Many people do not think about how much their pets rely on them every day. If you think about it, they are completely reliant upon you to provide them with food, water, shelter and all of the aspects of life that happen on a daily basis. While this is never a concern for most pet parents who take great joy in caring for their animals, even the best and most concerned pet parent will many times forget to take precautions in case anything was to happen to them. Most people do not think about what would happen if they were injured or died, and even though you take great care to spell out instructions about family members in those cases, people forget about their pets.
If you were injured in an accident and were unconscious in the hospital, is there someone who would be notified that you have pets in your home that need food and water? This simple thought eludes many people, as they assume the police would take the time to figure it out. This is not the case, and if you live alone and do not have any close relatives who would know that you have pets, it could be days or weeks that your animal has no food or water before anyone figured it out. If you are hospitalized, the procedures are to figure out your best care, and there is nobody in place who has the job of coming to your home to find out if you have pets that need care. In cases where people cannot communicate or are unconscious, there is no way of conveying this information to someone. This is why it is always suggested to keep a card or note in your wallet or purse along with your identification and insurance information that states how many pets you have and where they are located. It is also a good idea to inform neighbors that you would be putting them onto the information card as a contact who can be called to care for the pets in the house, as neighbors are not on a contact list for people who are injured, and hospital staff can usually not be bothered to leave their duties to travel to your home. Specify a neighbor’s contact information and give them permission to be contacted and enter your home to care for your pets if you cannot.
In the unfortunate circumstance of you dying, who will care for your pets? Shelters are filled with animals whose owners have passed away and the next of kin does not want to care for the pet. It is always a good idea to specify in a will or other document where your pet is to go in the circumstance of your death. Contact your friends and relatives to ask them if they would be comfortable caring for your pet if you were to die, and if they are not then contact someone else. Precautions must be taken because there are no services in place to track down those who would want your pets if you do not specify. If you were to die without making arrangements, your pets will end up at the local shelter.
Some simple precautions on the parts of pet parents can make your pet’s lives more bearable if something was to happen to you, just like the case with human beings. Take a few minutes and create a contact card for your wallet or purse, and make a few phone calls to see if your friends or neighbors would take your pets if something happens to you. You can be a good pet parent even if you are not able to be with them directly, it only takes a few minutes.