Protect Your Pet With A Pet Directive

Pets are also members of our families. But do you know what will happen to them if the unexpected happens to you? Ensure that your cat, dog, feathered or scaly companion ends up safe and sound by creating a GoodTrust Pet Directive. We're animal lovers like you, and we're here to help.


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10 min
Pet Directive
Make sure your pet is always safe
15 min
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Create Your Pet Directive with GoodTrust.


It takes less than 5 minutes. All you need is an email and password to get started.


We'll guide you through the pet directive, where you'll provide your choices for pet guardian, veterinary care, living situation, end-of-life care, and more.


Print out a copy of your completed pet directive for yourself and your pet guardian. For additional security, upload the final document to your GoodTrust Digital Vault so it never gets lost.


What Is A Pet Directive?

GoodTrust's pet directive includes information about your pet and your preferences for their care in the event you pass away. It is meant to help loved ones make decisions about your pet. Unlike most advance directives, pet directives are not legally binding documents. However, they can help pet owners like you leave specific and detailed instructions for how you'd like your pet to be cared for. Some specifics you can include are:

  • Preferred pet guardian(s)

  • Health history

  • Medical conditions/treatments

  • Food and treat preferences

  • Exercise routine

  • Preferred sitter and groomer

  • Temperament


Ensure They Get Proper Veterinary Care

If your pet has a medical issue, you want to ensure they get the specialized care they need. Pet directives inform your chosen pet guardian of any known medical issues, current treatment plans, health history, and which veterinarian they see. Keep your pet happy and healthy, even from the afterlife.


Don't Leave Your Pets Waiting by the Door

Our pets have a part of our hearts and we have a part of theirs. They tell us they love us every time we open the door to a wagging tail or a purr. If you pass away unexpectedly, they may never see another smiling human walk in a door to greet them unless you have a plan in place to ensure they're cared for. From choosing a pet guardian to specifying their favorite treat, a pet directive ensures your pet will receive the love and care they deserve.


Do I Need a Pet Directive?

If you're one of the 85% of people who consider their pets family, then you need to create a pet directive. Many people assume their pets will be taken in by someone they love, even if they aren't specifically asked to do so. However, only about 25% of pets are taken in by relatives and far fewer are taken in by friends or strangers when their owners die—the rest end up in shelters or abandoned. Of all dogs that enter shelters, 20% are euthanized; for cats, that number is 27%. Not all the rest are adopted, either. Many spend the remainder of their lives in shelters or foster care, particularly if they're older, have health issues, or are otherwise "undesirable."


Choosing a Pet Guardian

Choosing a pet guardian is not something to be taken lightly. You want to find someone who will love and care for your animal(s) as much as you do. So, when picking your pet guardian, you should ask yourself:

  • Have they met your pet?

  • Would your pet thrive in their home environment?

  • Would your pet be friendly to all human and animal residents in their home?

  • Do they have the means to care for a pet (regardless if you provide money for care)?

  • Do you trust they'll fulfill all expectations and instructions you provide?

When you determine who you can say "yes" for most or all these questions, discuss the issue with them. Bring your pet directive with you when you meet with your chosen person. Start the conversation by making it clear you want them to decline if they have any reservations. If they are willing to continue the discussion, go over your desires. Allow them the chance to stop you at any time to ask questions and, if needed, negotiate. You should also have a backup or two in mind. Your first choice's ability to care for your pet may change before they take guardianship, or after. If you can't find someone who will take in your animals, speak to your veterinarian about possibilities. While many shelters can't guarantee they'll be able to take your pet, your veterinarian may know of other options.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pet Directive

Read more FAQs

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People You Love

There's no time like the present to protect the people you love.

GoodTrust can help you create your will, write your funeral and medical directives, and prepare for your digital afterlife, all steps included in our end-of-life planning guide. We'll deliver all the information to the right people today or when you pass away, whichever you prefer. Create your will for free in just minutes and store the legally valid version in your GoodTrust account.