Hospice care for your pet

Although the term "hospice" has only recently been applied in veterinary medicine, the concept isn't new. Simply put, hospice care focuses on providing the best quality of life possible for a pet with a terminal disease or condition until the pet dies or is euthanized. Hospice care also helps you by providing you with time to adjust to the coming loss of your companion. The care is tailored to the needs of both you and your pet.

A pet hospice service typically includes on-call availability of the veterinarian to provide urgent care as needed; extended appointments including counseling and support for decision-making; in-home care; medications and other therapies administered to relieve discomfort, stress and pain; euthanasia options tailored to your and your pet's needs (which may include in-home euthanasia); and pet loss support/grief counseling.

If your regular veterinary team does not offer a particular service in which you are interested (such as in-home euthanasia), they can likely refer you to a colleague who does offer the service. Don't hesitate to ask about further options.