Your pet is a member of your family, so the thought of end-of-life care can be upsetting. While we would love for our elderly pets to pass peacefully in their sleep, curled up in front of the fireplace or their favorite spot in the sun, veterinary assistance is often necessary to help their transition be comfortable and pain-free.
At BetterVet, end-of-life care is so much more than simply saying goodbye. Here are some things you should know about the process that can help you make the best decision for your four-legged family members.
How Do You Know When it’s Time?
If cats and dogs could tell us how they feel, knowing when to take them to the vet would be easier, but that’s unfortunately not the case. You know your pet best and must be an advocate when he/she needs care.
Determining if and when end-of-life assistance is appropriate can be an especially difficult decision. When you’re ready to start a discussion about this topic, our BetterVet veterinarians will be available to support you, your pet, and your family.
If you suspect that your pet’s quality of life is declining,) he/she could also benefit from palliative care. BetterVet mobile veterinary clinic also provides end-of-life counseling to help pet parents navigate this heavy decision.
What to Expect From End-of-Life Care
Every pet is unique, so there’s no one-size-fits-all approach to end-of-life care. The veterinary care-taker will want to know a few things about your pet before creating the best plan, including:
- Age and medical history
- Activity level
- Attention and reaction to surroundings
- Signs of pain, such as body language or vocalizations
All of this information, as well as knowledge of how your pet has been day-to-day, helps give you and your veterinarian a glimpse at the bigger picture of his/her quality of life. If you choose to continue with palliative care, be ready to become a 24-hour caregiver for your pet. While vets can assist when it comes to administering medications, you are the one who will be with them every hour of the day to make sure they’re comfortable.The goal of end-of-life care is to keep your pet as comfortable as possible during this transition. When it’s necessary to alleviate pain and suffering, humane euthanasia is a peaceful, painless process in which we honor your pet and his/her relationship with your family.
BetterVet can come to your home, making the process less stressful and more intimate. Your family can spend the day with your pet doing what feels right at the moment and creating lasting memories. You can be alongside your pet for the entire process while he/she is laid to rest in your home. We know how difficult this process can be and our veterinarians want to support your pet and your family however we can in your last moments together.
End-of-life care for your pet is a personal experience. Never hesitate to ask your veterinarian questions about the process to make sure you’re prepared, understand the process, and can keep your pet at ease.
Aftercare is an important consideration too
Deciding how to memorialize your beloved pet and what to do with his/her remains are overwhelming but important conversations to have. At BetterVet, we can help you understand your options for cremation, home burial, paw prints, and various other ways to memorialize your pet.
We are honored to work with pets throughout their entire lives. One of our pet parents said, “The compassion Dr. Beberman showed Ziggy and our family was overwhelming. When she came back to perform end of life services, again, she was amazing. She and her assistant had a beautiful, big cozy blanket for Ziggy to curl up on and she gave us all the time we needed to say our goodbyes.”
The team at BetterVet knows how difficult saying goodbye to a furry family member can be. As a mobile veterinary clinic, our compassionate caretakers can come to your home to make the process more comforting for everyone involved.