Sick cat in hospice care

Photo: polat/Shutterstock  via


As much as possible, I avoid writing about anything to do with the death of a pet. Writing about it hurts me more than it hurts you to read it. But this article has more positive information than negative when the time comes to say goodbye to your beloved pet.

Given the fact that none of us want to face the idea of our pet's demise, the news that veterinary hospice care may soon be available in your city or town should be met with gratitude by most.

Veterinary hospice care is a service, not a residence. The service is performed in your home when, because of illness or disabilities from old age, it is determined by your veterinarian that your pet's condition can't improve, or when you determine that you don't want to take extraordinary measures, like radiation treatments, to keep your pet alive while he is suffering. The premise of care, though, is similar; pet hospice vets use measures that allow your pet to die peacefully, so instead of chemotherapy or radiation treatments, your pet would receive pain and relaxation medication, but primarily your love and care for a few extra days. And, when the time comes, your hospice veterinarian will come to your home to perform a gentle bedside euthanasia.


Pet hospice

Pet Hospice via


You will be advised to make your pet as comfortable as possible, with her favorite things around her. You should stay by your pet's side as much as possible, talking to her, petting, giving her any treats that she can tolerate and tending to her physical needs for comfort, keeping her clean and dry, and letting her know in whatever ways you can that you are there with her. Additionally, you will administer your pet's pain medications and food and water as advised.

Though your hospice group may be able to provide some companionship for your pet, that will not always be the case, so your availability to stay with your pet during his last days, ideally round-the-clock, should be a big factor in your decision whether to go with veterinary hospice or to euthanize him. Another major factor may be the veterinary expenses incurred, as not all insurance companies cover the costs of hospice care.

I wish it were not true, but all our pets have to leave one day, in one way or another. Pet hospice gives us a few more days or weeks to say goodbye to our dearest ones who have trusted and loved us so much.


Ask your pet's vet's office if it offers veterinary hospice, or Google 'pet hospice' or 'veterinary hospice' to see who offers this service in your area.

via: ASPCA, PetMD


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