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Restful Paws

Quality-Of-Life Consultations

If you would like one of our veterinarians to help with an in-home quality-of-life consultation for your dog or cat, please call (408) 242-2792 or submit a request through this website.

Two hands holding an elderly dog's face with its eyes closed

What is a Quality-of-Life Consultation?

Having to make end-of-life decisions for a beloved pet can feel extremely overwhelming. For this appointment, a Restful Paws veterinarian will visit your home to evaluate what changes you are seeing in your pet and discuss your quality-of-life concerns. We will provide tools for you to monitor your dog or cat’s symptoms and talk about possible changes to expect going forward. Our veterinarians will also be able to help you with difficult end-of-life decisions such as when to euthanize. We can also address any questions or concerns you have about the end-of-life process. Just so you are prepared, a typical Quality of Life appointment lasts for up to 1 hour. It is very important for you to know that we will not discuss your pet’s medical plan or adjust/prescribe any of his or her medications. If this is a service you are looking for, we recommend working with your regular veterinarian or hospice care.

Dog & Cat cuddling in grass

How do I Begin to Assess Quality of Life in My Dog or Cat?

Deciding to euthanize your dog or cat may be one of the most difficult decisions you ever make. Sometimes it can be challenging to know what all of his or her symptoms and behaviors mean or if they are starting to struggle. The quality of animals’ lives is best defined by their overall physical and mental well-being, not just one aspect of their lives. It is important to remember that all dogs and cats are different. What may be considered a poor quality of life for one may be different for another. The doctors of Restful Paws are here to help you navigate this difficult time.

Hand petting cat with its eyes closed

“How do I know when it’s time?”

The following tools may aid you in making the decision to euthanize.

  • Enlist the help of your veterinarian or a veterinarian at Restful Paws. While your veterinarian cannot make the decision for you, it is helpful for him/her to know that you are considering euthanasia.

  • Remember how your pet looked and behaved prior to the illness. Sometimes changes are gradual, and therefore hard to recognize. Look at photos or videos of your pet from before the illness.

  • Mark good and bad days on a calendar. (Some may choose to distinguish morning from evening.) This could be as simple as a happy or sad face for good or bad. If the bad days start to outweigh the good, it may be time to discuss euthanasia.

  • Write a list of three to five things your pet likes to do. When your pet is no longer able to enjoy these things, it may be time to discuss euthanasia.

Thoughts to consider before our appointment:

  1. What do you wish to achieve from this quality-of-life assessment?

2. What is the best part of your dog or cat’s life currently?

3. What is the most difficult part of your dog or cat’s life currently?

For a more detailed list of things to watch for, and help to answer the below questions, see: