Worry About Leaving A Pet
Gretchen Heuring for ElderThink
It's perfectly normal be anxious about leaving a pet behind for an extended period of time. We might want to travel, or have an emergency that keeps us away.
Preparing For An Emergency That Leaves Your Pet Alone
There are some immediate steps that could bring peace of mind, as well as some longer term solutions.
Create a small card that describes the pet and gives it's name and any special instructions for care. Contact information for a friend or neighbor who would assist in caring for the pet could go on the card too. Put the card into your wallet, right next to a Medicare or other insurance card.
Put a copy of these instructions on the door of the refrigerator. First responders, who come to our homes in emergency situations are trained to look on refrigerator doors for instructions or information.
When preparing this information, try to consider what a stranger would need. Where exactly is the leash or important pet medication most likely to be found?
Your physician will have a record of a person to call in case of an emergency. You might have suggested a relative or friend. Be sure that person has a copy of your emergency instructions about your pet.
Care For Your Pet When You Plan To Be Away
There is a whole range of pet sitters. You might have a neighbor or friend or relative who will come in to feed and exercise your pet, water your plants and bring in the mail. But sometimes this familiar person is not availble.
There are also pet sitters that advertise online. Generally they are bonded and reliable. Some will come to your home and others want you to leave the pet with them at their home. You will need to explore and ask questions. Almost always these are people who love animals and want to make a little extra money by taking care of yours. A good place to start is with a national service called Care.com
You may wish to find a kennel service for your pet. In days gone by, these could be ugly places, but now they are generally very nice with play times, grooming and even swimming pools for dogs. Some even have cameras so you can see your pet on a computer. Choose two or three to visit in advance so you can see for yourself what is offered and what the cost would be.
If paying for this service is difficult for you, there are resources where you can apply for financial aid. Rachele Baker, Veterinarian and Author, lists organizations that offer financial assistance for Pet Care and Veterinary Fees.
The first time you make arrangements for your pet, it will seem taxing and complicated. But once you know the ropes it will be easy for you to be away whenever you need to be.