Pet Hospice

12/18/2013

In the estate planning area, "pet trusts" have grown in popularity as a way to include pets in a person's estate plan.  For some clients, this is very important.  Others find it rather silly.

But there is now a move to take pet planning to another level - pet hospice services.

The New York Times recently reported that more and more veterinarian offices are providing end-of-life care for animals that is being referred to as "Pet Hospice." The goal is to help families find a gentle way to provide a comfortable, less stressful passing for their pets. As with human hospice, the idea is to ease up on aggressive medical treatment and provide at-home support for ailing animals.

The New York Times story noted that a big part of the job is relieving pet owner's guilt, giving them an emotional bridge to a pet's death, and letting them grieve at home - rather than in a clinic or animal shelter.

The hospice pet services can include the use of pain and anti-anxiety medication for the pet. Also, unlike human hospice, euthanasia is an option.  If euthanasia is chosen, it can be performed at home instead of performing it in an institutional setting.