In many ways human hospice has paved the way for pet hospice care. Much of the end-of-life care human model and applications can be transferred over to the animal kingdom with adjustments for species and training and education for those who have the duty of care to them. However, we run into some obvious differences and the main one is – animals cannot tell us how they are feeling. So the question becomes – is it REALLY possible to provide specialized care to sentient beings that cannot speak? We believe it is.

Relationship  relationship is the most important tool to help provide animal centered care to our companion animals, through observation and history intake from the primary caregiver for at home pet hospice care. This is the person who has been the animals person most of their life, or most recently. It is through this relationship that we can discover the history, character, abilities and the resilience of this unique being. It is through this relationship that we can come up with a plan for care, using in conjunction, reliable assessment tools that track progress so one can administer care, treatment and therapies matching the specific needs of that being.

Everyone – everyone in the household who comes into contact with the companion animal has their own unique relationship with that being and each person will have vital information that will help build a more complete picture and contribute to the plan of care. One person might be observational about how they are on walks, or if they are not digesting their food properly, or if they are sleeping more, playing less. Everyone in the family has an opportunity to add to the quality of life and care plan for the animal.

Animals – Animals are intuitive, highly sensitive beings with the ability to express themselves in a variety of ways and their humans are apt to interpret their behaviors also in a variety of ways.  Suffice to say, humans can learn to speak dog or cat throughout the years of their relationship and also employ others (professionals in the field of animal communication and behavior) to assist them. Your veterinarian would be the primary source of medical information – making sure whatever symptom we are seeing in our companion animal is not serious or if it is, what is it and how can it be managed or treated? Hospice assessments are essential to this stage of your pet’s care. Animals can lead the way to more information if we are open to receiving it and keen enough to act on it. Animals, I have found, spend no time on communicating something that is of no consequence.

Love – Love is what makes us and binds us together and animals are no exception.. Love is the greatest force of energy on the planet and it can and should be used for all things and to the max. Animals show us how love can take a dog or cat that has had a rough life and transform them into the picture of companionship – given time, assurance and love. This love extends to the human family and the medical professionals who go above and beyond in helping families achieve the best level of care, that is why industry professionals need support also.

Love – Love cannot be undermined nor overmentioned. The power of love and the recognition of that power creates miracles and we must believe in them. Miracles are not some far off, once in a lifetime experience. Miracles can be the language and experience of everyday life. Miracles collapse time. Miracles are the direct result of love.

Yes – Yes, it is possible! Animal centered care is a reality when a team of loving, experienced, educated and communicative people come together for the sole means of helping a companion animal move through any stage of life that requires an elevated level of care – illness, old age, disability, animal hospice and the natural dying process. In this way we can put before ourselves as much information as we have, as full a picture as we can imagine of burdens, benefits and possible outcomes and values that are at stake. Ultimately, we can hope to achieve a “path of least regrets”. We say least regrets not no regrets, because the latter is just not realistic in the landscape of animal care. We do the best we can and we move forward in the direction that the benevolence of love would lead.