BlogPost 40813554108 Making the Most of the Last Days

Making the Most of the Last Days

Knowing that the end is nearing can provoke anxiety, sadness, and even grief in us. Did you know those feelings can also affect our pets? Animals are very intuitive, and grief may be contagious to your ailing pet. 

Perhaps instead of spending your remaining time with your beloved companion in a state of sadness, you can consciously make their last days as meaningful and wonderful as possible.

Below are some ideas for making the most of the time that is left.

Create A Bucket List
What makes your pet happy? Is it taking luxurious car rides? A game of hide-and-seek? A special toy? A trip to the park? Create a list of all the things your pet loves to do best, and cross off as many as you can as long as their health allows. Include things that your pet always loved to do and wasn’t allowed or wasn't’ able to do as often as they wanted to. 

Give Them All The Food

Please do consult your vet before proceeding with all the food. If your vet agrees, then go all in and give your sweet pet the tastiest, most decadent food possible. To make their final days really special, consider cooking some special meals. For example, you could make them a dish of cooked ground hamburger and brown rice with a few carrots tossed in. If you are not a fan of cooking, then look for a pet store that carries gourmet treats and splurge on something special.

Indulge In Pampering
Your pet may be experiencing some anxiety as well as pain in the final days, so indulge them in some extra love and comfort. There are massage therapists who specialize in animal massage, which might be a nice treat. Make sure their bed is warm and cozy. Place the bed near a heating vent, or get a small space heater to increase the temperature where your pet normally sleeps. Add extra blankets or cushions as needed. Think of the things that make your furry friend feel happy. 


Modify Your Environment

Toward the end of life, some daily activities may be harder than they once were. Your pet may have trouble doing things like getting into a car, going up and downstairs, or even going to the bathroom. Modify your environment to make things easier. Maybe provide a ramp to help them go upstairs, get into a car, or get up on the sofa. Raise or lower the food and water bowls as needed to make eating and drinking as effortless as possible. 


Arrange Visits with Friends 

Just like you, your pet probably has some special animal and human friends. To make his or her last days special, try to arrange some visits. For example, you could arrange a special playdate for your dog and some of his best friends, or invite some of your cat’s favorite people over for a visit. 


Take Pictures

Be sure to take some pictures. This is an important part of your pet’s journey and you don’t want to miss the sweet, last days. Take a selfie or two. If it feels too hard to get a full picture, put their paw in yours and take a picture of that. 

Get Educated On Pain Management
If your beloved pet is suffering, it may not always be apparent that he or she is in pain. Educate yourself on the signs of pain in animals. If your furry friend hits a point of extreme pain or a point where you cannot take care of your sweet pet yourself, it may be time to consider hospice care. Much like human hospice care, pet hospice care is from the comfort of your own home.

You can work with your vet on things like administering medications and deciding if and when it's the right time for euthanasia.

Ask your veterinarian about pet hospice care. Like hospice for humans, pet hospice is a service that can help to promote comfort and quality of life as they spend their last days at home. Talk to your veterinarian about whether or not pet hospice is appropriate.

Help Them Say Goodbye

It’s easy to focus on the human side of things, but this isn’t just happening to you and the two-legged members of your family. Your pet probably knew something was wrong before you did. You don’t want your pet to think that it’s their fault that you're sad or that they have done something wrong. Any pet lover knows how much animals can understand. Talk to your pet. Let them know it’s okay to let go and that you will be ok when they do. Tell your pet what’s going to happen and that they will always be in your heart. Say ‘thank you’ often.


When you know it’s the end, make the most of the time you have left together. Use it to celebrate your bond. Make your time about living together with your furry friend while you can, and try not to focus on the sadness. You will have time to grieve. 


Letting go is never easy, but hopefully, you can make it as positive of an experience as possible and create a few sweet moments with your precious companion.


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