How to Find Care for Your Pet While How to Find Care for Your Pet While HospitalizedHospitalized 

Anyone with pets knows how important they are to their owners. They provide unconditional love, a host of health benefits, and have a way of quickly becoming one of the most important relationships in a person’s life.

If anything, those benefits can be more meaningful to seniors who often struggle with loneliness or inactivity. Which is why it’s unsurprising that 43% of seniors own pets.

And while no senior ever wants to deal with being hospitalized, for the seniors that have pets, the inconvenience is far compounded by worrying about your animal getting the care they need while you’re institutionalized.

If you have family that can take on the care duties until you’re back home, then you’re probably set and don’t need this blog post. But if you don’t know what will happen to your pet if you find yourself facing a lengthy hospital stay, these options may help.

  1. PACT 

PACT offers a hospital foster program that exists precisely to help people who have pets and are facing hospitalization. The main goal of the program is to keep beloved animals from ending up at a shelter by matching the pets of people who are hospitalized with foster families that can ensure they’re well taken care of until the owner can resume care.

  1. Local Shelters

Local shelters and rescue organizations routinely have foster programs. While these programs usually have a primary focus on placing dogs looking for a home with foster families, that means they do have a roster of foster parents that are both trained to take care of pets and used to giving them up after a short period of time.

Most shelters and rescue organizations are committed to keeping as many animals as possible in loving homes and saving them from the possibility of being needlessly surrendered to the shelter (especially since most shelters have more pets than they can handle as it is). If you reach out them, there’s a good chance they’ll do what they can to help you find the best solution possible for your pet.

If you’re not already familiar with your local shelters, simply do a search online for “animal shelters near me” (or near your city or zip code). Look for contact information on the website and make a call to see if they can help.

  1. BorrowMyDog

BorrowMyDog is a website devoted to helping bring together people who love dogs with people who have dogs. There are a lot of different forms that can take – people can use it just to find someone to walk or hang out with their dog during the day when they’re out, for example. But by tapping into the community of people in your area that love dogs, you may be able to find someone who can help take on the care of your dog while you’re hospitalized.

It wouldn’t hurt to try the site before you need it. Doing so could end up meaning you have people who already know and love your pet waiting in the wings when the time comes that you really need them.

While the website focuses on dogs, a lot of dog lovers are overall animal lovers, so you may be able to find people to love your cats or fish as well.

  1. Meals on Wheels Pet Support

The organization that’s already well loved for bringing meals to seniors now earns extra points for having a program dedicated to helping seniors keep their pets. Meals on Wheels offers grants to help cover a number of pet-related needs, including the cost of boarding expenses. If cost is part of the issue you have with keeping your dog while hospitalized, check with your local Meals on Wheels chapter to see if they can help.

  1. Pet Sitting Sites

Nobody wants their pet to be stuck in a kennel for a long period of time while in the hospital. It may be ok for short stays, but it’s less than ideal for longer ones. Pet sitting sites like Rover and DogVacay allow you to find someone who’s willing to watch your pet in their own home until you get out of the hospital.

While the sitters you find on these sites do charge money for their services, if the price seems too high for you to handle, you can explain the circumstances and see if they’re willing to offer a discount. The sitters on these sites are generally normal people who love pets, so there’s a decent chance you’ll be able to find someone sympathetic who will work with you on the price.

  1. Turn to your neighbors.

A few websites have arisen devoted to bringing neighbors together to help each other out. NextDoor connects you directly with the people living in your neighborhood. You can post an update about your situation to see if there are any pet lovers nearby who are willing to help you out for a while.

The Rooster is a website devoted to encouraging a sharing culture. People post services they’re willing to offer or things they want to give away. In return, when you have a need, you can post a request for help and hope that it reaches someone willing to help out in the way you need. If you do make use of Rooster to find someone to watch your pet for you, remember to return to the site with something you can offer to the community in return. It’s not required, but it’s within keeping of the larger goal of the website (and will probably make you feel good).

Some cities also have local organizations devoted to helping find care for pets when seniors are hospitalized, so do some Google searches to see what’s available in your area.

 

No senior should feel forced to give up their pet because of an illness. There are many pet lovers in the world willing to offer a helping hand and the internet and a number of nonprofit organizations help make it easier to match those people with the seniors and pets that need them.

Kristen Hicks is an Austin-based copywriter and lifelong student with an ongoing curiousity to learn and explore new things. She turns that interest to researching and exploring subjects helpful to seniors and their families for SeniorAdvisor.com.

24 Comments

  1. Kim Woodard November 9, 2017 Reply

    My brother was hospitalized in April of 2017. Initially we thought this would be a short term stay. Due to additional complications he was back and forth from hospital to after care facility numerous times. He is doing much better and the long medicaid process is near complete which will enable hi to return safely. During this time family has rried to maintain and care for his babies as much as possible. He has a family that’s been coming in to care for them but absolutely not to his or the typical animal lovers standards. I have two dogs and a bird ( the bird I adopted permanently from him) so taking them home with me is not an option. I estimate he will be home by end of November (early December the latest). I am looking dfor a safe loving haven for these sweet babies and have no problem subsidizing the cost to feed and care for them. I can’t afford fees like a bow wow camp would be (which I use for short 1 week vacations for my own dogs) but happy to assist. He would be heart broken, as would I if any thing happened to them. Can you please direct my family to a facility that assists in these type of programs???? Please do not reply for monetary reasons. Only registered or referred places will be considered and care will be monitored.

    • Ashley Sager August 8, 2018 Reply

      Senior Advisor always gives perfect information on dog and pet safety and care. Thanks for caring for such dogs through your articles.

  2. Kim Woodard November 9, 2017 Reply

    My brother was hospitalized in April of 2017. Initially we thought this would be a short term stay. Due to additional complications he was back and forth from hospital to after care facility numerous times. He is doing much better and the long medicaid process is near complete which will enable hi to return safely. During this time family has rried to maintain and care for his babies as much as possible. He has a family that’s been coming in to care for them but absolutely not to his or the typical animal lovers standards. I have two dogs and a bird ( the bird I adopted permanently from him) so taking them home with me is not an option. I estimate he will be home by end of November (early December the latest). I am looking dfor a safe loving haven for these sweet babies and have no problem subsidizing the cost to feed and care for them. I can’t afford fees like a bow wow camp would be (which I use for short 1 week vacations for my own dogs) but happy to assist. He would be heart broken, as would I if any thing happened to them. Can you please direct my family to a facility that assists in these type of programs???? Please do not reply for monetary reasons. Only registered or referred places will be considered and care will be monitored. This is a temporary situation until my brother returns home.

    • Sharon Pearce May 1, 2018 Reply

      Hello Kim, I just wonder if you managed to get some help with your brothers dogs as my adult son now finds himself in this very difficult position. He has to have knee surgery on June 15th. Only consolation is we have a little time but I know it’s going to flash by and I’ve only drawn blanks so far! I hope your brother is better now. Best Wishes Sharon

  3. Levticus Bennett March 27, 2018 Reply

    My grandmother loves her kitten very much, she would be sad to see something bad happen them. We are planning what we would do in the event of a pet emergency. I will suggest that she finds a good veterinarian and a local shelter. Then her kitten can be taken care of and she will have some other cats to play with in the meantime.

  4. Joy Butler August 22, 2018 Reply

    Hi Kristen, thanks for understanding me that we should not give up our pets no matter what happens. My grandfather has a dog and he’s looking for someone who will take care of it while he’s on his treatment. I volunteered but still looking for a local pet hospital which caters to dogs’ needs in a temporary manner. Have a great day!

  5. JeanBaucutt August 29, 2018 Reply

    I don’t know if anyone can help me but this is my situation. I have a problem where I may have to go into hospital nothing definite yet ,and as I have an invalid Husband , but feel very lucky to have found a lovely place where he can stay ,so all I need is somewhere I can put my little schnauzer if necessary. We live in Lot et Garonne near Villereal so if anyone can help me I would appreciate it. Thank you.

  6. Linda Janitz August 29, 2018 Reply

    Looking for temporary care & accommodation for 2 cats while owner is hospitalized for 6 weeks. McLaren Vale S.A 5171 area or Southern Adelaide.

  7. Margaret paul November 2, 2018 Reply

    Hi I have just found out today that I need to go into hospital, should be in just over a week, I don’t have any family, what do I do ? Should have gone today but with having my dog there is no way am going anywhere till I know he is looked after many thanks Margaret

  8. Lindsey November 5, 2018 Reply

    My Mother fell and broke her hip and is in Rehab. Her dog was taken by a friends friend, then the friend took her. Upon hearing the puppy needed someone else. She contacted a Boarding Kennel near her friend to take the 5-month old! The charge is $20-day or $140-week. My Mother is letting the cost affect her recovery as she is on disability and receives Medicare/Medicad, so she cannot afford to keep her in there until she is able to again take care of her dog.
    Any help paying this fee in Indiana?

  9. Millie Hue December 5, 2018 Reply

    I totally agree that help is needed for those who don’t have family members near their houses. I will be looking for help for my dog since he seems sick, but I have a business trip tomorrow. It all started this afternoon when we came home after going to a dog park.

  10. Ginger Brookey December 11, 2018 Reply

    Hello, I am looking for some help, while I am in hospital and also be staying in rehab for maybe 2 weeks. I am disabled senior, and I worry so much, where my Dog Bella is going to stay, while I am rehabilitating? Please let me know where I can do and how I can go about doing this thank you so much Ginger

  11. Melissa Williams January 18, 2019 Reply

    Hello I have to go to the hospital for five days. I have no one to care for my Lady LuLu. I’m 62 yrs old and live alone. I am on housing so I do not have the fund to send her to a daycare. If anyone can help please please let me know. Thank you so very much. God bless

  12. Marie March 8, 2019 Reply

    My son had a tragic accident in Kentucky , was transferred to Houston for medical reasons and my be hospitalized for some time. Are there any fostering programs where his two dogs would be well taken care of and loved , in Houston . One is westie and Maltese, the other just a mix but larger dog with allergies but very sweet about 10 yrs old . The smaller dog is about 7 years old .

  13. Ellie Davis March 20, 2019 Reply

    Thank you for these tips on animal care. My dog is needing some medical attention. I’ll have to do some research and find the best vet in our area.

  14. Yoshiko Flora April 3, 2019 Reply

    I find it cool when you said that a person can visit local shelters and find a foster family for their pet so that they can get themselves treated at a local hospital. Aside from these places, they can also place their pet at a local boarding facility as well. With their help, they can get to mingle with other pets while being fed properly by the caretakers.

  15. Annalyn Earley May 3, 2019 Reply

    I am 67 years old. I have a sick puppy who needs a place. She still is active. She is on meds. This is in Austin area. Any ideas.a

  16. Mary Tierman May 10, 2019 Reply

    My friend has a border collie and he big. I don’t think he was fix. But my friend has been going in and out of the hospital maybe 2 to 4 times a month. Maybe saying a day or two. He live in the country but dog does not listen to come back so needs to be on a leash. I can’t take the do because of landlord. And I also take care of my handicap sis. And have a cat and not sure what he would do with cat. He live on hwy 22 between pardeeville and montello WI. Do you know anyone that will help out with no charge?

  17. Debra Trissl-Babin May 28, 2019 Reply

    I am 63 and need help with caring for my puppy in my home as I recuperate from a revision on my hip replacement. I need someone close by to feed him and take him for a walk between 11:00 and noon.

  18. Dave Anderson June 14, 2019 Reply

    That is a good point that no one wants their dog to be in a kennel for long periods of time. Maybe it would be a good idea for an animal hospital to have a pet sitting site. Soon this is something I would want to look into so that my dog didn’t have to stay in his kennel.

  19. Randy Chorvack August 7, 2019 Reply

    I can’t believe that 43% of seniors own pets. My grandparents on both sides of the family don’t really like animals, so I always just assumed that most seniors don’t. I’m glad I read this article so I could learn something new.

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