Pet Tips

Senior Citizens and Their Precious Pets – Pet tip 193

It’s a difficult thing to think about but many pet owners are in their later senior years and some of them have young pets. In the event that older pet owners fall ill or pass away, what will happen with their pets? It’s uncomfortable to think about this, but it is a reality. What happens to cherished pets when their owners pass away or get too ill to take care of them? Realistically what happens all too frequently in these cases is that nobody wants to adopt or care for the pet and these pets end up in shelters.

In order to avoid this terrible fate, seniors and those that are extremely ill should have a backup plan. The easiest backup plan would be to have someone else that the pet preferably knows and likes who would be willing to adopt the pet in case of tragedy. If this backup person is willing to spend extra time with the pet when the end is approaching for the owner, this would help the pet’s transition. Even though many friends and family won’t view the pet’s care as important in a time of personal human tragedy it is very important. A pet owner that is ill and has to relinquish their pet needs to know that their pet will be well taken care of. This will help put the owner’s mind at rest and will relieve his/her feelings of stress related to what happens to their cherished pet.

An important part of deciding what happens to our belongings when we pass away is a will and other legal documents. If the pet owner does have a backup person to take care of their pet in cases of tragedy, then that person should be named in the will. If money for the pet’s care is also included, make sure it’s a person that loves animals and is someone that you totally trust. This decreases the chance that they will use the money for their own means. If the situation is that the pet owner is too ill and needs to be moved to a hospital, nursing home, or convalescent home, legal documents should be set in place. These documents can allow for the transfer of pet ownership to occur after permanent hospitalization.

Another important document to plan and write isn’t a legal document at all; it’s a notepad or journal about what the pet likes. Since pets are creatures of routine, the departure of the owner will be stressful on the pet. Write up a document that explains what the pet likes, eats, its favourite toys, where it likes to walk (if a dog), where it likes to be rubbed etc. This will help with the pet’s transition. It’s really easy to ignore pets in cases a tragedy. It’s important to remember though, that often pets are family to the person that cared for them. They will suffer from stress relating to the welfare of their pet. By stepping in and taking ownership of the pet, you are respecting the pet owner’s last wishes, doing a truly good deed and hopefully making a new furry friend.

Leave a Comment

(Additional questions? Ask them for free in our dog - cat - pet forum)