Quality end of life care for elderly dogs

Recently I had the pleasure of having James (above) for 4 nights in my home. He is 13 years old and just recently lost his sister to health issues and old age. James is one of the most loving and great natured dogs I have had the pleasure of looking after. He has also inspired me to write this and look into end of life conditions, how to care for animals like James who are facing the unthinkable and how we as pet parents deal with it.

So how do we as pet parents know when to continue palliative care or hospice plans for our pets. Or when it's time to consider letting go and facing the dreaded alternative.

We all want to do everything possible to help our beloved pets get well again when they are sick. At a certain point though we all have to come to terms with the fact there is nothing more we can do other than love and care for them and make them as comfortable as possible.

When our pets reach this awful unthinkable stage what can we do as families to help them and deal with what is happening in the process?.

It helps to educate yourself about the specific special needs of your pet during this stage. Vets and your own research are always good places to start to give you a clearer understanding of the condition/s and how best to care for them.

We all secretly hope that our pets have a pain free final stage of life that's why it's so hard to watch them suffer. It's very easy for a pet owner to be overcome with fear and anxiety when faced with this situation.

Research shows 1 in 10 animal lovers has to turn to anti depressants or therapy to deal with losing a pet this way.

It's to easy for someone to say ' get another one', but pets are family. Children confide in them, the elderly maybe only have them as a companion. So you can see why people are hit so hard by our pets deteriorating like this before our eyes.

Speaking to James pet parents I see and hear their fears, upset and pain they go through on a day to day basis seeing James like this. The harsh reality of what they face sooner rather than later hits home everyday for them. There is nothing more they can do other than make him comfortable and give him as much love and care until his time comes.