What is Hospice Pet Care?

Hospice Pet care is an option for pets that are suffering from terminal illness. By incorporating palliative care (pain management, optimizing nutrition, assisting with mobility), your hospice veterinarian can help you and your pet live life as fully as possible until it is time to say that final goodbye.

The diseases that most frequently require hospice care are:

• Cancer

• Organ failure

• Neurological disease

• Senior pets including advanced arthritis

Unlike with people, pet hospice is not a place. Rather, it is a method of caring for pets with terminal illness or who are suffering. Pet parents that choose hospice care have come to understand that death is a part of life and want their pet’s to be as comfortable as possible during that time.

With help from your hospice veterinarian, you will be coached on how to care for the special and particular needs that come with caring for a pet with a terminal illness. Pet parents will become the primary caregivers and will have to be vigilant to the changing needs of their pets as their illness progresses.

With hospice care, it is important to know how to recognize when your pet’s quality of life is declining. Even with the most advanced methods in hospice and palliative care, there will come a time when these efforts will no longer provide relief for your pet. With careful dialogue and communication, your hospice veterinarian will help guide you through the decision of choosing to end suffering and pain with humane euthanasia once that time comes.

Hospice care is just one choice a pet parent has. While many choose to care for the advanced needs of a terminally ill pet, it is a very personal choice and may not be the choice for you an your family. That is okay. What is important is that you recognize when your pet is suffering and make sure that you end that suffering with humane euthanasia. Which ever choice you choose, your veterinarian will help guide to you make the best decision for your pet, for you and your family.

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