Your relationship with your pet is a very special and valuable thing. When it comes time to say goodbye, it can be extremely difficult. End-of-life care for cats and dogs is something that Mobile Vet MD helps our clients with quite often. When it comes time to discuss pet euthanasia and hospice, know that you are in expert, caring hands.
Knowing When the End is Near
As our pet family enters their golden years or battles an unfortunate diagnosis, it can be hard to know when it is getting to be time. Often changes occur slowly, and pets (especially cats) are masters at hiding when things are wrong.
Some factors to consider when trying to assess whether the end is near include:
- Activity level
- Social interactions
- Play behaviors
- Ability to keep themselves clean/use the bathroom
- Quality of rest
- Body weight
The Ohio State University provides a great tool to help you assess your pet’s overall quality of life.
End-of-Life Care for Dogs and Cats
As your pet enters their twilight period, there are definitely things that you can do as a pet owner to help make those days, weeks, or months happier and more comfortable.
Firstly, talk with your pet’s veterinarian. Let us know if you think your pet is reaching the end of their life. We are more than happy to discuss the situation and help assess what things can be done to help your dog or cat have the best quality of life possible. Together, we can help you to:
- Provide effective pain management for your pet
- Improve mobility and function
- Support appetite
- Minimize nausea
- Choose a diet and/or supplements to help your pet
- Assess quality of life
Small changes at home such as making resources like food and water more accessible, providing stairs or padding, improving traction, and using aids like a Help Em Up Harness can really make a big difference for many pets.
Why Pet Euthanasia
It can be a difficult decision to choose to send your best friend over the Rainbow Bridge, but it may be the most important one that you make. Pet euthanasia is often the kindest and most compassionate choice.
Our dog and cat patients often are affected by conditions such as advanced arthritis or chronic kidney disease that do not take their lives quickly, but rather slowly over time. In nature, these animals are often removed through the natural forces of the food chain. This does not occur in our homes, and letting our pets go before they begin to suffer is often ideal.
There are many ways we can help through good end-of-life care for dogs and cats, but there often comes a time when we can’t do much else for them. When that point comes, it is time to have a conversation about whether a veterinary-assisted death is the best choice.
This can be a very personal situation, and we are here to discuss the process and your options when you are ready. Pet euthanasia is hard on all of us, but it helps to think of it as one last thing you can do to help your family friend.