Dogs are amazing companions who provide great memories and help us get through happy and sad times. As we grow older, pet ownership can become even more beneficial. Since our dogs are so good to us while we are with them, it is only right to ensure that they have a nice life after your death.
If you are making preparations for the future and you want to ensure that your dog has an easy transition after your death, then we are here to help. But first, let’s talk a bit about the benefits of owning a dog when you are older.
Benefits and demands of dog ownership
The great thing about dogs is that they will love you regardless of your age or place in life. They love us when we are kids, and they can be especially helpful during our senior years. In fact, there are many mental and physical benefits of having a pet later in life. Among them is the fact that they promote exercise. If you have a dog, you must take them for a walk at least once a day. This routine will ensure you get up and moving and keep your bones and muscles strong.
Pets also create great social opportunities, which is especially important if you are a widower or you are a couple that needs more chances to get out and have fun. Taking your pet to the dog park or to a pet-friendly restaurant is a great way to meet other like-minded people.
It is also important to take care of your dog while you have them with you. Start by finding an adequate pet insurance plan, which helps to cover emergency expenses and preventative care. Once you have secured pet insurance, you must find a good veterinarian and bring your dog in for regular visits. A vet will ensure that your dog is up-to-date on their vaccinations. Plus, a vet can catch health ailments before they get too far along.
The point is that you need to provide a healthy life for your dog. When you die, you will want to find someone that will continue to treasure your pet the way you do. The good news is that you have several options to do so.
How to set up a new life for your dog
It is essential that you make a decision now because failure to have a plan could result in animal control coming in and bringing your unclaimed pet to the animal shelter. While new families adopt many sheltered animals, the sad fact is that many pets die while in the care of a shelter. Often, the best chance for your dog is for them to land in a no-kill shelter, but even that is not guaranteed without a plan.
There are some dos and don’ts regarding what you can do for your pet in these situations. Unfortunately, you cannot make your dog a beneficiary on your life insurance. In addition to the fact that your pet is unable to sign the documentation, there is also nowhere for the money to go since a pet cannot legally open a bank account.
One action that you can take is to include the dog in your will. The point of a will is to ensure proper property distribution, and it can include directions on where your animal will go when you die. You can determine who will get the pet and you can provide a certain amount of money to that person for the pet’s care.
The problem with a will is that it is not always legally enforceable. Instead, you can create a trust. This is a more legally binding and iron-clad agreement that allows you to name a caregiver, provide them funds to care for your pet, and you can also dictate where the rest of the money will go if the animal dies. For instance, some people opt to send the rest of those funds to a charity, such as a local rescue organization.
Deciding who should take care of your pup
It is important to remember that you don’t necessarily need to go through extensive legal channels when it comes to deciding a path for your dog once you die. You can also seek a friend, family member, or neighbor that you have a connection with and ask if they would be willing to take your pup when you die. That individual can even be a temporary caregiver until they find a permanent solution.
You must have a conversation with this potential caregiver before you make a decision to leave your pet with them. Verify that they are willing to watch over your dog and ask if they have any reservations about the request. If you find a good candidate, then get the agreement in writing.
Final thoughts on caring for your dog after your death
It’s also a good idea to have a plan in case you die suddenly. If the authorities who help you don’t know what to do with your dog, then they may still end up in the shelter.
To prevent that issue, consider carrying an alert card in your purse or wallet that directs authorities to your emergency caregivers. Also, to be prepared if you suffer a fatal incident at home, you should also consider posting instructions on the inside of the door of your house that mentions emergency contacts and what to do with your dog.
There are many different routes you can take to ensure that your dog is cared for once you die. Take some time to think about your options and then choose the best course for yourself and your pup.
Miles Oliver is a proud dog lover and an outdoor enthusiast. He often writes on his patio with a hot cup of tea and his 4-year-old border collie mix by his feet. When Miles is not working as an independent freelance writer, he is most likely mountain biking and roaming the great outdoors with his four-legged companion.