Pet help during emergencies

May 15, 2017 by  
Filed under All Posts, Animal News

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What will your pet do if you have an emergency hospitalization, or other disaster?

Pets play a very important part in our lives, yet life can be unpredictable!

Pet owners and animal caretakers are hospitalized every day, yet our companions still need food, water, attention and love every day. A close family member or trusted friend may be able to provide pet help until the situation resolves itself, but what will your pet do if that isn’t possible?

Pet Help: When You Can’t Do It All On Your Own
by Sally Perkins

Every pet owner has funny stories to tell about their pet. Nobody knows your pet like you do – their quirks, their moods, their personality. You love your pet and want to be there for them always. But every now and again, we may need help taking care of our pets. Don’t let this worry you, because every pet owner, just like every parent, needs help some time. Fortunately, there are lots of resources plenty of people who love pets that can help out. It’s important to think through and plan for how to get help with your pet in various circumstances, and to put together a set of resources so you don’t need to panic at the last moment if you need help. Here are a few to help you along.

Walk and Play

Walking your pet, playing with them, or just giving them some loving attention is a regular part of your daily life. Your pet comes to expect these daily interactions, and so do you. Between the owner and the pet, it’s hard to tell who enjoys the love and companionship more. Like clockwork, your pet rolls over for a belly rub, or heads for the door when it’s time for a walk. But what happens if you can’t provide the daily attention your pet needs? Research has shown that pets suffer depression when they are left at home alone all day by their owners.

Whether you have to be away from home for long hours each day, or just for the odd day now and again, it’s worth putting a plan in place for your pet’s walk or play time. The people around you are a great resource. Do you have a family member close by or a neighbor who already knows and loves your pet? They might be pleased to walk or keep your pet company when you can’t. Perhaps you can do something for them in exchange; some home repairs, or knitting, or bake them a pie.

A loving foster family

Sometimes you have to be away for more than just the day. Perhaps you’re traveling or you have an emergency such as a hospital stay. Having a plan in place for your pet in advance helps a lot. There are pet-care resources for people who are hospitalized to help them take care of their pets while they’re away, such as PACT, an organization that places pets in foster care for military families and people who are in hospital. The great thing about working with an organization like this is that they have appropriate foster families ready all the time; families that love pets but are also ready to return them to their owners when the time comes. The Cinnamon Trust also makes pet foster care arrangements for people who are hospitalized, as well as long term care for the elderly if they have to move to accommodation that does not accept pets.

Pet sitter

If you are traveling, your local animal shelter may be able to help you find a family that will take in your pet until you return, or you can use a site which helps pet owners identify a pet sitter that offers pet boarding. Better still, consider finding a house sitter who also loves pets and will take care of both for free. That way you don’t have to worry about your pet getting homesick, or about locking up your home while you’re away.

As you make a plan for your pet, remember that it takes time for animals to get used to a new environment or to new people. If at all possible, introduce them in advance to the places where they may be spending time in future and the people they may be spending it with.

Photo courtesy of Dominik QN.

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