When is hospice care a good idea?
Hospice care is the extra help a dog needs to handle incontinence, limited mobility, or other disabilities that impede her quality of life. It allows a dog to enjoy the life that’s left for her by eliminating as much suffering as possible.
Hospice is not about prolonging a painful life, but about doing what we can to facilitate comfort and happiness toward the end of life. Hospice is absolutely not appropriate when an animal is in uncontrollable pain.
You can now find a wide variety of new treatments and equipment that help to improve the quality of life for your dog. There are more effective pain medications for dogs with joint problems, wheel carts or halters for dogs who can’t walk like they used to, and even belly bands for incontinent males and diapers for females with the problem. A good veterinarian will be happy to discuss the various options available to your dog.
Remember, the senior years may be the most rewarding experience you can share with your dog. There is a calmness to your relationship that wasn’t possible when she was a pup. Some animals may not be able to get around as they used to, but the joy of seeing you is reflected in their eyes. And this time together will be precious to you even after you have said goodbye.