As you create your will, you have a lot to think about. You need to consider all of your children, their children, your spouse, and exactly what you want to have done with major assets like the family home. As you do all of this, should you spend some time considering your dog? Does he need to be included in the will?

While what you do with your beloved pet is up to you, some strongly suggest adding your wishes to the will. This way, you know your pet will be loved and cared for after you are gone.

One woman pointed out how important this was by talking about the passing of her best friend, leaving a wirehaired fox terrier behind. She said she would have cared for the dog if she had been allowed, but her friend hadn’t mentioned him at all in a recent draft of her will. The dog wound up with a caregiver who had it put to sleep right away. She couldn’t stop it and so she felt like she lost even more than just her friend.

It’s often hard for those who don’t have pets to really understand just how much they mean to their owners, really becoming part of the family. The caregiver may not have felt he or she was doing anything wrong, but it was just one tragedy on top of another for the friend.

If you really care about your dog and want the best for him or her after your own passing, it may be wise to consider your legal options to make your desires known.

Source: AARP, “In Pets We Trust,” Laura Daily, accessed March 24, 2017