Owners of terminally ill pets are more likely to suffer from stress and symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as poorer quality of life, compared with owners of healthy animals.
Nothing can prepare you to hear “your pet has cancer” or another terminal illness. The intense fear, helplessness, worry and stress that accompany knowing you are on borrowed time is debilitating.
84% of pet guardians refer to themselves as their pet’s “mom or dad”. Given the strong emotional ties, it is appropriate and necessary to extend hospice care to terminally ill pets and their families.
While the concept of hospice care for humans has existed for decades and is an integral part of the dying process, providing care for caregivers of companion animals is something that is equally as important.
So, what is Animal Hospice?
Animal hospice is palliative veterinary care, focused on the needs of the patient and family; on living life as fully and comfortably as possible until the time of death, and on attaining a degree of preparation for death.
Animal hospice is when the focus moves from CURING to CARING.
In the end, what many people these days experience is a relationship with their pet, not an ownership. Therefore, we must make it OK for pet families to feel what they are feeling, to allow them the opportunity to receive on-going support and encourage them to reach out when the pain becomes overwhelming. Because experiencing emotional pain doesn’t make someone weak; rather, reaching out makes them stronger.