Do You Love Your Pets?

Do You Love Your Pets?

By Cameron Peters


cat-dog2We know you do. You probably think of them as family. Perhaps they sleep cuddled next to you at night.  Perhaps they fill the empty space left by having children and grandchildren who live too far away.
When you were raising your children, you made certain that if anything happened to you, they were provided for. Won’t you do the same for your pets? They’re as helpless and vulnerable as children.  
There are very simple steps each one of us can take to protect our furry family.
Before you bring a new animal into your life, consider its likely lifespan and the amount of exercise it will need.  If you’re older or infirm, perhaps it’s not such a good idea to get a Labrador Retriever puppy. Many older animals need affection more than exercise and it’s much harder for them to find homes. Consider giving them a chance.  They’ll be so grateful.
In your wallet, make sure you have an “In Case of Emergency” contact person who has immediate access to your home and gated community (if applicable). Someone has to care for your pets right away.  Your daughter in Montreal won’t do. Choose your contact person carefully. Does that person have the time and dedication to feed, medicate, walk and do anything else your pet requires? If not, your contact person needs to have contact information for someone who does.
In your home, in an obvious location (for example, your refrigerator door), post feeding, medication and other important pet information.  You might include the names and contact information for pet-sitters and/or kennels acceptable to you. Be sure to include contact information for your pet’s veterinarian.
How will you pay for your pet’s needs? Food, veterinarian, kennel, transportation – whatever arises, it will cost money. Consider opening a small joint bank account with your trusted contact person. You’ll need to determine the projected cost of your pet’s needs. For example, if you know in advance that you’ll be hospitalized for a week for elective surgery and then you’ll require a month or so of physical therapy, it’s easy to make and pay for arrangements in advance or deposit sufficient money in a joint account to cover your pet’s expenses while you’re laid up. Remember, costs escalate over time and you’ll have to make certain you’ve set enough aside. In case of emergency, permanent disability or death, you’ll want to set enough aside to cover for whatever you wish for your animals for the rest of their lives.
What will happen to your pet if you cannot care for it long term? Your contact person must have clear instructions and sufficient funds to follow them.  In the event of your long term incapacity or death, do you want your pet euthanized, taken to a local no-kill shelter, or transported in or out of Mexico to family or sanctuaries elsewhere? Be realistic. Please do not assume that it will somehow all work out. Be informed.  Visit the local shelters. Can you see your beloved pet living in one?
Lakeside Friends of the Animals can help. Through our Pet-Post Life Planning Program, we can help you create a plan for your pets, arrange interim care, arrange transportation and/or assist in finding a permanent home for your pets.  For more information, please contact Cameron Peters, (376) 766-4341 or

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