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Provision for Pups

Protect Your Pet if You Become Unable to Care for Them

By Camp Bow Wow


Pet owners agree — we love our precious pups. Furry family members are important to those who live alone, and especially those in their senior years. In fact, according to, 43% of senior adults own pets. Unfortunately, health problems are a concern associated with aging. Hospital stays, physical decline, unexpected death, all lead to the need for a contingency plan to care for your canine companion should the unexpected arise.


Take the time to provide for your precious pup and prevent his being shuttled to a shelter in your absence. Make sure to post your information in a place where emergency personnel will find it – both at home and in a card in your wallet.

In the short term, boarding at the kennel where Fido is familiar will provide continuity and comfort. Don’t forget to think about how he’ll get there. Be sure your plan includes enlisting a friend, family member or neighbor who knows where to go and agrees to transport your pup if you are unable.


Think through the things your pup needs to ensure a smooth transition, whether to the kennel or that trusted person’s home. Do they have a special bed, blanket or toy? Make sure Fido’s caregiver knows how/what to feed him and his medical routine.


This person might be the one who’d agree to rehome Fido in the event of your death. Think carefully about who might be the best fit for your pup. Are they responsible? Is their home environment conducive to your pup’s temperament? You should plan to leave Fido’s future parents funds to cover the financial burden of assuming his care. To determine the amount, consider the cost of food, veterinarian bills, grooming, medicines, toys, treats and burial. Don’t forget about a backup and last-resort option, such as a sanctuary, pet retirement home, or service that finds loving homes for orphaned pets. 

For peace of mind, it’s wise to consider drawing up some legal documents stating your wishes and designating your pet’s guardians. Notify all beneficiaries of your estate of the arrangement so there are no squabbles about who actually keeps your pup. 

Pets can be provided for through wills, trusts, or even noted on simple legal documents easily found on the internet. Consider a DIY Pet Protection Agreement available through LegalZoom.  The document will allow you to name a caregiver and set aside money to cover Fido’s expenses. This agreement applies whether you die or just become ill. Other resources, especially short-term: Meals on Wheels offers pet support, and local shelters may know families willing to help. There’s even a hospital foster program called PACT that you can find online.

Be prepared. We never know what’s around the next corner. Don’t leave your pup’s provision to chance.

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