Travel Often While Leaving Pets Behind? Consider A Living Will

If you travel a lot and have a loving pet, you likely hire a pet sitter or ask a friend or family member to look after your furry family member. However, you may not have thought about what that person should do in the event of a medical emergency or accident. A quick phone call to you can get the answers the sitter needs quickly, but if you can't be contacted, they may need to make some serious decisions. This guide explains why a living will for your pet is necessary, what should be in it and where it should be stored.

Why You Should Create a Living Will for Your Pet

A living will for your pet not only gives you the peace of mind you need while you're away, but it also helps the sitter and medical professionals understand exactly what should be done in the event of an emergency. If the sitter needs to take your pet to the veterinary hospital, they won't have to make tough decisions that only you should make.

In addition to having clear instructions, the sitter will know exactly where to take your pet and which payment system to use.

What to Put in Your Pet's Living Will

Make your wishes clear in your pet's living will. Explain everything that you want done for your pet. But keep in mind that the veterinarian's expertise will guide the process. Sometimes, people put their pets through more than what's necessary when they're terminal, or injured so badly in an accident that they won't survive.

When creating the living will, be sure to cover whether you want these medical procedures conducted on your pet:

  • intubation
  • CPR
  • life-saving drugs
  • blood transfusions
  • feeding tube

Include the information of a working credit card, your vet's phone number and address and your emergency contact information.

Note: Designate a dollar limit on the credit card without the provider needing to call you for approval. For example, you can set a $500 limit and then the veterinary hospital should contact you for further approval for expenses costing more.

Where to Store Your Pet's Living Will

As you complete the living will for your pet, obtain several copies. Then give a copy to the follow people or organizations:

  • pet sitter
  • doggy daycare facilities
  • veterinary hospital
  • your pet's vet
  • trusted neighbor
  • close friend
  • close family

In addition to providing copies of the living will to the people and facilities mentioned above, keep a copy with your other important paperwork as well.

Create a living will for your pet to provide peace of mind for yourself and clear direction for pet sitters if you travel a lot. Ask your vet for other ideas on what to put in the living will. Once finalized, have the living will notarized. For more information about caring for your pet while you are away, contact a vet such as After Hours Veterinary Emergency Clinic Inc.

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