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Have a Plan for Your Pet in Case They Outlive You

By Christy True
January 3, 2020 • 2 min. read
Dog looking out window waiting

By Randy Ferreiro

A growing number of pet parents are investing in pet insurance to make sure their four-legged pal can be taken care of in case of an unexpected illness or accident. But what happens to those pets if something happens to their pet parent instead?

Millions of pets end up in shelters every year after the death of their pet parent, and the majority of them end up being euthanized. There are two major concerns when it comes to making sure your beloved furry friend is taken care of should you not be able to. The first is finding a suitable caretaker, and the second is making sure they’re financially able to take care of your pet.

It’s human nature to avoid end-of-life or catastrophic disablement decisions, but just as you want to care for your surviving relatives, you should make a plan for your pet. A Budweiser commercial called “Someone waits for you at home” urging people not to drink and drive, is a poignant reminder of the devastating impact an unexpected death would have on a dog.

Finding a Caretaker

When considering who should be the one taking care of your pet should something happen to you, it is important to have a very open conversation with the people you have in mind. If there’s no one you can count on to take over your pet’s care, you may also be able to make arrangements with a non-profit pet rescue group. In either case, you should make sure the person or organization you’ve chosen is spelled out in your will as the inheritor of your pet(s).

Four-Legged Nest Egg

In order to defray the costs of caring for your pet, you can also leave a sum of money to the new caretaker in your will. You can also create a pet trust so that you can direct how the funds are to be used. This requires more planning and preparation on your part, but will better set up your pet and their new caretakers for success.

Regardless of which avenues you choose in your planning for the unexpected, it’s never too early to get started.

Christy True and Tomas
By Christy True

Christy has been writing about pets for Healthy Paws for 21 dog years. She previously worked in journalism, hence her penchant for writing about offbeat animal studies and the latest viral pet trends. She has been owned by several dogs, and right now, Tomas, a Mexican street dog rescue, is staring at her because he wants a walk. Outside of work, she can usually be found sliding down a mountain near her home in Bend, Ore.

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