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Pet Hospice and Palliative Care

Palliative care is the treatment and management of the clinical signs of a disease, without necessarily attaining a cure. The goal is to stabilize the condition and symptoms, minimize pain, discomfort and distress, provide supportive care, and thereby improve and maintain quality of life. Pain relief is the main cornerstone of palliative care.

Pet hospice is a general term for supporting a terminally ill patient. It refers to the at-home care and support provided in the last phase of a terminal disease or condition. It focuses on palliative care to keep your pet as comfortable as possible for the time that remains. Veterinary hospice is not about prolonging life until a natural death may occur (gentle euthanasia is certainly part of animal hospice). Hospice care also provides support for you, the caregiver, in the preparation for and after the loss of your pet.

The type of palliative care or hospice chosen for your pet will depend on your pet - their condition(s), age and temperament, and your wishes and limitations. Your expectations and goals will be discussed and we will help with information on the disease process and what to expect as your pet's condition progresses. We will guide and help prepare you for the inevitable at this difficult time.

Circumstances that Warrant Palliative or Hospice Care:


  • A decision not to pursue curative treatments

  • Diagnosis of a terminal illness

  • Diagnosis of a chronic illness

  • Symptoms of a chronic illness are interfering with the routine of the pet

  • Disease process where curative treatment was possible but failed

  • Problems that require long-term intensive care

  • Illnesses that are progressive in their disease trajectory

  • Diseases or traumas that have health complications associated with them

Quality of life
Adequate control of these symptoms is necessary for the pet’s welfare:

  • Pain

  • Breathing difficulties

  • Distress (eg. persistent or increasing restlessness, anxiety, fear, disorientation). 



Other considerations in evaluating your pet's quality of life include:

  • Control of nausea and vomiting

  • Hunger, and ability to correct malnutrition

  • Thirst, and ability to correct dehydration

  • Hygiene, with attention to soiling and pressure sores

  • Mobility, especially if assistance is needed to get up, move around and go for walks

  • Happiness and contentment, with attention to whether your pet expresses interest and engagement in activities, daily rituals and habits.

Quality of life includes the above factors, however, assessing whether there are there more good days than bad days is very important too. When bad days outnumber good days, quality of life might be too compromised. We can advise you on your options as you and your pet proceed through this process.

Beloved Pet Home Euthanasia and Hospice offers pet hospice and palliative care programs tailored to suit you and your pet’s needs. FYI diagnostics such as lab work and x-rays are not offered by Beloved Pet. 

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