Getting Grumpy?

As animals age, they may experience physical ailments that cause them to feel discomfort. They may become frustrated with their own aging process. They might not hear as well as in younger years, their sight may be impaired, they may feel physically vulnerable when in the company of younger animals. They may have aches that they did have before, and/or soreness in their joints and muscles. Be patient with your pet's changing moods and gradual decline. They may become grumpy sometimes--it's not their fault!


Animals change over time. As animals age, physical changes may be sudden or gradual. They will experience good days and bad days. They may suffer ailments that will heal on their own, given a day or two, and some which will require veterinary intervention. You may observe drastic changes, or they may be so subtle that they are hardly noticeable. The effects on the animal may be profound, or so subtle that they draw no concern. The change may be a one-time occurrence, or may reoccur over time.

When older animals sleep, they sleep more profoundly and may become more snappish if awakened out of a restful sleep. On the other hand, an older dog may pace at night, and be difficult to settle down! An orthopedic foam bed with a machine washable cover will be helpful for the occasional toileting accident.

Older pets feel the cold more intensely in the winter and suffer from heat more in the summer than do younger animals.

Senses - Four of the five senses diminish with age. Touch is the only sense that stays as acute over time.

Monitor your pet's weight. Extra pounds put added stress on an animal's joints. Check your pet over on a regular basis and keep your eyes open for tumors, lumps, discolorations, or bad breath, and report any changes to your vet.

Perhaps your pet’s ailments cause you to react with impatience. This may be a time that challenges you to develop patience with what is a natural process. The humans who share their lives with these amazing animals may be motivated to act immediately, when the correct course advises, “wait and see”. 

Prepare to see changes. When in doubt, collect all of your observations and tell them to your vet. The more information that you can provide, in terms of observations and medical records, the more readily they will be able to respond to your pet’s needs.


Signs of deterioration:

Observe your pet carefully. Look for signs of disorientation, glazed or dry eyes, disinterest in eating and drinking, lethargic behavior, reluctance to get up and walk around, general listlessness.appier.

Does your dog have "elephant skin"?- It's the rough skin on elbows and hips where the hair has worn away. This is typical of larger dogs and older dogs. Trick - rub Bag Balm into the area where the hair has worn away, every other day for a while. Our experience has been that the hair gradually starts to grow back. Once the hair has grown back, you may only have to rub the Bag Balm in once or twice a month. Watch the area and you will see the hair grow back and know how often you need to reapply it. Your dog will be much more comfortable with the hair on those pressure points.


Creating the environment:

An animal who is dying may be feeling the warmth and compassion of a caring human for the last time.

Sensory overload can exacerbate illness and behavioral issues. Animals are highly sensitive. A chaotic environment creates stress and discord for them. Work to create and maintain harmony among family members and friends, especially those people in the animal's immediate environment.

Pets should be in calm spaces, on their favorite beds, or in the final hours, on a linoleum surface where bedding can be placed under them as well as pads to absorb bodily fluids. Animals that are sick or dying frequently have lower body temperature. A warmer room or an extra blanket can help to increase their comfort 

Offer soft, diffuse, preferably natural lighting during the day and low lighting in the evening. Avoid a dark environment.

For comfort, take your pet’s collar off. Keep other animals away from the immediate area. Offer gentle touching, massage (T-Touch), and petting. Place your hand on the forehead using a gentle touch and keep it there, or lightly brush the brow. This is similar to the 'laying on of hands' that many traditions use with humans. Clearing your pet's energy field can be accomplished by placing both of your hands approximately three inches above the body. Move your hands in short, sweeping motions downward, moving from the head to the back feet.

I like to stay with my pet in the final hours. In the evening hours, I sleep next to my pet in a sleeping bag on the floor.


Music and Sound:

Soft, low music may be soothing. Pleasant, natural sounds can offer comfort. Singing birds or running water can be a source of peaceful relaxation. Use music that is soft and unobtrusive. Try The Healer’s Way, Volume I: Soothing Music for Those in Pain by Stella Benson, certified music practitioner, composer and author. Another recommended CD is Self-Healing with Sound and Music, a 2-CD set by Andrew Weil and Kimba Arem.


Cognitive deficiencies and arthritis:

Older animals sometimes have problems with mental clarity and movement. Again, your veterinarian is in the best position to recommend medications that can help greatly in this area.

Has your older dog become aggressive?
We have an older dog that was as kind as kind could be all of his life. As he aged, he started to bite at the other dogs and us! Of course we couldn't have that, and thought that we might have to have him euthanized. Our vet determined that the aggressiveness was the result of anxiety. He had grown older and was more fragile. He felt like the other dogs were a threat to him. We put him on Prozac ($8 per month) and his anxiety lessened. Now, on Prozac, he is back to his old self and we couldn't be happier.


Meeting nutritional needs:

Eating, drinking and similar functions may seem to become less important to your pet. In a dying animal, the spirit is beginning to transition and the physical body is aware of it.

  • Hill’s A/D diet is a canned food that both cats and dogs can swallow even in their last hours. It can be mixed with water and fed with a syringe when necessary. If your pet is not eating the Hill's A/D, mix it with beef broth and Nutri-cal (to add calories) and mix it to a consistency where your pet can lick it up. 

  • Baby food mixed with a little water. Turkey baby food is easily digested.

  • Soak and mash dry food. You may also want to put it in a blender to smooth the consistency even further. Soaking some brands of dry food may take 45 minutes to an hour to become soft.

  • Pets may become very selective eaters when they age. This is certainly a problem in their last days. It may be necessary to cook for your pet at this time. Foods that may be hard to digest can be liquefied in a food processor or blender.

My philosophy: At the end of life, if your pet will agree to eat, feed them their favorite foods. Nutrition is important, but so are the “comfort foods”.

Eating - If an animal is days or hours away from passing, it is normal for the animal not to experience the sensation of hunger. If you offer food, and the animal turns its head away, it may be that the mere smell of food is making it feel nauseous. Wait awhile and offer food again, to see if they will be more open to eating at that time. Wet food, or dry food that has been softened, may be more appealing, as will be food that is slightly heated.

If you typically feed your pet once a day, and you are finding that your pet is not eating at all, or is not eating all of their food, try splitting their daily meal into two portions and feed one portion in the morning and the other in the evening.

Obesity - Obesity is due to reduced activity, overfeeding, and a lower metabolic rate. Additional weight can stress the heart, exacerbate arthritis, resulting in an animal that is even less likely to exercise. Diet and exercise are the answers Moderate play will keep your pet’s muscles toned, blood circulating, and prevent constipation – a serious problem, especially in older cats.

Underweight? Some dogs, especially those who remain active, will actually lose weight as they age. Extra protein foods will only stress their kidneys. If your dog needs to put on some pounds, add rice to their diet. It works wonders!

Especially for Cancer - Give the animal Omega 3 and Omega 6 nutrient- rich foods or supplements, to support the immune system.

Hill's Prescription Diet - My animals hate the taste of this food and wouldn't eat it. How many of us don't like eating food that is good for us? Simple trick - if your dog doesn't like Hill's Prescription Diet foods, add a few drops of honey and mix it in. For cats, add clam juice. They will absolutely love it!


Standing to relieve themselves:

There are slings designed for helping your pet walk outside with your assistance. The slings go by the brand name “Quick Lift," “Soft Quick Lift." There are animal stretchers, “Quick Carry” and “Soft Quick Carry." “Quick” products can be ordered from the Four Flags Over Aspen company (see Resources). The “Bottom’s up Leash” is also an option.



If your pet is able to stand, have an easily accessible water bowl available and filled at all times. Adequate hydration is a comfort measure as well as a physical need. Animals that are sick or dying are often not aware of their need for fluids, and their thirst signal may be less active. A well-hydrated animal, no matter what their state of health, is more comfortable.

Keep your pet well hydrated, whether that is with a dropper filled with water, or with an intravenous drip. The intravenous drip can be administered at scheduled intervals by your vet, at their office. In many cases, however, your vet will sell you the necessary equipment and provide you with training so that you can administer the IV fluids yourself, at home, where your pet is the most comfortable. This may be the only practical solution for a pet that is gravely ill.

Drinking - Your pet may not want to drink. If you think that your animal has a hope of recovery, then hydrating the animal by giving fluids by mouth or under the skin may be an option. However, many animals in the process of dying will stop drinking water because being dehydrated can lower the pain threshold. Some animals may drink lukewarm water when they will refuse cold water. During hospice, you may have to support your pet’s head in an upright position in order for your pet to be able to drink. Once an animal has stopped drinking entirely, it may only be hours or days before your pet passes. This would be a time to stay with your pet, to support them in their last hours.


Pain Management:

Pursue options for pain management and supportive medical care as advised by your veterinarian. The goal is to provide comfort as opposed to cure. Your veterinarian is the best person to help with the management of signs that indicate pain, side effects of the medical conditions, treatments and anticipated complications as the patient’s condition declines.


Flower essences: 

I have used flower essences in conjunction with other therapies. Though I do not believe they are a replacement for veterinary medicine, they can make a remarkable impact on an animal’s health and well-being given the individual animal’s needs. Two sources for purchasing flower essences that I have found to be reliable are listed under “Resources," specifically, Bach Flower Essences and those sold by Green Hope Farm. I’ve used and love “Transitions” sold by Green Hope Farm, which is listed under their Animal Wellness Collection. I would also recommend “Coral Pink Rose." Rescue Remedy (Bach Flower Essences) should always be kept on hand.


Essential Oils

Essential Oils can be used in response to a variety of emotional, physical, and spiritual issues. I use Green Hope Farm. With your order, they will send you lots of information on using essential oils.

Because of their purity and concentration a little goes a long way! If an animal is weak or sick, there is an essential oil that correlates with the animals particular need at the moment. Go to their website for more specific information.

Essential oils such as lavender and citrus can have a calming and peaceful effect. Mix a few drops with distilled water in a spray bottle to spray into the air, or diffuse with a cold-air diffuser made specially for aromatherapy. Do not us perfume or perfume-grade oils--only therapeutic-grade essential oils. To create a more spiritual environment, use oils from ancient scripture such as frankincense or myrrh.



There are several medications available to address signs of incontinence. One that I have used, which was recommended by my veterinarian, is called Proin. There are others that may be more appropriate for your pet. Please consult your veterinarian to explore the options.

In addition, there are doggie “pants” (diapers) available through online catalogs and local pet stores. “Seasonals," “Pooch Pants,"  “Doggie Wraps," made for male and female animals. “Clean GO Pet” makes disposable doggy diapers. “Pooch Pads," “Oops Pads” absorb liquid and can be placed under your pet to avoid an accident in their favorite sleeping spot.

As some pets age, they will “piddle” on their beds. This has happened in our home, particularly when a senior animal goes into a deep sleep at night. I do not like foam core bedding because it is typically difficult to clean. Other types of bedding, tends to be bulky and will take up the entire washing machine when laundered. My suggestion is to wrap the foam core, or other bedding liner in 39 gallon plastic bags (if the bed is large, you may need two one for each end. Allow them to overlap). Take duct tape and secure the plastic bags by taping around the bags in the middle, top to bottom and side to side.

Then, put the cover of the bedding over the now secured plastic bags. Now, if your pet piddles on their bed, you will only have to wash the outer cover of their bedding. The plastic bags can be quickly wiped off with a paper towel



Pumpkin in a can. We use Libby's 100% pumpkin--check the can. It can be added to the dog’s food (a heaping tablespoon for a large dog, less for a small dog) to add fiber.

Rice can also be added to your dog’s food to add fiber. 

If your dog experiences diarrhea, the first thing to try is not feed them canned dog food, which is very rich. Take them off canned dog food and feed them only dry food and see if it makes a difference. If this doesn't work, consult your veterinarian.

You may also find that over-the-counter anti-diarrheals such as Immodium A-D will be helpful - check with your veterinarian as to proper dosage.

Pediatric electrolytes can be offered to your pet in addition to water. Think of it as “doggy Gatorade." It will replace electrolytes lost during the time your pet has loose stools.

There are Flower essences and essential oils that can offer support to your pet during these times.

There are T-Touch massages that can strengthen your pet’s immune system. Please look under resources to see the various T-Touch books available and select one that is appropriate for your pet. 

Don’t forget to play healing music for your pet!



If your dog has a seizure you may observe the limbs becoming very straight and rigid. The bones can become fragile during a seizure, so be careful moving your animal companion. Rather, move objects around your pet that might interfere with your pet's movements. It helps to surround your pet with pillows or anything soft so the animal does not injure themselves during a seizure. If the seizure is severe, take your animal to a vet immediately after the seizure has past. If the animal does not seem to be coming out of a seizure in a relatively short period of time, take your pet to a vet, but carefully wrap the animal in something soft and be careful not to try to bend the animal's legs or body because of the potential for hurting the animal further. Start a log of your animal's seizure, even if the animal comes out of the seizure relatively quickly without much after affect. Log the time of the seizure, length of the seizure, and anything that you observe. This information will help your vet address the seizure medically. Continue to maintain the log, even if the seizures seem to occur quite a bit of time apart. I have had dogs that had a seizure and didn't have another (so far, knock on wood). Some dogs have seizures very infrequently; still record all observations in a log, since they may occur more frequently later in the animal's life.


Useful devices:

Pill splitters and digital thermometers may also be helpful for the administration of medications and monitoring your pet’s temperature.



Greenie's Pill Pockets -- insert the medication into a pill pocket

A tool called a "pill popper," available through your veterinarian, will help in administering pills to a cat that is reluctant to take them voluntarily.

  • If you put a pill for your dog in a small ball of cat food, he or she will eat it readily. Dogs love cat food!

  • For dogs, liquid medicine should be administered in the side of the animal's mouth. Consider using a 3cc or 5cc syringe. Give your dog water in the same way.

  • Giving liquids to a cat is more easily done from the front of the mouth.

Medications - Some drugs and/or herbs may upset your pet’s stomach, if they are eating less, because some medications require that they be taken with food. Antobiotics and other drugs can actually cause the loss of appetite. Animals may become sensitive to side effects.  Other ways to soothe any discomfort that your pet may be experiencing are homeopathy, gentle body or energy work, warm towels and warm water bottles.


Animal Communicators:

I understand that not everyone believes in animal communication. Everyone’s belief system is different. However, in special circumstances, I have found the skills of an animal communicator to be quite useful in helping me understand the dying process from the perspective of my pet. They have also helped me understand the difference between a human’s experience and concept of death as different from an animal’s. I’ve listed the name of the animal communicator that I use under “Resources." There are others that may meet your needs. If you decide to pursue this option, do some exploration, make calls, and ask questions until you find someone that you feel comfortable working with.


Emergency numbers:

This is a time to have the name and phone number of your vet readily available, as well as a 24 hour emergency veterinary service. Having work numbers posted somewhere prominent and easily visible in your home may be helpful should your pet go into crisis and another family member needs to be contacted immediately.


Cat-specific advice:

Geriatric cats have wasted away as their sense of smell waned. As a response, you can purchase more aromatic food or heat up their regular meal, thus releasing a stronger odor. 

The immune system of older cats is less able to fend off illnesses. Dehydration, a consequence of many diseases common to older cats, further diminishes blood circulation and immunity.
The skin of an older cat is thinner and less elastic, has reduced blood circulation, and is more prone to infection. Kitty senility is evident in symptoms such as wandering, excessive meowing, apparent disorientation, and avoidance of social interaction.



Peaceful Passings Senior Animal Rescue offers you a personalized service provided by our highly knowledgeable staff members who are always ready to answer your questions and assist you in any way.

If you contact us for advice (we are NOT veterinarians), we will be happy to help you. It might be an inquiry as to how to support an animal in their latter years given mobility issues. It might be a medical issue, where we can help you formulate questions specific to your animal companions needs, making conversations with your veterinarian more productive. Maybe your animal companion is experiencing end of life issues, but you are not quite sure if it is their time or not. Perhaps, you just need support knowing that we are here, have been through what you are experiencing, many times before.

It's worth a call or email. We will not charge you any fees for advice and guidance, and we will never earn money because of another person's grief and suffering during a time when their beloved animal companion is experiencing illness or end of life issues.

Our email is

Our phone is 434-842-3287

Our address is:

Peaceful Passings Senior Animal Rescue
2856 Cloverdale Rd.
Bremo Bluff, VA 23022

Old Dog


I only have one flaw – I’m aging. I want someone to take me home, just like my juniors. I’m basically good-natured. My tail wags, maybe a little slower than you’d like. Oh, my legs have their stiff days, and my colors aren’t as brilliant as they once were, now that my hairs are mixed with gray. I wait in my pen for you to visit and when you do, I’m happy to see you approach. Maybe you just walk by me. Maybe you stop and say, “Poor old dog!” And maybe your eyes turn away, because I remind you that, you too, are aging every day.


When you walk by my pen without stopping, I know, as you do, I’ve lost my chance to show you how wonderful and majestic an animal I truly am. I’ve done nothing wrong; I just got older, as you do, one day at a time.


I don’t know where the time went! Just yesterday, I could run and play for hours and jump so high! Now, I move more cautiously. My eyes and body movements aren’t as coordinated as they once were. Still I love to have fun, if in a more subdued way. I want to experience new things and challenge my mind, while I am able. My jumps are measured in inches - the same jumps that were once measured in feet.


Don’t pity me, because I don’t pity myself! I’ve had good times and bad times in my life, just like you.


What time I have left, I’d like to spend with family who loves me. I wish I could keep you with me forever, but I can’t, just as one day you’ll have to leave your loved ones behind. Can’t we just make the most of today?


Soften your eyes and look at me with the same excitement as if you were looking into much younger eyes. Spend some time with me and see beyond the signs of aging, see my heart, come to know my soul. I have so much to offer.


I wait in my pen, looking for a human companion to come along, hoping that you will stop by and stay with me awhile. Look beyond the superficial, look deeper and open your heart.


Take me home. We’ll sit together and think profound thoughts. I’ll lie next to you and support you when times seem bleak. We’ll face life together, whatever time it is that we have to share. When the time comes for us to part, I’ll go with grace and watch over you from above.


Jackie Meyers is the President/Founder of Peaceful Passings, a home-based rescue located in Fluvanna County, Virginia for senior, hospice, and special needs animals. Please visit us at .


I Rescue Senior Animals


I rescue animals. I fight for them. I dedicate my life to them.

I rarely put myself first. I never put them last. I always try to do right by them.

I am optimistic, but also realistic. I am a positive person, who has been beaten down by the negativity of the world. I am happy most days, but with a constant underlying sadness.

I have opened my heart to more animals than I can count. I bring them into my home. I return the life that was taken from them.

I have accepted the craziness of my world. I take the insanity in stride. I have given up any hope of having a normal life or a perfectly clean house.

I live each day, for the animals. I wake up, prepared to save more. I go to sleep, thinking of those I couldn’t reach.

I hate my phone… it never stops ringing. I answer and listen to yet another plea for an animal that no one cares about, no one will help.

I look into the eyes of the neglected. I feel their pain in my own heart. I hear their silent cries.

I apologize for the awful things that have happened to them. I say “I’m sorry” for things I didn’t do. I say, “I love you,” because no one else in their life ever has.

I try to talk sense into senseless people. I try to educate the ignorant. I fail at these attempts on a daily basis.

I can’t save them all. I can’t even save most. I live each day knowing that, no matter how hard I try, it will never be enough.

I know that even when I succeed, I fail. I know that for everyone I save, there’s another I lose. I know that no matter how many I help; my work is never done.

Even still, I save all that I can. I love more than I thought possible. I smile… because they smile.

I take-on their pain, so that they may have happiness. I allow my heart to hurt, so theirs can heal. I become the one who is wounded, so they may be restored.

I know the cruelty that exists. I’ve seen the faces of abuse. I witness the senselessness of the world… and know that change is always just beyond my grasp…

I ask for help… it rarely comes. I pray for hope… it rarely appears. I beg for mercy… it rarely arrives.

I sometimes lose faith in humanity. I often cry. Some days, I crawl into bed and pull the covers over my eyes.

Sometimes, I sob. I hurt so much… but I cry because they hurt more than I ever could. The helplessness drives me to say, “I can’t…”

Then, an animal’s kiss says, “You can…”

So, I get out of bed. I brush off the despair. I vow to make a difference.

I do make a difference.

I never give up. I fight for change each day. I pray for relief from the pain… not for me, but for them.

I rescue animals and in return animals rescue me. Everything in between... is so worth it!


Dr. Alice Villalobos' Scale Quality of Life Scale:

The HHHHHMM Scale Pet caregivers can use this Quality of Life Scale to determine the success of care. 10 is good. Score Criterion

1-10 HURT - Adequate pain control, including breathing ability, is first and foremost on the scale. Is the pet's pain successfully managed? Is oxygen supplementation necessary?

1-10 HUNGER - Is the pet eating enough? Does hand feeding help? Does the patient require a feeding tube?

1-10 HYDRATION - Is the patient dehydrated? For patients not drinking enough, use subcutaneous fluids once or twice daily to supplement fluid intake.

1-10 HYGIENE - The patient should be brushed and cleaned, particularly after elimination. Avoid pressure sores and keep all wounds clean.

1-10 HAPPINESS - Does the pet express joy and interest? Is the pet responsive to things around him or her (family, toys, etc.)? Is the pet depressed, lonely, anxious, bored or afraid? Can the pet's bed be close to the family activities and not be isolated?

1-10 MOBILITY - Can the patient get up without assistance? Does the pet need human or mechanical help (e.g., a cart)? Does the pet feel like going for a walk? Is the pet having seizures or stumbling? (Some caregivers feel euthanasia is preferable to amputation, yet an animal who has limited mobility but is still alert and responsive can have a good quality of life as long as caregivers are committed to helping the pet.)

1-10 MORE GOOD DAYS THAN BAD - When bad days outnumber good days, quality of life might be compromised. When a healthy human-animal bond is no longer possible, the caregiver must be made aware the end is near. The decision needs to be made if the pet is suffering. If death comes peacefully and painlessly, that is okay.

*TOTAL *A total over 35 points represents acceptable life quality Source:

Colorado State University

What is Quality of Life?


Quality of life is a frequent term used to assess how an animal is doing in the midst of disease.


You know your pet the best, and are the expert regarding the quality of its life. Your evaluation will probably occur multiple times throughout your animal's illness. If there are other people who also love this animal, it may be helpful, especially with children, to involve them in some discussions regarding quality as you are faced with decisions.


Here are some ideas of how to objectively gauge quality:


  • First, take a moment and decide how you define quality in terms of living with quality.


  • Truthfully, answer some key questions such as:


  • Is your pet eating and drinking normally?


  • Can it relieve itself on its own?


  • Can your pet move around on its own?


  • Is your pet interested in the activities around it?


  • Is your pet withdrawn much of the time?

​It can be helpful to understand the differences between pain and suffering as you are making assessments of quality in your pet's life.


Pain is a physical and emotional sensation that can be complicated to assess. Keep in mind, a pet's reaction to pain is dependent upon its personality and the degree of pain it's experiencing. Ask your veterinarian what signs your pet may display to indicate pain.


Suffering is more than physical attributes, and involves the ability to enjoy living life. Use the above tools to help decide if important qualities are diminishing or are no longer present in your pet's life. These may help you to define what suffering would be for your pet and create a plan to prevent or limit any suffering.


Measuring Quality of Life

You might also consider some of the following suggestions to help gain an even deeper understanding of your pet's current quality of life.

Create a List of Your Pet's Unique Qualities

Your pet is a very special individual with their own special customs. These are a few general ideas to help you get started on your own list:

  • ​Chasing a ball
  • Playing with other pets
  • Greeting you at the door
  • Playing with toys
  • Wanting to go for walks
  • Usual habits like scratching on a post and rubbing your legs or barking at a neighbor


As your pet's disease progresses, and these qualities fade, mark them off the list. Decide early on how many you will allow to go before too much quality diminishes from your pet's day-to-day life.

Keep a Good Day/Bad Day Calendar

Evaluate what a good day would be for your pet, and also what a bad day looks like. Each evening, recall the day and decide if it was a good or bad day, marking a calendar with a happy face or a sad face. Decide how many bad days in a row occur before quality is compromised.

You also can use a marble jar for this same purpose. For each good day, a marble is placed in a jar. For every bad day, a marble is removed from the jar.

Keep a Journal

Keep a daily record of events in your and your pet's life. This will help you look back and reflect on changes that occur and how your life is affected.

Assessing Your Own Quality of Life

As you consider the phrase "quality of life," remember this pertains to the quality of your pet's life as well as your own. It is important to also think of your own needs during this time. Here are some questions to ask yourself that can help you keep track of your quality of life:


  • How much of my time will go toward taking care of my pet? How much time do I have to spare?


  • What cost will I incur to take care of my pet? What other financial responsibilities do I have?


  • What other responsibilities do I have in my life (job, parenting)? Who else do I need to consider (partner, Children, other pets)?


  • Who can help me?


  • What other stresses and obligations do I have in my life right now?

Assessing your own life does not diminish the love or care you are giving to your pet, but rather emphasizes which priorities need to be tended to and in which order. While it can be very hard to make difficult decisions based on financial or other limitations, it is important to take care of yourself and also remember that you have done and are still doing the best that you can for your pet. View our suggestions for Ways to Nurture Yourself during these difficult times.


If you are gauging the quality of your pet's life, you may be thinking also of End of Life Plans or Euthanasia. This section can be helpful as you prepare for this difficult time.