Hospice and end of life care for your pet during the Covid-19 pandemic

Options and considerations

Providing care to a pet at home with a terminal condition can be made more challenging during these difficult times of the Covid-19 crisis. Veterinary practices all over the UK have to abide to safety protocols to keep their staff and you safe which doesn’t increase the amount of contact, care and proximity you have that you normally receive of your family vet. Because of this you as a carer for your pet more than ever need information on how to prepare for their final days to make sure they are peaceful and memorable.

Facing having to say farewell to your beloved pet during this isolation can fill us with anxiety and frustration. Preparing to say goodbye can be even more heartbreaking when we do not know what options are available at this time. We prepared the following examples to help you to plan ahead and know your options.

Bucket list

First, remember that there is much you can do on your own and in your own home. If you are caring for a hospice pet, having a bucket list of “to do’s” can help you focus on the here and now. Offering “off-limit” and favourite foods, as well as play, for example, can be enjoyable and easily accomplished. Also, sharing stories of the adventures and love shared with your pet or writing a letter of thanks can be helpful too. Children can make a drawing to express their feelings for their pet.

Pet euthanasia at home

When it comes to that final moment of their passing if you know you want to physically remain with your pet without question, hospice and palliative care mobile vets are still working as they too are essential businesses. Mobile vets can enter your home safely with enhanced protocols, assess your pet and perform a peaceful end of life experience. We have seen so many lovely pets and their owners in their garden the last few weeks and it’s a very peaceful intimate way of saying goodbye.

Pet euthanasia at the hospital

If you are in a position to have to utilize a veterinary hospital or 24/7 veterinary emergency clinic for euthanasia, please call ahead to find out if staying in the room during the procedure is an option or if you have to wait outside in your car. If you are unable to physically be with your pet, consider sending a favourite toy, blanket or article of your clothing with your scent on it with him or her. You could also write a poem to have your veterinary team read to your pet during the procedure. Ask if you can Skype or Facetime during the procedure or record a message they can play so your pet can hear your voice. 

Information

Furthermore, inquire about your aftercare options. If considering cremation, perhaps you’d like to see your beloved pet one final time before you leave or take him or her home for an at-home burial.

Now more than ever pet families need support and options to ensure your pet’s end-of-life experience is calm for him or her as well as comforting for you. You are not alone. You have the right to find options that work best for you and your family. 

For more information on how to find in home mobile veterinary care, aftercare options or additional emotional support 0333 320 8731


Merel Taal DVM MRCVS

Merel Taal DVM MRCV CHPV Founder and Marketing Director of Dignipets Merel founded Dignipets in 2015 to offer an alternative approach for pets and owners at a very difficult time. She is recently certified in palliative and hospice care and loves sharing all her newfound knowledge and experience with pet owners and colleagues.