How To Prepare For The Unexpected As A Pet Parent
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,
Excellent tips indeed. This should be something everyone does in good times and bad.
Have a fabulous day, Holly. ♥
I agree with you 100% my friend! When we are prepared during the good times – it makes the not so good times a lot more manageable. Sending loads of love your way! ♥ Thank you, as always, for your gracious comments! I appreciate you!
This is really detailed therefore important and clear…
Thank you, dearest Eliza! ♥
I don’t think a lot of people think about these things. They prepare for their kids, but pets? They get pushed aside sometimes.
I love the idea of a pet binder. I need to make one of those for ours! Right now I have everything in a folder but it’s all jumbled together.
A song for Dizzy? That made me smile! I thought I was the only one who did things like that for my pets! I love how they respond – like we’re the best things on Earth.
Excellent post and reminder to be prepared because you just never know. 🤗🤗
You’re absolutely right! Pets really do get overlooked a lot, even with the best of intentions. Preparing now, while things are calm, makes sure if/when chaos does break out – we’re ready!
I bet your pet binder would be the pet binders to rival all pet binders! 😀 I really do mean that. Your designs are always amazing and I love your organization skills!
You have a song too?!?! Hah! You’re the best! How you described it is perfect. They do look at us like we’re the best things on Earth. If your heart doesn’t melt at that… Does your song change depending on the mood, situation, etc? Dizzy’s song is an ever-evolving work of art. 😂 I guarantee you my neighbors think an absolute crazy person lives here since I sing it to call her back in the house, ha ha! It works every time.
Thank you my sweet friend for sharing your thoughts with me. As you know, I always love your comments (and your blog posts!) Sending all my love and big ol’ bear hugs. ♥
Aww…you’re so sweet!
Yes, my song changes, too! I know UPS and FedEx have heard me when they’ve brought packages to the door. Maybe that’s why they don’t bother knocking any more. I’m probably known as the crazy old lady who sings to her cats! hahaa!!!
This is a vitally important post, Holly. You’re right, the unexpected can and does happen. It’s better to prepare to whatever degree possible and not need those preparations, than to need them and be totally blindsided if something does happen.
The first one has me a little stuck, which is scary. We don’t have a go-to person for an emergency. I suppose the folks could call in the cavalry by giving my brother a call, but I can’t see him rushing to help or having a clue what to do with Virgil. This is the problem when you have no ‘real life’ friends. Better make sure me and the folks don’t have any emergencies that keep the three of us away from home! The key details and advisories to have written down is an excellent idea. I imagine that if someone were to be living alone and got taken into hospital, having a copy at home and a copy to keep with them would be so helpful, so they could even ask staff if there’s anyone that could be called in to help, a volunteer maybe.
I LOVE that Dizzy has a song, that’s so cool! Virgil doesn’t even seem to recognise his own name. Perhaps the waters got a little muddied as neither of my parents liked the name I gave him, so my dad ends up calling him Mickey and mum calls him Tommy. Virgil must be one confused kittykat. 😂 A two way pet camera, that’s a brilliant gadget to consider! I have to ask – what’s Dizzy’s song??
Fabulous post, Holly. This sort of thing is a bit delicate as many of us quite understandably don’t want to think about the what-ifs of things going wrong or emergencies happening, yet it’s so important to broach the subject and give the contingencies and preparations some thought.
You’re amazing, Caz. Another thoughtful comment from you – THANK YOU! Now that I’ve put first things first… 😉
Exactly, you said it best – prepare now instead of being blindsided later. We have no clue what our day to day life holds, as you know all too well. It’s much easier to plan when calm than reacting when chaos erupts!
I am saddened to hear that there aren’t really any trustworthy folks near you that you could consider the go-to in case of emergency for Virgil. It’s a tough spot to be in, and honestly, I understand it well myself. 🤗 I’d be there in a second to help if I could. Kind of makes me sad that I can’t, to be honest!
Your idea of having records with the pet owner so others are aware is very smart. I agree with you. There are pet ID cards you can get but people rarely pay attention to those.
“Virgil doesn’t even seem to recognise his own name.” — 😂😂😂 Caz, you are genuinely hilarious. You make me laugh a lot. Your stories of Mickey, Tommy, Virgil, er, what’s his name… are comedy-hour worthy!
As for Dizzy’s song — you’d probably just about die laughing. It changes on a day to day basis sometimes based on her facial expressions or the overall mood. They’re always made up. Lets just say that our neighbors probably think I’m a complete loony toon. Her songs 99% of the time will get her to come in when she’s being stubborn so I sing them loud and proud. “Yadda yadda yaddo, Do.” Imagine “all that jazz” or operatic tunes mixed with electronica and … well, who knows! 😂
Your encouragement means a lot my friend. Thank you for keeping me going! ♥
That is really so thoughtful and kind Holly .They are important points you bring up and would definitely help in the time of an emergency and any unexpected times.
Thank you so much, Nisha! ♥
Hi! Nice to find ur site! I love ur tips
Hi Eldhiya! Thank you so much for coming by Cat Care Solutions and sharing your thoughts. I appreciate you! It does my heart good to hear that you are enjoying my tips. I couldn’t ask for anything more! All my best to you & yours! ♥
A cat-friendly garden can be helpful, with a cat-proof fence they can’t leap above. Plants safe for pets and sunny spots.
And if you can’t have this, then cats condos and cats trees. Cats beds or laundry basket padded with old blankets and soft sweaters.
And if you hide treats in the house, it’ll make the cat love the new house right away.
Love those tips, friend! It’s great to hear from you again. ♥ How are you & yours doing?
I adore your idea of a cat friendly garden. Lounging about in the sun surely is one of our felines favorite past-times, isn’t it? 😉 Just have to be mindful of the plant selection, as you rightly said!
You know what’s funny? Our Dizzy doesn’t like treats. I’ve had a few kitties that seemed to always turn their noses up at them. Cats are funny – with personalities as vast as the ocean! Are yours fond of those tasty treats?
Sending my love your way. Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts! 😻
Hi Holly, keeping an emergency list on hand is a great idea. I have to do that (although I hope I never have to use it). Well done on putting together this list as we can prepare to some extent for the unexpected moments in life. A bit of prep can be so helpful in the moment for those fur babies we care so much about! Another terrific blog post <3
Hi, Christy! It’s great to hear from you. I always value your thoughts and opinions!
I agree with you – it is nice to have, but we do pray we never have to put our plans into actions.
Your words of encouragement mean so much to me, Christy. As do your shares on social media. Words fail me for the amount of gratitude I have for your support! I often wonder if I should continue on with Cat Care Solutions or not. With each of my blogs, I try to create something of value to the reader. I really hope I’ve done that here.
Thank you sweet friend for all you do! ♥
Wonderful info, I have been pondering that since I received my little dog. Thanks for posting this piece.
Aw, Geri! Thank you so much for your kind words. What kind of pup did you get? Pets are such wonderful companions, filling our days with pure joy! ♥️ Thank you kindly for sharing your thoughts!
A little female Bichon Freese named Juneau
Love the name. And I bet she is precious!
She is my precious baby.