End-of-Life Pet Care: Providing Comfort and Support for Pets and Their Families
As pet owners ourselves, the staff and doctors at PawSteps Veterinary Center have the greatest empathy for the stresses and difficulties faced with a pet’s end-of-life care. Making difficult decisions and evaluating a pet’s quality of life can be stressful. We are here to give you the support and guidance you need to make the best decisions for your pet’s care.
Evaluating the quality of a pet’s life and making health care decisions is unique for every family. You know your pet best and, while we can guide you through the process, we will never pressure you toward any decision.
How can I evaluate my pet’s quality of life?
We all want pets to live long and full high-quality lives. As a pet ages or contends with harsh disease or injury, we must take into consideration many aspects of his or her quality of life. Some of the questions we ask to help pet owners through this process include:
- Is your pet’s pain able to be well managed? Many pet conditions can be well managed through excellent pain management. Our veterinary team will provide you with information on the wide variety of options available for your pet.
- Does your pet enjoy his or her favorite activities? A sign of a pet who is uncomfortable or suffering can be when he or she no longer shows an interest in favorite activities, toys, or wanting to spend time with the family.
- Can your pet handle bodily functions? Having difficulty moving well enough to handle urinating and defecating appropriately or loss of control over urination or defecation are quality of life considerations.
- Is your pet able to take in enough food and water for proper nutrition? Dietary supplements can assist in many pet conditions, but extended times of loss of interest in food can be a more concerning issue.
- Is your pet responding to treatments? When a pet no longer responds to treatment of his or her condition, the symptoms of the illness can reduce the pet’s life quality.
What should I expect if my pet needs to be euthanized?
The staff of PawSteps Veterinary Center understands the difficulty in deciding to euthanize, and we will provide the most comfortable and private setting for your pet and family to say final goodbyes. While it is an incredibly difficult decision to make, euthanasia can present you and your family with a humane solution if a pet cannot enjoy sufficient quality of life due to a health condition. Should you ever have to make this decision while your pet is in our care, he or she will be treated with the utmost respect throughout and following euthanasia, and our doctors will answer any questions you may have.
To learn more about how and when to consider this option, please refer to the following informative and veterinarian-approved article on euthanasia from VeterinaryPartner.com.
PawSteps Veterinary Center is here to help you with any questions you may have regarding your pet’s end-of-life health care. Please call our understanding staff for a consultation.
PawSteps Veterinary Center provides cremation and memorial services.
We work closely with Final Gift Pet Memorial Center for cremation and burial services, but you may also choose your own provider.
In addition, you may also want to consider memorializing your pet with a special item such as those found at:
Please let us know if we can help you with your decision or one of these services.