Planning Ahead


Peace of Mind for Pet Guardians
By Lana Si

We all feel more capable when we plan ahead for many of our work
and home life commitments. When we are organized we feel less
stressed and more able to handle unexpected changes. As a pet
guardian we should include our four-footed companions in that
planning equation as well.

When PAF adopts an animal into a new home, our adoption package
includes a “continual care” form. We have a discussion about
this form and how to plan for unexpected emergencies that may
involve the well-being of the new pet. If a little forethought is put
into this topic then, if an emergency happens, there is a structured
safety net in place that can give the pet guardian peace of mind
and the pet - “continual care” during this unexpected emergency
time. A copy of our “Continual Care” form for cats in included with
this article and our website has a form for dogs and rabbits as well.

As pet guardians we are all aware of those sudden health
or accident emergencies that our pets can have without
any warning. We advise adopters to begin a “rainy day”
fund right away and start saving for those times when
they are faced with one of those emergency situations
and a trip to the veterinarian is necessary. Hopefully
a bill will be minor but, if the illness or injury is more
serious, then the bill could be hundreds of dollars and
most veterinary hospitals require full payment at the
time of treatment.

Some emergency situations happen to the caregiver and
thought should be given to this potential situation as well
so that the beloved pet is looked after properly during
this time. Everyone should have a temporary, alternate
caregiver lined up to immediately step in to provide pet
care if the owner/guardian is indisposed. If you are the
sole guardian of a pet, this is extremely important to put
a plan in place for continuous care for your animal.

Several years ago PAF received a call from a young man
who had suddenly taken ill and was in hospital for an
urgent appendix operation. His dog was at home and he
had no back-up plan for the dog’s care. He was advised
he would be in hospital for a 7 – 10 day recovery period.
If you suddenly couldn’t get home, who would take your
dog out for a bathroom break within a few hours? A
wise idea would be to discuss an arrangement with a
close friend, relative or neighbour whom you trust and
make a commitment with them to act as an immediate,
temporary guardian for your pet. This arrangement
might be a reciprocal one so that a comforting system is
in place. If you give written instructions on what foods/
brands your pet likes, the pet’s routine and any special
medication the pet is given then there is a smooth
transition for both the temporary caregiver and the pet.
Details such as the name of the pet’s veterinarian and
whether the pet stays in its own home or lives with the
caregiver can also be discussed and perhaps house keys
exchanged so only a phone call puts a plan into action.
Plans should also be discussed with family members
in case of the sudden passing of a pet guardian. What
provisions have you made for your dear companion?
Have you discussed with family whether a member
would take over pet responsibilities or should the pet be
re-homed? Would you want to set aside funds in your
Last Will and Testament to cover care for your pet if a
family member adopts it or if the pet is re-homed? Many
months might be needed to find a new home and, in the
interim, funds will be needed for pet food, veterinary
care, cat litter, grooming expenses, possible boarding
and/or doggie daycare. These details should be written
so that there is clear direction for the care of your pet.

Don’t wait until an emergency happens.
Scrambling to find a reliable caregiver will
just add to an already stressful emergency.
Hopefully, your action plan will not be
needed but you will have comfort and
security knowing it’s there.

Preparation ahead of time ensures peace of
mind and a smooth transition for all.

Visit VOKRAs Continual Care Provisions Form here to prepare

Posted by Grino on September 2, 2013 @ 12:00 PM

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