Hospice care information
The goal of hospice is to keep your pet comfortable while maintaining the bond between your and your companion after a terminal diagnosis has been made or due to stress and pain during the natural course of life. Hospice care fills the gap to help you start the grieving process and enjoy peaceful moments at home with your loved companion. Hospice care is proven to increase both the quality and duration of life after a terminal diagnosis has been made. Pets are able to spend time with their families, in their homes, either until their natural passing or until a decision to euthanize has been made.
Hospice consultations include:
- In-home consultation
- Preparing for end-of-life decisions
- Pain recognition and management
- Nutrition management
- Wound care/comfort management
- Fluid therapy if needed
- Information on the euthanasia process
How to Know its the Right Time
You are not in this alone. We will go through all of your concerns together as a team. You can simply give us a call, or set up an appointment to start. Terminal illnesses and old age are often like a roller coaster; there are ups and downs, good days and bad days. A quality of life scale like the one below can help give you an objective perspective. The scale is often used periodically over several weeks. It may seem on a bad day that there are nothing BUT bad days. We want you to be sure of your decision so your family can find peace. Prior to making that final decision, your pet will get a comprehensive examination by Dr. Wood. If she feels the condition could be managed or improved, we will strive to make that happen or if needed will refer you to a neighboring hospital for additional same-day diagnostics.
The decision to euthanize a pet is one of the most difficult and painful decisions pet parents are faced with. We are here to support you every step of the way. Having humane euthanasia performed in the home makes it easier on your pet. It eliminates the stress and anxiety that occurs in a veterinary office, and allows the companion to be more relaxed. Family members are also more at ease, and can show emotions more freely at home. We know your pets are more comfortable at home- let us come to you! We can perform this service in a favorite room or in your pet's special place- indoor or out.
The process of euthanasia varies somewhat depending on the patient. Usually, an IV catheter is placed in the vein for ready access. A heavy sedation injection is given into the catheter and the pet falls asleep. Then, the euthanasia injection is given. It is usually a bright color like pink or blue. Brain activity ceases almost immediately, then breathing, then the heartbeat. The veterinarian checks the pulse and sometimes eye reflexes to know that your companion has passed. This process is usually very peaceful and gentle, but be emotionally prepared for the following: eyes staying open, breath movements even after the pet has passed, and urinating or defecating.
You do not have to be present during the euthanasia process if you do not want to be. Some people want to be there to help support their pet, and some people prefer to remember their pet the way they last saw them. Some like their children or other family members present, and some prefer a private occasion. There is no right or wrong decision, so do not feel pressured to make a choice that is not right for you and your family. We are here to support you and we will be there for your pet too when needed.
We perform this service by appointment and understand that this can be an urgent matter. We have some evening appointments available. Call for more information. (479) 435-4606
Body Care Options
There are several options for body care depending on your family's wishes. The first option is home burial. We will help by preparing the body for burial and placing the pet into a zippered carrier. Please be sure to check your city's ordinances if you live within city limits to see if this option is legal where you live. The second option is private cremation. In this option, your pet is cremated and you receive the ashes in a wooden urn, or upon request a special order urn can be purchased. The third option is burial in Resthaven Pet Cemetery. For the options other than home burial, we will help by transporting your pet to the facility and can make arrangements for the ashes to be returned to you at home or for you to pick them up. We utilize Benton County Memorial Park's Resthaven Pet Cemetery for these services. They have a lovely facility with a private chapel which you can use for a private moment if you would like to pick up your pet's urn at their location.
Caring for Yourself: The Path to Healing
Please know that you are not alone in your time of loss. We want to help you on your path to healing. Grief counseling is available with Dr. Wood for those who need or want it. You can join as an individual or a family. We understand that losing a pet or companion can be just as painful as losing human family. They are there for us every day and help make our lives worth living. It is ok if you feel this loss deeply; it reflects how deep you felt the bond with your companion. We can help you on your path to healing so you can one day enjoy that bond with another pet again if you so choose. There are many other resources available to you. Here are only a few:
Animal Health Foundation- Overview of a grieving process.
Little Things- Memorial ideas for your pet.
Pet Loss Grief Support, Rainbow Bridge & Candle Ceremony- Chat rooms and messaging boards with others who are grieving their own losses where you can help support others, world-wide candle ceremony, tribute pages, and reading material to help you get through your loss.
The Pet Loss Support Page- articles on pet loss, links to pet loss hotlines.
The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement-articles on pet loss, memorial ideas, trained grief counselors online, links to pet loss hotlines.
Best Friends- links to pet loss hotlines, book resources, and articles
Remember, your grief is genuine and deserving of support. Do not hesitate to reach out to us, family, friends, or support groups online if you need help.
There are many ways to memorialize your pet. We provide several options for your family. A lock of hair can be taken from your pet and wrapped with a ribbon. Ink paw prints are made with black ink on linen-textured paper. Clay paw prints are decorated with your pet's name and colored stones. Precious Metal Prints does custom nose pendants in either silver or gold finish and includes your choice of key ring or 18 inch cable chain. We will make the nose impression for you; your custom piece will be shipped directly back to your home. We also partner with Kayla's Creations, a local artist, to provide custom pet portraits. Simply provide us with a few pictures you'd like of your pet and Kayla will transform it into a painting on canvas.
- In-Home Euthanasia: $250. Includes house-call, examination, sedation, IV catheter, and gentle euthanasia. *Additional fees apply for extended travel.
- Private cremation: Your pet is cremated alone and ashes are returned in an engraved urn
- 1-40 pounds: $135
- 41-100 pounds: $185
- 100+ pounds: $200
- Private burial at Resthaven Pet Cemetery in Rogers, AR.
- Grave opening Monday-Friday $150, Saturday $300
- Single grave space $125
- Caskets are also available if desired.
- Lock of hair in ribbon: Free
- Ink paw print: $15
- Clay paw print: $30
- Custom Pet Portrait: $65
- Precious Metal Prints custom pet nose pendant: Silver- $80 Gold- $110