Animal hospice care, similar to human hospice care, is used to alleviate pain and suffering and keep the pet as comfortable as possible in the final period of their life until natural death occurs or the decision to euthanize the pet is made by the family.
Many pet parents choose hospice care in order to participate in decisions made about end of life needs, this also allows families to adjust to their pet’s progressive disease and to prepare for saying goodbye. If you have the resources and time to support comfort care for your pet during the last few days or weeks of their life then hospice care may be the right choice for you and your pet. However, if we recognize suffering during the the consultation we will recommend euthanasia since it is a valid method of providing relief to a pet in a medical crisis.
A hospice care plan is made together by our veterinarians and your family by going over your pet’s disease process and possible progression, pain scale, medications and your comfort level administering these medications to your pet, we will have you fill out a hospice care form prior to our visit to help make this plan. This form can be printed from this site or we can mail it to you.
Hospice care includes:
- phone consultations and in home visits as needed
- medication administration instructions, supply, use and storage
- information on disease progression and what to do in a crisis situation
- palliative care; pain management, nutritional therapy, wound care
- help in deciding when euthanasia is the best decision
- aftercare options
- grief support
We believe that if natural death is chosen by your family that hospice care must be incorporated into the plan. Hospice care is used to prevent suffering by managing the pain often associated with natural death due to disease progression and to help transition your pet between life and death. This can be a very involved and emotionally difficult process for your family. At any point the decision to euthanize can be chosen.
Each hospice case is unique, we can provide a one time in-home visit or a more comprehensive care plan, please call us for pricing. The typical first time consultation range is $150-250.
For additional resources and a list of frequently asked questions about animal hospice and palliative care, visit the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care’s (IAAHPC) website.