Pets, over the course of their short life, are quickly bonded with and are never easy to let go. We play with them, we care for them and before we know it they are a fully fledged part of the family. Accepting a chronic or terminal illness can be difficult, and just like with human conditions, when a pet nears the end of its life it necessitates a change from cure or treatment to just making the pet comfortable.
While some may see prolonging a animals suffering near the end of their life as cruel, the International Association for Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC) is dedicated promoting knowledge of and developing guidelines for comfort oriented care for pets as they reach the end of their life. While animal hospice care may suggest that they try to keep animals alive long before their time, it does not. It merely offers suggestions and care for animals to ease them into the end of life in a way that is neither stressful to pets or owners. The IAAHPC provides educational and in-depth information to pet parents who are new to this idea or for those that need help making the best decisions for their beloved dog or cat. Their website also comes with a full list of providers who will come and do in home euthanasia. The IAAHPC believes that allowing for a sick pet to die in a familiar environment surrounded by the people they have cared for most in the world minimizes the trauma involved in the procedure. Many veterinarians have also vouched that allowing the other pets in a home to be able to say good bye to a sick pet is beneficial to everybody. Some animals that have a litter mate or just another pet they have grown up with ripped away suddenly can be traumatic and lead to a change in behavior.