What is Animal Hospice Care?
Animal hospice care is in-home, veterinarian-provided comfort care for pets. More and more people are choosing this type of care as a compassionate option for their pets at the end stage of their lives, such as the time period after receiving a pet’s terminal diagnosis. The focus is on keeping the pet comfortable and offering them the best quality of life possible, while supporting the family and offering guidance on their pet’s continued care.
Hospice care allows pets and their families to remain together at home during this precious time and avoid stressful repeat visits to the veterinary hospital.
What is the hospice experience like?
Dr. Sara and her team tailors their hospice care to the unique needs of each pet. They work closely with each family to develop a comfort care plan that fits. Each situation is a bit different, as each pet is unique. The care plan may involve medications to relieve pain and nausea, fluid therapy and nutritional guidance. A benefit of in-home visits allows us to offer suggestions to improve the pet’s immediate surroundings. Examples may include raising food bowls, laying carpet runners to help traction or changing litter box style to make it easier for old kitties to get in and out. It may also involve Acupuncture, which is effective in reducing pain, stimulating appetite and immune function and improving the pet’s overall sense of wellbeing.
The length of time a pet spends in hospice care depends on the individual pet, and may vary between days and months.
Does hospice care always lead to euthanasia?
No, definitely not. In some cases, euthanasia may not be desired or needed and the pet may die a natural death at home. This is similar to a true human hospice model.
At Compassion 4 Paws we strongly believe that euthanasia should be considered if it is the most compassionate choice to alleviate the pet’s suffering. However, we will support a natural death when appropriate and preferred by an owner.