Arranging for Veterinary Care

Veterinary care is likely to be the biggest expense incurred by the new owner of your dog. If you want to make sure the dog will get all the care it needs, you may want to arrange in advance for the dog's veterinary care for life. There are several ways to approach this problem.

One way is to leave money to the new owner, with instructions to buy animal health insurance for your pet. You must rely on the new owner to spend the money that way; you won't be around to verify it.

Another possibility is to leave money, in your will, to the vet. The amount, and what is expected of the vet, should of course be worked out with the vet in advance. Any money left when the dog dies could go to a relative, a charity, or to the vet in appreciation of services rendered - whatever you want. Again, you will be trusting the veterinarian to follow through.

A third approach is to write out a contract with a vet, and pay or leave the vet a certain amount, as a credit toward expected services. You'll also need to agree on what is to be done with any excess that's left when the dog dies.

A sample contract is shown below. If you want to explore this option with your dog's veterinarian, you can use it as a starting point for discussion.

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