Hospice Care for Dogs
There comes a time in many dog owners' lives that their beloved pet is terminally ill and decisions have to be made on the matter. Hospice care for pets is a relatively new concept that has helped provide dog owners with the option to help and support their beloved dogs during their last moments in life.
Sometimes owners sadly reach a time in life when treatment may not be working or the side effects of treatment outweigh the quality of life the pet may have and they make the decision to provide their pet with hospice care. Some treatments for terminal illnesses such as cancer and renal failure may actually make the pet sick and you may decide that the side effects outweigh the benefits. Hospice care isn't a treatment; it's simply supportive care for the dog in an attempt to make what's left of his life as pain free and comfortable as possible. Many pet owners want to provide an intimate and comfortable end-of-life experience for their beloved pet and don't want to say goodbye to their animal in a cold clinical environment.
Hospice care requires a bit of work and preparation on the part of the owner and the first thing that you should do is to find a vet who is comfortable and experienced with the philosophy of hospice care. The vet will educate you on how to provide medication and food for your pet to keep him as comfortable and pain free as possible during this time. You will have to work with your vet to determine what works best for your pet. You essentially become your vet's eyes and ears and report all that is happening with your dog and based on what your dog is experiencing your vet may change certain aspects of pain management medication or diet. The aim of pet hospice care is to provide your dog with a comfortable existence and physical and emotional support.
Hospice care also helps owners in that it provides them with quality time with their dying pet and allows them to come to grasp with the idea of saying goodbye to a beloved pet. Hospice care can provide closure for a pet owner but it isn't for everyone. If you have a busy work schedule or are out of the house for a lot of the time you may not be able to provide a healthy, supportive environment for your pet. Hospice care requires patience and dedication on the part of the dog owner but it is oftentimes the best gift you can give to your furry companion in the last moments of his life.
If you decide to provide hospice care for your terminally ill dog, you should discuss various options with your vet, he should be able to instruct you on how to manage pain or administer medication to make your dog's life as comfortable as possible. Hospice care can truly make the experience of losing a beloved pet easier as you provide intimate and supportive care for your pet and come to terms with saying goodbye at your own pace.
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