Having a pet is one of life’s greatest gifts to humanity. Not only are they unimaginably cute and charming, but they are also always there to support you no matter what. Hence, one of the creatures with unquestionable loyalty on the planet.
However, it is important to understand that caring for a pet isn’t always fun and easy. This is especially true when it comes to their final days. Whether you like it or not, there will come a time when you have to say goodbye, no matter how heartbreaking it is.
So, what is end-of-life care, and how can it help your pet during their final moments? This article discusses everything you need to know about end-of-life care for pets. You may continue reading below to learn more.
How Would You Know If Your Pet Has Poor Quality Of Life?
Check your pet and see if they’re experiencing some of the following symptoms below. If they do, consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. These symptoms indicate poor quality of life.
- Your pet no longer wants to play.
- Your pet no longer wants to communicate with other people.
- Your pet often hides.
- Your pet no longer enjoys the activities they previously loved.
- Your pet shows signs of depression.
- Your pet tends to sleep most of the time.
- Your pet has no appetite and isn’t drinking properly.
- Your pet loses weight.
- Your pet seems to be in pain.
If you want to know whether your pet is in pain, look for the following symptoms, such as:
- Your pet exhibits aggressive behavior.
- Your pet often shakes and trembles.
- Your pet finds it difficult to move.
- Your pet can’t sleep or breathe normally.
If such symptoms persist, consult a vet immediately and run some tests to determine your pet’s condition. It could be because of old age or something related to their health. Either way, the best thing you can do is to visit a professional for treatment and advice.
Should You Consider Euthanasia?
Euthanasia is the process of ending someone’s life due to unwanted circumstances. If your pet suffers from a disease with no known cure or treatment that makes them endure extreme pain, vets may consider euthanasia.
Many pet owners consider euthanasia because they find it unbearable to see their pets suffering from extreme and unimaginable pain. If your pet no longer has a pleasant quality of life, it might be better to euthanize them.
Keep in mind that the main goal of euthanasia is to end or minimize one’s suffering or pain. In other words, it’s the process of minimizing your pet’s discomfort, leaving you with beautiful memories of when they were at their prime.
But if your dog rallies during the day of euthanasia, it’s better to have another schedule rather than forcing them to do so.
It’s best to prepare everything in advance, care for them in the best way possible, and be at their side during their final hours. You might also need to visit a pet crematorium for more information in case something happens.
Are There Alternatives To Euthanasia?
End-of-life care is a common alternative to euthanasia. Its main goal is to provide the best care possible for your grieving pet and make sure they enjoy the last days of their life on Earth. Below are some conditions that often require end-of-life care.
- Diseases with no known cure, such as kidney failure and liver problems
- Osteoarthritis that can’t be addressed by taking medications
- Old age
- Advanced neurological problems or paralysis
If you’re planning to give your pet end-of-life care, you might want to consider hospice care. It’s a popular option for fur parents to ensure that their pets live comfortably before they pass away.
What Is Hospice Care?
Hospice care is a great option for pets suffering from incurable, life-threatening diseases. Its primary goal is to provide the best care and ensure that your pet’s last days are as comfortable as possible with the help of proper medication, a balanced diet, and healthy human interaction.
If you go for hospice care, you’ll be working with a caregiver who’ll be working with a veterinarian to ensure that your pet’s last days are peaceful. The in-house vet will create a personalized plan and educate you on how to care for your pet comfortably.
If you don’t know where to go, consult your veterinarian and ask for recommendations. You may consider looking for those with in-house euthanasia in case your pet’s circumstances change.
How Much Is Hospice Care?
The price of hospice care may depend on the chosen care provider and the services you need to include in your pet’s intensive care plan. Initial visits and consultations can range between USD$400 and USD$1,000.
If there’s a need for ongoing visits and consultation, you’ll need to pay additional fees. For better and more accurate pricing, it’s best to consult your nearest hospice care facility and ask for an estimate.
How To Care For An Elderly Pet?
When caring for an elderly pet, you’ll need to focus on the following things, such as:
- Managing Your Pet’s Pain
There are many ways to manage your pet’s pain. You can give your pet some medications, change their diet plan, help them exercise, or give them dietary supplements.
You may also consider physical therapy for pain management, such as hydrotherapy, cold laser therapy, or pet acupuncture. These can help reduce the pain your pet is experiencing and the inflammation inside their body.
- Managing Your Pet’s Mobility
You need to ensure that your elderly pet has no problem when moving around to do the things they need. You may consider using mats to reduce the chances of slipping and falling. Also, place a ramp to help them get into higher places (e.g., sofa).
Aside from that, you might also need to raise food bowls, especially if your pet is experiencing pain around their front leg, neck, or back.
The hardest part of caring for a pet is saying goodbye. That’s why it’s important to make sure that their last days are filled with love and care. End-of-life care can help your pet’s final days to be as comfortable as possible. If your pet needs one, visit any hospice care facility or vet clinic for more information.