Create a Pet Plan!

Losing a companion is devastating, but what if the shoe were on the other foot and instead they lost us?

I have two pets, Rogue and Phoenix both of whom I love dearly; each of them wait anxiously by the front door for my return, but what would happen if one day I didn’t make it?

It’s certainly a morbid thought to consider that I might not come home however, it is equally disturbing to wonder who would care for my pets in my absence.  Let’s face it, there are things about our pets that only we know.  Per example, I know that when Rogue refuses to move from the freezer, it is because she is waiting for an ice cube.  And that Phoenix prefers to sleep in a laundry basket versus her bed.  No one would ever know that unless I told them or unless I wrote it down in my Pet Plan.

Continue to provide and care for your pets by following this 3-step process to ensure that your pets receive the care they deserve when you’re gone:

#1 PLAN –

In case of emergencies you want to know who to call fast!  Put together an emergency contact list that includes friends or neighbors who can quickly reach your pets.  Keep a copy in your wallet at all times just in case!  Among those numbers be sure to include your family veterinarian and nearest emergency and referral hospital.  If you’re in the tri-state area, include NorthStar VETS as a place where you can find emergency support!

Create a document that details the following important information for your pet!

Things to include:

  • Medical History
  • Diet
  • Allergies
  • Registration ID#’s
  • Favorite Toys/Treats
  • Do they get along with other animals/kids?
  • Are the aggressive to males?
  • What is their temperament?

Take this information and compile a list of the top 5 people who you think would provide the best care for your companion.  Once complete, share it with them, and have an open discussion to determine if they would be willing to assume the responsibility as your pet’s caregiver.


We all know caring for a pet cost money!  That said, you might want to set aside an account specifically for your pets expenses.  Keep in mind that generally older pets require more care and therefore you may want to allot funds accordingly.  While it is difficult to predict the expenses they may incur a good starting point would be to consider annual expenses on things such as general wellness visits, food, toys, boarding, grooming, etc.  Your family veterinarian would be a great resource to consult for help in this area.  Another good resource would be


Include your pet in your will. Technically, your pet will go to the next legal heir in the event of death.  Your heir may not like pets, so establishing a Pet Trust will protect your them because you will be able to establish a trustee, back up trustee, caregiver and back up caregiver.  To see a complete list of states with laws that have guidelines for pet trusts, check out this link here

This option, though more cost prohibitive will ensure that your companion is cared for and appropriate money or property for a trustee.  When estate planning with your attorney be sure to include your pet as part of the discussion.

Concluding thoughts:  Keep your pet’s information with you at all times.  Doing so safeguards that your companion(s) will be taken care of in your absence and make the difference between life or death if they are left sitting for days without food,  water or attention.

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