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Going On Vacation... Who Makes Pet Care Decisions While You're Away?

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Updated: July 14, 2017


The holiday season often means vacation

And while it’s always nice to include your pets in your travel plans, doing so isn’t always practical or possible. It’s at times like these that more and more people are turning to pet sitters and family/friends to watch and help care for their cats and dogs (and other pets).

When you're away from your pet though – who's authorized to make their medical care decisions on your behalf?

You'll likely think to leave behind instructions regarding feeding, walking, and medicating your pets. But are you aware of the importance of leaving whoever is going to be watching after your pets another very important bit of information, too – authorization for medical care decisions in your absence? 

A treatment authorization form helps to ensure that your pets will get the care they need if an illness or emergency occurs during your time apart from them. It also helps to ensure that the veterinary team caring for your pet during such events will have all of the important information necessary to best care for them. Information like your pet’s…

  • age & reproductive status

  • past medical history

  • known allergies

  • current medications & supplements, etc.

It’s understandable that most people just don’t know or think about the importance of such information and authorization. These are the things you just don't think about until a problem happens when you're away - unless you work within the veterinary field or as a pet care taker and have seen the difficulties that not leaving such information can cause. 

It's common for illnesses and injuries to happen to pets when their people are away – after all, this can be a stressful change for some pets

The information provided in a temporary Treatment Authorization and Pet Medical History form can be extremely important for we vets when treating a pet in an emergency situation when you, the owner, cannot be reached. And it's a great help for your pet sitter, too!

To make life easier for you —  we’ve put together a free temporary Treatment Authorization and Pet Medical History form for you to download, fill out, and print. Be sure to provide these completed forms to your veterinarian and pet sitter, or whomever you are designating to make veterinary treatment authorization decisions for your pets in your absence. We all hope these types of decisions don't have to be made, especially while we're away, but this form provides a little peace-of-mind in case something should happen.

Note that it's also a good idea, if you know that it'll be very difficult for you to be reached, that you also leave behind your credit card information or a blank check for your pet sitter (or with a trusted neighbor or friend). That way they don't have to lay out funds to authorize your pet's treatment, funds that they may well not have.

Click to download the Treatment Authorization & Pet Medical form

Treatment Authorization  Form


Topics: Dogs, travel with pets, holiday safety, Cats, Travel, pet sitting, treatment authorization, pet health

Please do not ask emergency or other specific medical questions about your pets in the blog comments. As an online informational resource, Preventive Vet is unable to and does not provide specific medical advice or counseling. A thorough physical exam, patient history, and an established veterinary-patient-client relationship is required to provide specific medical advice. If you are worried that your pet is having an emergency or if you have specific medical questions related to your pet’s current or chronic medical conditions, please contact or visit your veterinarian, an animal-specific poison control hotline, or your local emergency veterinary care center.

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