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Hospice Care for Pets

For pets diagnosed with a terminal illness, repeated trips to the veterinary office can be difficult and stressful. House calls for these cats and dogs can be useful to help with minor supportive treatments. They also provide an opportunity to discuss quality of life issues and balancing medications. Acupuncture can provide relief from pain and help to quiet an anxious mind. It can also help to stimulate appetite. In many ways it can make a dog or cat’s remaining time more enjoyable.  On house call visits, pets can be observed in their natural surroundings and the veterinarian can give more informed advice about quality of life and end of life decisions.


Some examples of problems or questions that can be addressed with hospice care include:


  • My pet won’t eat his prescription diet. What are the best alternatives?

  • My pet is on ten different medications. Which ones are helping him? Could some of them be causing side effects?

  • Is my pet in pain? How can I tell?

  • How long is my pet likely to live with this condition?

  • How can I tell when my pet is near death?

  • I was hoping for a peaceful, natural death. When should I consider euthanasia?


Hospice care is detail oriented personal care with a focus on comfort and quality of life. This type of care can be helpful for any pet where owners have decided not to pursue more aggressive treatments, even if a terminal diagnosis has not been made. It can be a support to pets as well as the owners.

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