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Winter Safety Tips for Your Senior Pet

by Dr. Dani McVety, Founder and CEO of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice

As winter’s biting cold sets in, your senior pet may struggle with the cold more than usual—especially considering older pets often do not handle temperature extremes well. The dry, cold air may cause achy joints to flare up, while icy walkways can make potty breaks treacherous. Help keep your senior pet warm, comfortable, and safe this season with the following tips.

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Tips for Helping Your Specially Abled Pet Live a Fulfilling Life

specially abled pet

by Dr. Jeni Goedken, Hospice Veterinarian and owner of Fond Farewell.

Pets with special needs hold a cherished place in our hearts. These dogs and cats face daily challenges with an inspiring amount of determination and resilience. Whether your pet’s mobility or sensory loss was sudden or progressed over time, when you provide them physical and emotional support, you can ensure they enjoy a rich and fulfilling life—without limits. Help your specially-abled pet live their best life with these tips. (more…)

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When It’s Time To Say Goodbye To A Sick Cat

an old cat

by Michelle Quinn-Davidson, Owner of For the Love of Jobe – Pet Services, LLC

As a professional pet sitter and long-time pet parent, I am often asked by clients when is the “best” time to say goodbye to a sick cat. The answer is not simple. During this end-of-life phase, pet parents must rely on their knowledge of their pet, the advice of their vet, and recommendations of the pet sitter. And even with input, we will struggle to know when it is “time.” As I write this article today, I am facing the immense decision to say goodbye to my 18-year-old beloved fur baby cat, Eowyn.

What are the signs to look for in sick cats? A cat exhibits behaviors that will let you know that the time is near; this is how they communicate with you. Some of the signs include:

1. Lack in interest of eating and drinking.
It is common when a cat is nearing the end of their lives to lose their
appetites.

2. Extreme Weakness.
You may notice your cat is more lethargic and sedentary, weakness in their hind legs, and sleeping more than usual.

3. Lower Body Temperature.
A healthy cat’s temperature is between 37-38 degrees Celsius. As the heart weakens, other body organs start to shut down, and the body temperature drops below 37. Use an ear or a digital rectal thermometer to check their temperature. You can also feel their paws, and if they’re cool to the touch, it could be a sign of their heart slowing down.

4. Changes in Appearance and Smell.
Since cats are meticulous groomers, a lack of energy leaves a messy and
greasy appearance. Cats may also develop a detectable unpleasant odor due to toxins building up as their organs stop properly working.

5. Seeking Solitude.
Cats will withdraw and prefer solitude when they are gravely ill. In the wild, a dying cat instinctively understands that they are more vulnerable to predators and will hide to protect themselves. Domestic cats will greet you less, want to be touched less often, and will sleep in areas that are often away from their families.

What to do when you see these signs? As pet parents, we want to ensure our cat is as comfortable as possible at the end of their life. Some tips include:

● Providing them with a soft, warm, cozy bed.

● Keeping their bedding clean, especially since they may experience incontinence.

● Carrying them to the litter box if they are too weak to get up.

● Give them special food and treats they have always loved.

● Consulting your vet for proper end-of-life care. Consider hiring an in home cat euthanasia service.

● Giving them additional love and affection to show that you are with them until you finally say goodbye.

● Be present at the end of life. A cat will know you are with them and will love you for it.

“Euthanasia” is a Greek term meaning “good death.” As a pet parent, facing the decision to say goodbye to my Eowyn is gut-wrenching. But I know she will be with me always, and it is my responsibility to give her the care and love until her very last breath.


About the Author

Michelle Quinn-DavidsonMichelle Quinn-Davidson, MPA, CDT, CPPS,  has resided in Brookline, MA for more than 20 years. She is a Certified Dog Trainer with Pet CPR First Aid training from the Animal Behavior College and a Certified Professional Pet Sitter through Pet Sitters International. She has a certificate in COVID-19 safety protocols from Pet Sitters International and is currently working on a Fear-Free Pet Sitter certificate.​ She established JOBE in 2014 in memory of her beloved, rescued, blind Newfoundland / Labrador mix ​Jobe. Prior to starting her business, she spent more than 20 years managing various youth development nonprofit organizations. She received her master of public administration in management from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner ​​Graduate School of Public Service and ​her bachelor’s in speech from Emerson College.

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Saying Goodbye to Pets During the Holidays

by Dr. Dani McVety, Founder and CEO of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice

The holidays are about joy, gratitude, and family. But for many people, the experience of having to say goodbye to a beloved pet can taint the celebration, as there tends to be an increase in pet euthanasia during this time of year.

This type of loss can be a difficult and overwhelming experience for pet parents. Anticipatory pet loss grief can cause a mix of emotions, including anxiety, which can impact your remaining time with your pet. In this article, we will discuss four ways to support you and your beloved during this challenging time.

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Helping Children Cope with Pet Loss

children pet loss grief

by Dr. Dani McVety, Founder and CEO of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice

For children, the loss of a pet is often their first experience with death. Children tend to grieve differently than adults do, and they need lots of love, guidance, and support. Parents often want to shelter children from death, which is understandable, but honesty can be the best thing. Each child is unique, and each age group and stage of development can have different reactions. (more…)