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Ask The Expert: Considerations When Deciding To Pet Hospice

Q: What should I take into consideration when deciding to do pet hospice?
A: When your pet is diagnosed with a terminal condition, it’s important to understand disease progression and ways to maintain their quality of life. A discussion with your veterinarian can help make sure your pet is kept comfortable with pain medication or adaptations at home. When pain can no longer be managed, your pet is immobile, they no longer enjoy their favorite activities, the bad days outnumber the good, or there is risk of traumatic death, then timing of euthanasia should be considered. Lastly, it’s important to prepare your family members, as not everyone may agree, due to beliefs surrounding euthanasia, guilt over primary caretaker responsibility, and inability or unwillingness to accept declining quality of life. In addition, children experience grief differently depending on age and sensitivity.

—Susan Mowatt, DVM, Dr. Sue Pet Hospice