Writing a Will for your Dog

19th December 2012 - in General

Now I am not being morbid here, however it is a well proven fact that more people die in the winter, than in the summer, when it is cold, damp, miserable and the whole pattern of life becomes tiring and laboured. So have you really considered what happens to your pets or in the case of a breeder, all the dogs, when you shuffle off this mortal coil to swan about, learning how to play the harp, whilst skipping merrily from cloud to cloud ?

I have to say that it is an absolute necessity to address this problem now !

I find myself now patting myself on the back, safe in the knowledge that it is written in my will about all my dogs and also I carry with me in my wallet and my "showbag" what to do if I am "not about".


But it is not only death that you need to consider, it is also incapacity. Obviously this applies to the older age group, but rest assured that accident and/or illness can strike anyone at anytime. This has been brought home to me personally over the last couple of weeks with two good friends of mine, being struck down totally out of the blue.

Not everyone is fortunate enough to have a spouse or a partner who shares the same interest in dogs and of course, if they do, then in the event of a road accident then it maybe that both are killed or injured !

Painful though it may be to confront the possibility of ones own demise, it needs to be done for the sake of your dogs. If you do not leave a will (i.e.: die in testate) then your property and that includes your beloved dogs may be left to a relative who is not "doggy" !

Would they know how to look after dogs or care for the elderly or their special needs ?

Would they even wish to keep them for the rest of their lives or even at all ?

Would they try to sell them, thinking they may be worth a ‘decent bit of money’ ? If that were the case, would that be to the highest bidder, regardless if the prospective new owners were deemed to be suitable ?

And what would happen to those dogs that were not deemed to be worth anything, in financial terms, such as those beyond breeding & showing age for example ?


To compound the problem if you did die in testate, then probate can take an inordinate length of time, so who would take care of the dogs during this period and where ?

And would the new "non-doggy" owners know what dog was what and what they needed in the way of feeding, medication, etc ? Some friends of course can step in, but they cannot be expected to change their lifestyle and commitments.

So you see, whilst you care for your dogs today, you need to think about the future for them as well, just in case. Rescue organisations are wonderful in cases like these, but they are often stretched to breaking point in terms of finance and space !

Make a Will

So why not be ahead of the game and make a proper will now. Don’t put it off until tomorrow and I am not talking about the silver teapot and the beautiful necklace of Great Aunt Agatha, I am referring to the pets that we love and that love us, and more importantly depend upon us to be there and care for them !

Think about it carefully, whether this be a trusted friend, a relative or indeed a member of a breed club for your particular breed of dog. It must be someone that can be relied upon to carry out your wishes and to basically "do the right thing for you and your dog(s)".

On a less sombre note, what would happen in an accident, would your neighbours know the right people to contact and would they know which dog was which ?

So sit down and think carefully about what you would want to happen, write it down clearly and make sure that it is readily accessible. Also make sure that the chosen people (who must also be in agreement) are aware of this document and its location.

Clear Instructions

Write down clear instructions, give the dog’s details, distinguishing features, maybe even a photo, details of kennels and friends, who should be contacted, and any dietary needs, together with the name and telephone number of your chosen vet.

Simple things which are second nature to us ‘dog people’ are like a foreign language to the ‘non-doggy’ fraternity !

It is so important and just another way to actively show how much we care for our dogs or indeed all pets.

  • 6th March 2013 11:55 - Posted by : Penny Smith (nee Thomas)

    This also applies to cats and cat owners, rabbits and rabbit owners etc. From experience when I close friend died, her beloved Siamese cat ended up being
    re homed to a most unsuitable person with small children, by the "kind" people dealing with her estate. Had they known her better they would have been aware that the Siamese Society would have taken Sam Sam, cared for him and found him a suitable foster home with loving people and a nice warm lap to sit on. She would have turned in her grave and returned to earth brandishing harp in hand if she'd known of this fate! I wasn't aware until a few days before her funeral when I was informed that she had died, of the fate of Sam Sam so was unable to do anything about it.