One thing is for certain in our lives… we can expect the unexpected. While it’s true even our best laid plans may not pan out the way we hoped, we can still prepare for the ‘what ifs’ in life. Here’s how to prepare for the unexpected as a pet parent to ensure your love for them lives on.
In recent days, we have seen weather patterns go from one extreme to the next. Our health has been at the forefront of our minds as we face a pandemic no one could have seen coming.
Medical emergencies happen. Vacation plans get suddenly changed due to unforeseen delays. There are so many variables in life that we simply can’t control, no matter how hard we try.
Change is the only constant in lifeHeraclitus
As human beings, we have learned to live with these sudden reroutes. For our pets, however, it can spell catastrophe.
In my recent blog post, I talked about how the Covid-19 tragedy has left many beloved pets homeless. How many of these precious animals could we have saved if we learned how to prepare for the unexpected a little bit better?
We could spend hours thinking up the possibilities of what could happen in our lives. Even then, we wouldn’t be scratching the surface.
Here are some tips that may help you and your loved ones prepare in advance for your pet to be taken care of, no matter what may come.
How To Prepare For The Unexpected As A Pet Parent: Things To Consider
Access To Your Home
It’s critically important someone you and your pet trust have access to your home whenever needed.
Ask yourself these questions:
- Has this person spent enough time with my pet to build trust?
- Do they know where the food, pet supplies, veterinary records, etc. are kept?
- If boarding your pet is required – where will they go?
- Is this person aware of any special requests or needs, if there are any, regarding the care of your pet?
You’ve answered all the questions. Now — where do you keep this information?
Every one of your pets are individuals and so are their needs. In a clearly visible area, have an emergency binder with care instructions for each cat, dog, or other pet.
List details such as:
- The names of your pets and their identifiable markings or colors (with color photos when possible)
- Do they have a special diet, health restrictions, medications?
- If hiding due to fear – is there something that brings them out easily? Where is their typical hiding spot?
- What is your cat or dog’s favorite toy?
- Their Veterinarians’s contact information and their most recent Veterinary records
- Remember to include any feral animals you are responsible for that could be easily overlooked.
For day to day tasks such as feeding schedules or medication needs, consider dry erase boards. Your pet’s caretaker can check-off tasks as they are completed in an easy to follow way.
Consider Your Will or Trust
By no means am I trying to be morbid here. Death is a part of life; for us and our beloved pets. In the event that something happens to you, what will happen to your cat or dog?
Thankfully, we don’t have to helplessly wonder whether or not our wishes for our four-legged family will be honored.
Contacting a lawyer of your choosing can help you draft the documents needed to protect your pet’s future. Whether you choose to write a will, trust or other protective care document – you will have peace of mind knowing that your love for him/her will live on.
Although they won’t replace legal documents, peace of mind planners help keep your most vital records and final wishes in one place.
Have Extra Food On Hand
When your pet is missing you, the last thing they need is another change. Sudden dietary changes can also cause major digestive distress and other health problems.
In case of emergency, be sure to have plenty of your pet’s favorite food available. In your “care instructions” binder, let the friend or family member know where they can find everything they need to take care of your pet.
Note: Keep in mind your friend or family member doesn’t know what you know about your pet. Use details and be specific. Remember their unfamiliarity and take it into consideration with all of your instructions.
Consider “Face Time” or Other Video
Around our home, “Dizzy,” has her own song. 🎶 When most people hear me sing it, they think it’s hilarious. Dizzy? She eats it up, head proudly in the air, receiving the adoration she deserves, of course!
Science has proven it – our pets respond to the pitch and speed of our voices. They learn what we’re saying, why we’re saying it and respond (or don’t!) in a way only they can. Talking with our beloved pets is both therapeutic for us and them.
Though it may sound funny, consider video chatting with your pet while you are away whenever possible. Technology has come a long way.
Many mobile phones come standard with high-tech cameras and the ability to video conference.
Better yet, these amazing 2–way video pet cameras make it possible to not only see and speak with your cat, but play with a laser beam too. As an added bonus, they are motion activated for extra home security!
It may be just the healing balm you both need in an otherwise chaotic and upsetting time.
Know Your Resources Ahead of Time
Below are some resources that will be there to help you plan, react and respond correctly when emergencies arise.
- Pet Disaster Preparedness Kit (with FREE printable)
- Humane Society Emergency Preparedness
- American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Disaster Preparedness
- ASPCA Disaster Preparedness
Hope For The Best. Prepare For The Unexpected
This blog post isn’t about doom and gloom. Instead, it honors the love we have for our pets by considering them a member of our family. If we love them like children – we should prepare for their futures.
What, if anything, have you done to prepare for the emergencies in life? Have you decided where your pets will go? Tell me all about it in the comments below!
If you found this post useful, please share it with your friends and family to help them prepare for the unexpected events in life too. Thank you! ♥
ALL My Love & Healing Puurs,