We need to talk about something kind of sensitive. Our fur-babies are such an important part of the family, but we all know the day is coming when they’ll cross the rainbow. While it may be a difficult one, the conversation about end-of-life care is one we should all have. And it should happen before their age or health forces the conversation. By having the conversations and doing the research now, the process will be less emotionally charged with the weight of our pet’s distress and impending end on our shoulders. Preparation is one of the most important ways we can ensure a comfortable, dignified, and compassionate crossing for our companions and the whole family. Here are some of the topics we should all consider, questions we should ask, and decisions we should think about making now, rather than later.
Observing Pain In Our Pets
Animals don’t always show pain the same way as humans. We can use our words to tell each other something hurts, where it hurts, and how much it hurts. We limp or grunt when we put weight on a bad limb. Our cat- and canine-companions will sometimes show outward signs of pain, like limping, but very often they’ll adapt and have very few outward signs. They often eat and drink, even when they are in pain, or feeling disoriented. Sometimes they may show pickiness toward their food, which is easy to misunderstand as our pet becoming a finicky eater. They may pant more, which can often be misinterpreted as a response to heat or exertion. They may become more irritable or show behavioral changes, such as reclusiveness, nipping or biting, peeing in the house or not using the litter box. These can and are often misunderstood as bad behavior, rather than discovering the underlying cause being pain or discomfort. They may not get on the bed or couch anymore and may get up very slowly. We often write this off as just getting old, but old joints and muscles do create pain in animals just like they do in humans.
Vet Organics offers a series of high-quality supplement formulas for cats and dogs that help ensure they are as healthy as possible for as long as possible. Supplements may not keep them from getting older, but they sure can keep them healthier for longer. These supplements are important ways to support our fur-baby’s well-being.
- EcoDigestive™ probiotic and enzyme support formula improves canine or feline digestion and the absorption of nutrients in their diets. Commercial pet food isn’t always easy to digest. This supplement is natural and specially formulated to reduce gas, bloating, and digestive discomfort while improving overall health.
- EcoImmune™ natural supplement provides immunity support for dogs and cats. Whether they’re suffering from chronic conditions, infection, anxiety, allergies, or we just want immune support to be built into their diet, this is the answer.
- EcoAllergy™ is a powerful anti-allergy supplement for dogs and cats that is formulated with safe, effective, natural ingredients to boost our pet’s immune system and quickly clear itching, sneezing, coughing, and other allergy symptoms. Whether seasonal, diet-related, or other allergens, this supplement can alleviate symptoms and help them feel better.
Supplements can’t replace medication and won’t alleviate pain. However, they are the first line of defense, next to a great diet, love, and lots of exercise. Supplements improve well-being, quality of life, and offer healthful options that will improve the likelihood of a long life.
There are many medications available from veterinarians. Having a conversation with the vet can be eye-opening and lead to a clearer understanding of what to look for and when to seek supplements, medications, or other options. Watching for pain, understanding the changes our kitties or pups may experience, and keeping an open line of communication with the household and the vet, are the first steps to ensuring a compassionate end-of-life plan for our pets.
Check out Part Two where we discuss other ways to prepare and how to car for our dogs and cats in their twilight years. Plus, more articles are coming to this series soon. We'll be covering palliative care options, deciding on euthanasia, and dealing with grief.