Four Steps to ensure that your pets are cared for in an emergency
Firstly, carry a card in your wallet notifying any emergency personnel that you have pets at home, and display a card in your door/window at home to show that there are pets in the home (or garden/yard/fields).
I have designed a printable that has these (plus a keychain tag) on one A4 sheet. Lots of different options for your non-human family, including the most popular dog breeds, and I will be adding many more in the next few weeks. I can also do a custom order, with perhaps photos of your pets. Click HEREto visit my Etsy Shop.
Ensure that at least two separate people you trust have access to your home – sets of keys, knowledge of where keys are hidden, alarm codes …
Try to choose people who live close to your home, are around when you are at work, know your pets and are happy to care for your pets temporarily.
Prepare an emergency kit for your pets (so one per animal).
These could contain, for example, – Any pet insurance details – Vet and vaccination records – Information about any medication your pet needs, and where these are in the home – A carrier for a small pet – A slip lead for a dog – Information about any behaviour problems/habits, feeding routine etc.
Ensure your ‘Emergency Guardians’ know where these emergency kits are (which should be in waterproof containers). Also, always have enough food/medication for at least two weeks.
Put into writing permanent arrangements for your pets.
This could detail the permanent caregiver(s) for your pets, permission for pets to be put to sleep if this is the best thing for them (only you can decide on that), and either a trust or other financial arrangement to ensure they are cared for. This could be in your will or another formal written arrangement.
However, keep in mind that you need to ensure that there are written instructions to ensure your pets are cared for immediately, as a will for instance will take some time to come into effect.
Organisations in the UK that will ensure your pet is cared for if you die or are unable to provide long-term care –
This is a lot to think about, but once done (and updated regularly) will give you some peace of mind knowing that in the case of an emergency your pets will be cared for appropriately.
This is just a very basic guide. Every pet family will be different and your circumstances will vary a lot as well.
Think about the extra arrangements needed for animals kept outside, particularly large animals such as equines/cattle/sheep/alpacas etc. I will be writing a separate blog post with information for owners of such animals. In the meantime, if you need any guidance, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
One final tip – take lots of photos and videos of your pets. These will be a huge comfort if you are unable to care for your pets anymore.
Take at look at my Pets Page, with some affiliate links for shopping and pet care.
If you need some advice on Moving House with Pets, take a look at this guide from GoCompare.