Whether you have had your dog for his entire life, or you have adopted him as an older animal, you will find that there comes a time when he might be growing more and more uncomfortable with his body. An important part of pet owning is being there for your animal when he is growing old or ill, and if you want to make sure that he is comfortable, you need to look at the options that are open to you. A dog can live in immense discomfort and pain, but if you love him, you need to think about what you can do to to make him more comfortable, and this is where hospice care can come in.
Pet hospice care is essentially identical to the same practice that we see for humans. Hospice care is essentially a theory that started in the 1960s, and it refers to a philosophy where people look for an alternative to dealing with death in a clinical environment. It is devoted to the idea that death can be met with comfort and dignity, and rather than being a cold and impersonal environment like a hospital. When you think of hospices, you might think of actual facilities that people can go to, but with pets, it is largely an attitude towards the care that the animal can receive.
Hospice are is usually something that is considered for dogs that are terminally ill and where the cost of treatment is such that it can outweigh the benefits. For instance, in some advanced stages of diseases like cancer, kidney failure or neurological disorder, the actual treatments can make your dog even more ill or cause them pain that is even worse. In some cases, these treatments will not actually restore your pet to a state of health, but will only prolong his life. It is a very tough decision for people to make, but when your pet's suffering overcomes his quality of life, hospice care might be the best option for you to consider.
It is important to remember that hospice care is not something that is meant to cure your dog. Instead, it is meant to give your dog a safe and caring environment where he is surrounded by your family. Though it begins with keeping the dog at home and comfortable, there are other aspects of it as well. You are going to be looking into methods that allow you to focus on pain control and to help you take care of your dog's physical and emotional comfort. Most care will be given at home to avoid painfully anxious veterinary visits and this experience can make it easier for the humans involved to say their goodbyes and to get closure.
When you are thinking about providing hospice care to your dog, remember that a lot of discussion is necessary. Get in touch with your vet and see if there are any procedures that you need to learn to do, and also speak with your family regarding what kind of care you can reasonably provide. Take some time to learn more about what hospice care for dogs entails, and see what your options are going to be!
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