Having a Pet Plan

Not only can pets can be an important part of the family, but they’re also shown to have positive benefits for older individual’s health!

However, having a pet in your household can also be a lot of responsibility which may end up being incredibly difficult to maintain among your other caring duties. Staying prepared for unexpected situations means planning for all members of your family – including your furry friends!

Speak to your veterinarian

There are a wide range of emergencies that might happen where your pet will require consideration, both from a human and an animal perspective. Speak to your veterinarian about concerns you may have around sudden lifestyle changes and how to best prepare for those. Some veterinarians will have lists of local resources that you may be able to build into your plan, such as council check in teams or emergency kennelling. They will also be able to flag any health concerns that may crop up for your pet and ensure that these are monitored before they become an unexpected situation.

Talk it out

One of the most important steps in developing a Pet Plan is to talk about some of the most difficult situations that might arise with your family and friends. There are many discussions that need to be had around planning for the future, with some pointers provided by AgingCare here.

To guide discussions that you might have with your family and friends around the ‘essential’ elements, please see our ‘Pet Plan’ checklist below:

What will happen if there is temporarily no carer is available to look after your pet?

  • Who will look after your pet?
  • Where they will look after it?
  • What supplies they will require and where to find them?
  • What essential information is needed to care for your pet (medications/primary vet/etc)?

What will happen if there is a permanently no carer available to look after your pet anymore?

  • What are the rehoming options for your pet?
  • Who is responsible for ensuring rehoming occurs?
  • What is the essential information needed for someone who will be looking after your pet when you are no longer able (medications/primary vet/etc)?
  • What is important to you when your pet is being rehomed?

What the ‘plan B’ is, should your primary contact not be available?


Some residential facilities will allow visitations from furry family. If this is important to you, be sure to check which facilities allow this when these discussions come up.

Preparing for the Loss of a Pet

When pets are part of our family, it can be incredibly difficult to let them go, whether it be because you are no longer able to care for them yourself or because they pass away. It can be especially challenging to communicate this to someone who may not understand why changes are happening. Ensuring that you start having conversations about your pet’s future will help you, and your family, best understand and come to terms with the loss of your pet in the future. Please see this guide for eight ways to prepare to cope with the loss of a pet.

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