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Hospice Care Gaining Popularity for Pets

old-dogWhen pets are diagnosed with a terminal illness, owners are often presented with one of two options:

euthanize now or take the pet home until his quality of life becomes unacceptable, then euthanize.  Another option is available, however.  It’s called hospice care.

Hospice care focuses on improving and maintaining a pet’s quality of life whatever his underlying illness.  Nutrition, hydration, elimination behaviors, pain relief, preserving the human-animal bond, and supporting a level of joy in life are all important aspects of hospice care.  Hospice does not necessarily replace the need for animal euthanasia, but it can delay it or offer an option to owners who cannot euthanize for whatever reason.

Ideally, hospice care occurs as a partnership between pet owners, veterinarians, other animal caregivers, and experts in grieving and mourning.  Talk to a veterinarian who specializes in end of life care if you think your pet could benefit from hospice.

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