And you thought that keeping a dog would be a simple matter: just walkies, feedies, sleepies and chase the stick! Sadly our canine friends require medical attention, and if you need to leave poochie in a boarding kennel for a bit they will require an up-to-date vaccination record. There are insurance details, vet details, and believe or not, possible legal details. All of which require accessibility. It’s time to get organised!
Types of information
The best way to start organising any system of information is to actually work out what sort of information you need; what is the simplest way of accessing it, as well as who are people who will require to use it. Of course the most important information concerns veterinary and insurance details, but perhaps you want to keep a complete medical history, a list of medications and allergies. However, there may be other sorts of information that are not necessarily obvious: legal things such as what happens to your pet in the event of your death, in which case others might need access; or maybe more general information about common diseases, such as symptoms; what about things which might may be toxic for your dog, but not necessarily toxic for you.
Who is going to need the information?
Generally the person most often dealing with this stuff will be you, and so long you’ve got it all under control that’s the most important thing. However if you’re incapacitated, Fido will not be able to tell you’re nearest and dearest how the system works! Make sure friends and family know how the system works!
Ease of access, then, is just as important as the information itself. Perhaps you want to have everything filed in a traditional manner, in a cabinet say, or a card index system. This might seem laborious, also not so easy to back-up. Most people have computers these days, so you might consider creating a relational database. This way even friends and family can keep a copy as well. If you are baulking at the thought of the amount of work which would go into creating such a thing, there’s no need for alarm, as there are plenty of software products on the market that do all the hard work for you! Some even allow you to keep a nice picture of you best friend, just to remind you who’s the most important!
It is far better to take a little time at the outset setting up an information system for your dog, than to wait until disaster strikes and then find yourself unable to help your pet because you have misplaced a vital bit of information. Organise your dog information now, and be ready to help your dog when help is needed.
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