Keeping your pets safe while home and away

Some of you already know of my love of animals and volunteering with the Ottawa Humane Society. I’ve had a few roles over the years, including doing presentations in schools, taking animals home as a foster, and most recently as a dog walker on site. Yesterday, with few dogs in the adoptions area, I got to spend some extra quality time with them including Astro, Simba and Shyla (sorry – no pic available of Blue).

All photos from the OHS website.

After walk and cuddle time, I attended a Pet First Aid workshop. While lots of the information was common sense, there were some good reminders, including making sure your pet is safe while you’re away. They suggest you provide a signed and dated letter giving your caregiver the authority to make decisions about your pet’s care.

As a pet sitter, I can’t imagine anything worse than being left in charge of a pet and being left to make a tough decision and not being able to reach the owner. Say we get to the vet and emergency surgery will cost $1500. Do I say yes? Do I say no? How awful would that be. So, while it’s not something we want to think about, best to have a plan.

When our cat Sam was on his last of 9 (probably even more than 9) lives, my parents were about to head away for a month-long trip. I was going to be taking care of him. We made the tough decision to put him down before they left, because the thought of having to call them while they were on vacation and asking them on the spot – or me just having to make a decision on my own – would have been terrible. He lived a great long life, but the end had been nearing for a while.

So. Moving on from that sad note, but still to another serious one. Did you know that there’s a Pet Poison Helpline? I didn’t. The # I found is 1-855-764-7661. This is a fee service (about $80 CAD) but still good to know. (There may be other numbers as well, but this one is a start.)

Here are some of my other posts dedicated to animal love – Why I love fostering

This one caused a lot of tears – Heartbreaking message from vet about putting pets down

Thanks for reading.

Sending lots of love to you and your pets. xo


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