How to Make Your Pet the Most Comfortable at the End of Their Life
How can you possibly comfort a dying pet?
Dealing with the impending loss of a pet can be unbearable. Pets are beloved members of families all over the world. They bring you joy and comfort and generally make life a little brighter. But sadly, pets are as prone to terminal illnesses and old age as humans. As your pet’s health declines, it’s crucial to inform yourself about the process so you can provide adequate end-of-life care.
Let’s look at how you can make your pet’s final days peaceful, comfortable, and pain-free.
1. Provide a Calm Environment
The last days of your pet’s life may be characterized by pain, confusion, and even anguish. As such, you’ll want to ease their pain and anxieties as much as possible. Provide a quiet environment for the pet, filled with their favorite toys and items. Chaotic environments will undoubtedly stress your dog, keeping them on high alert. As such, it’s a good idea not to expose them to new places and new people, as this could overwhelm and drain them of the little energy they may have.
If you have children in the house, carefully monitor how they interact with the pet. Make sure the interactions are gentle and calm. Most pets love physical contact, so petting and hugging are still welcome experiences.
2. Hospice Care for Pets
Hospice care is designed to provide support for pets in the advanced stages of a terminal illness. It typically involves medical support and pain management. The primary purpose of hospice or palliative care is to alleviate discomfort of any kind. That said, hospice care can help you cope with the emotional challenges of caring for a terminally ill pet. Not to worry, hospice care for pets is generally provided in the home, so your beloved companion doesn’t have to adjust to a new environment.
By working with a veterinarian and a hospice care team, you can provide your pet with as much comfort and love as possible during their final days.
3. Avoid Dehydration
Eating and drinking may feel like chores as your pet’s life comes to an end. Although difficult to accept, it’s important to remember that their bodies are shutting down, and they no longer have the same sensations of hunger or thirst. However, dehydration may lead to an overly uncomfortable and painful death.
A few symptoms of dehydration to look out for include sunken eyes, heavy panting, thick saliva, and sticky gums. Make sure your pet always has access to fresh, cool water, and offer them water-rich foods. Entice them to drink water by adding some bone broth to their water. For those living in hot, humid areas, consider using a fan to help keep them cool. If your pet does become severely dehydrated, see your veterinarian right away, as they may need IV fluids.
4. Consider Euthanasia
Euthanasia is a difficult decision to consider for any pet owner. However, euthanasia helps provide a painless, peaceful, and gentle death. The process is similar to undergoing general anesthesia. Sedatives are administered to relieve pain and anxiety, helping your pet get to a state of relaxation. It may be the right option if your pet’s quality of life has degraded significantly due to illness, injury, or even old age.
Your veterinarian is a valuable resource and can help you make the right decision through this difficult time. Euthanasia is a deeply personal decision; you’ll want to have all the information necessary.
Dealing with Pet Loss
The end of a pet’s life is a difficult and emotional time for all involved. Make sure you have a loving support network around you. Don’t hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian, family, and friends for additional support and guidance during this challenging time.
Contact Hebron Veterinary Hospital
Contact us at (860) 228-4324 or visit our contact page if you need help with your pet. We are here for you.
Although Hebron Veterinary Hospital is not open 24 hours, we do have a doctor on call during non-business hours.
Emergency Number: 860- 266- 5995