Deciding when it’s time for your pet to cross the rainbow bridge is the most difficult decision as a pet owner. Our veterinarian’s and staff are here to help you through every step of the way.
What is Quality of life?
Quality of life Is a term to discuss day to day life and life style of an aging pet. It is to discuss your dog’s happiness and healthiness. It is to determine if you pet is simply getting older or if they are suffering
Controlling your pets pain and ensuring they are about to breathe properly is an absolute necessity. Medications, supplements and surgeries are just some of your options. Talk to your veterinarian about options for Physical therapy and chiropractic adjustments
It is important that your pet eats. If you pet cannot eat or doesn’t want to eat discuss with our veterinarian alternative diets that may be more appetizing to your pet. or consider blending and liquid diets for pets who have trouble chewing or eating. Appetite stimulants are also available by prescription.
Keeping your pet hydrated is very important. Administering Fluid under the skin can help assist pets who are not keeping themselves properly hydrated or for pets who are experiencing Kidney disease and other aliments
It is important that an aging dog can be kept cleaned. Keeping their coat free of mats, debris and filth is important If your pet cannot leave it’s environment after it has defecated and urinated it is important to keep those areas clean. Ensure you are bringing your pet to their designated bathroom area often. Provide kennel pads and clean bedding quickly after an accident happens. Bedridden pets must be moved and rotated often to ensure they don’t get bed sores.
Pet’s should still experience Joy & Mental Stimulation. Making sure your pet is still engaging in life is important. If your pet is avoiding it’s housemates contact, hiding, or retreating it would indicate your pet is not experiencing joy or mental stimulation or could still be in a great deal of pain.
If your pet can no longer move around on its own purchasing a sling, harness or pet wheelchair may be required. Mobility devices allow a dog to stay active. This is particularly important for bigger dogs that cannot simply be carried from place to place. Mobility and hygiene go together when a dog is bedridden. Your veterinarian is an important resource when working through mobility issues.
More good days than bad.
When there are too many bad days in a row, or if the dog seems to be turned off to life, quality of life is compromised.
What can you do?
Call and schedule a quality of life appointment with on of our veterinarians. You can talk to them about your concerns and questions. Our veterinarians can discuss options for pain control, anxiety relief, further diagnostics & treatments for their ailments and much more. Now our veterinarians can’t tell you when its time, they can make suggestions based on how comfortable your pet is but only you understand their true level of happiness.
We recommend as your pet starts to show the signs of aging to keep a journal. Note down the good days and the bad days so you can see the pattern your pet is experiencing. If will help as you get closer to saying goodbye to see more bad days checked off in your journal. Here is an example of a daily journal that is provided by Lap of Love: If you don’t want to use a journal you can also simply put a green or red dot on each day of the calendar to represented good and bad days.
There are many questionnaires online to fill out when you are worried their quality of life is failing, here are some links to explore
When it’s “time”
If your pets quality of life is low and you have decided its time to move forward with euthanasia here are some thing to consider:
Pets have the option for both in home and in office euthanasia’s
We don’t offer in home euthanasia’s but we highly recommend Dr Yamamoto with Peaceful Pets
If you have decided you would like to come into our office just call our hospital and schedule an appointment for whenever is best for you and your family.
We recommend you spend quality time with your pet prior to the appointment. Let them try and enjoy life as much as they can. Buy them that cheeseburger if they are still eating, let them sit at the park and watch the people or simply spend some extra time snuggling on the couch with them.
When the time comes to enter our office you will be escorted directly into a room for you and your family to be in. You can bring you own bed or blanket or we can provide your pet with one. If your pet soils their bed or blanket we can wash them and return them to you at a later date or you can donate it to the hospital to bring other pets comfort. We recommend not to remove collars from your pet during this time. It’s important for them to feel comfortable and not worry about changes to come. After your pet has crossed the rainbow bridge we suggest you take their collar as a keepsake.
After Life Services
We offer both Private and Communal Cremations. All handled by a third party called West Coast Pet Memorial.
For Communal Cremations you do not receive ashes back but you can still request paw prints or fur clippings to be returned to you
For Private Cremations there is an abundance of urns and special custom memorial pieces to chose from. See below the many options available to you:
After the loss of your best friend grieving is a normal and natural occurrence. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help, visit the sites below for additional help