I asked my other half the other night if the dog's nails would get clipped if I died and he gave me that look like that would be unlikely I also told him if he ever fed my dogs dry food after I died, I would haunt him hard!
But seriously, do you have a plan of what happens if you have to go to hospital long term or you die?
Whilst your friends and family may say they'll take your dog, will they really? What if their situation has changed by the time you die?
Last year my best friend unexpectantly died and she had a dog so it really made me think about this topic. Whilst I had told her in the past I would always look after her dog/s if something happened to her, the situation was that her current dog was not a good fit for my pack and I had a special needs foster at the time and it would have been detrimental to all concerned. Thankfully my friend had a good relationship with her breeder and they took the dog back without any issues and found a lovely home for him.
My friend didn't have a will that outlined her wishes for her dog and any B plans. My friend died after a short stay in hospital and we were able to make arrangements for the dog during this time but this isn't the case for a lot of people.
Being involved in rescue I have taken on a few foster dogs when the owners died because their family was not in a position to take the dog and I'm sure the owner's vision was not for the dog to come into foster care - of course, foster care is a whole lot better than simply being surrendered to the pound which plenty of families do when family members die. You think your family won't do that right? But if you just expect someone to look after your dog and it isn't right for them then it could happen, you really need to sit down and have these real conversations with your A plan and your B plan and even your C plan being a rescue group vs a pound if everything goes to shit.
You may also have visions surrounding your dog's future i.e. performance dog owners may like their dog to go to a performance home where it can continue to do the activities it loves. A fresh food feeder may only want their dog to go to someone who will continue to feed them in this way.
If your dog is aggressive and is not suitable for rehoming then you will need to have written instruction on what you want to happen with the dog as family members may not know the in-depth details about your dogs behavioural issues.
Whose name is the dogs microchip & pedigree papers if applicable in? Having a signed transfer of ownership in your filing cabinet is a good idea and let family know where to find it. Have all your dogs paperwork in one place including what they eat, when they are wormed and flea treated, when they were vaccinated and your vets details so a new owner can get a full medical history.
If you have ashes of past dogs, you’ll want to make plans for those. I took 5 urns from my friends house and I also took the healthiest outside pot plant which their ashes will be integrated into the soil of.
Having a will is an important thing to do but if you're not going to do this, having a written record of your wishes and have discussions with relevant people is a good start