Having a dog is much like having a child. You need several people whom you trust and who are willing to care for your dog in case unforeseen circumstances arise in your life and you are no longer able to keep your dog. Don’t wait until an emergency arises. Instead, have a contingency or backup plan.
Make sure to have these people interact with your pet so that he or she becomes comfortable with them as well. It will make things much easier on you and your pet should the “what if’s” of life happen. We know that all of us believe we will live forever and will be healthy until we die, but life can throw curve balls and your pet should not pay the price.
It is often best to start with people whom you would trust with your own child. Try to choose people who are stable, trustworthy and who love animals. Ask them outright, if something happened to you, would they be willing and able to care for your dog. Let them think about this so they don’t offer up the requisite “of course I would”. Rather, tell them to think about it as if you were asking the same question for your child. This could be a commitment of ten years or more so make sure they have time to consider their options.
Have your pet’s veterinary records, history, feeding schedule, likes / dislikes, etc written down and easily accessible. This will ensure that, in an emergency, someone will have access to everything your dog needs.
Give a trusted friend or neighbor a key to your home in case you are detained or unable to return home to care for your pets.
Keep an emergency card in your wallet or purse in order to notify emergency contacts that you will need their help caring for your dog.