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:: Home Care


Woman and Dog in Green YardYou should discuss your pet's condition with your veterinarian to help determine if your pet is a candidate for hospice and palliative care. This is a very individual choice and decision to discuss with your family members and your veterinarian.

As you consider pursuing palliative or hospice care for your pet, Dr. Eric Clough in his article: A Gentle Departure: Hospice Care for Pets, created a list of questions for consideration when evaluating palliative or hospice care options with your veterinarian:

  • Do I accept that my pet is dying and we will make no more efforts to cure its illness?
  • Have I discussed my pet's medications and their effects with my veterinarian?
  • Do I have enough time in my schedule to spend the necessary hours looking after my pet? If not, do I have the resources to employ pet sitters, volunteers, or a hospice team to aid in my pet's care?
  • Does my family realize what home pet hospice care will entail?
  • Can I cover the projected costs of pet hospice care- at least until I am prepared to say goodbye to my pet?
  • Are there sufficient veterinary staff personnel to support me and my family through our pet's decline?
  • Is someone available 24 hours a day if my pet's condition changes?
  • What is the expected outcome? How might my pet's death occur and what arrangements will I make following my pet's passing?

Your veterinary care team should provide detailed instructions and demonstration for home care giving, which may include administration of subcutaneous fluids, injections, application of pain control patches, and other aspects of home care. There are a number of resources to help assist you with learning how to effectively provide home care, including others who have experience the journey with their pets.