don’t want your pet to feel uncomfortable and alone after you’re gone either).
By planning ahead, your dog family member will be protected —just as they’ve protected you.
Be Prepared for the Unexpected
We recommend finding two emergency pet caretakers who you trust. They should agree to temporarily take care of your pet if something unexpected happens and you’re unable to do so. Write down all of the essential information they need to properly care for your pet and give it to them:
● Their veterinarian’s contact details
● Their food instructions
● Daily routine
● Favorite treats
● Anything else you consider necessary
You should place your temporary emergency pet caretakers’ information in your wallet and somewhere in your home that’s accessible. It may be helpful to put their information in a window where people can see it. Your pet caretakers should know how to contact each other as well!
Don’t Abandon Your Cherished Pup
You may have a family member or friend willing to become your pet’s permanent caregiver if something unexpected happens. That’s the ideal option. We recommend letting them know your expectations for taking care of your pet if you’re unable to.
The best way to protect your pet is to create a will or trust through a lawyer. Life is full of unexpected twists and turns — having a will or trust in place to protect your sweet pup will ensure they’ll be okay no matter what.
After all, your dog protected you through the good and bad times. Now it’s your chance to prove your loyalty!
Think about it: what will happen to your dog(s) if you’re suddenly gone? 😔