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Pet Talk Tuesday – Preplanning for pet’s care

Posted at 5:03 PM, Jan 26, 2021

Dr. Susan Wylegala says one of things we never really want to talk about, but we need to think about, is what do we do for care for our pets if we are unable to care for them anymore. Whether we are in the hospital for a length of time, incapacitated, or we pass away, who is going to take care of our pets? Dr. Wylegala says she thinks it is important that you create a plan when you have a pet, on what you want to occur with them when you are unable to care for them. That may mean discussing this with a family member who might be able to take the pet making sure a neighbor is aware that you have pets and those pets need to be cared for. She says you can certainly make arrangements in your will for them to go to a certain person. You can make arrangements for certain monetary allowance, but it is important that we think about these things and we never really want to. Dr. Wylegala says in the era of COVID, this is something that has been coming up. She says there have been a number of people and clients of hers that been incapacitated and have had difficulty making arrangements for their pets. Dr. Wylegala says we have to have some fore thought about that; both in terms of who is going to care for them. Again, think of family, friends or neighbors. Talk to your veterinarian. She says they have had clients reach out to them in terms of looking at rescues that would have the potential of taking their pet if they are unable to care for them in the future. Also, you have to look at it from the financial end unfortunately. Owning a pet is a financial commitment and you do have to think of those things moving forward, whether you have an insurance policy for your pet; whether you include a monetary sum in your will; whether you have a rainy day fund that you have been saving a little bit of money each month to care for your pet if you are unable to. These are all things that are important. Communicate with your veterinarian. Dr. Wylegala says we are obligated to really only deal with who the owner is on a legal piece of paper so, if you have made arrangements please tell your veterinarian what those arrangements are so that when a stranger calls and says they are now caring for your pet, your vet will have that in writing and they can legally give them the information they need to about issues, or diseases and mediations for your pet. Your vet needs to be aware of that. When you talk about plans for your future and thinking about things if you get ill in terms of your family, don’t forget your pets. They are a part of your family and they need to be included in that discussion, so you make sure they are cared for appropriately for as long as possible if you are unable to. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian. They are a great resource for this.

Click here for the Niagara Frontier Veterinary Society