The doctors and staff at A Pet’s Place Animal Hospital care deeply about your pet. We understand how difficult and emotional this time in their life can be, both for them and for those who love them, and we are here to help in any way we can. Please do not hesitate to call our hospital with questions or to schedule a consultation with our compassionate, knowledgeable doctors.

Below is Dr. Alice Villalobos’ “Quality of Life” Scale. Using a scale of 1 (poor) to 10 (best), pet caregivers can use this Quality of Life Scale to determine the success of pet hospice care.

Quality of Life Scale


Adequate pain control, including breathing ability, is first and foremost on the scale. Is the pet’s pain successfully managed?


Is the pet eating enough? Does hand feeding help? Does the patient require a feeding tube?


Is the patient hydrated? For patients not drinking enough, use subcutaneous fluids once or twice daily to supplement fluid intake.


The patient should be kept brushed and cleaned, particularly after elimination. Avoid pressure sores and keep all wounds clean.


Does the pet express joy and interest? Is he responsive to things around him (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?


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


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