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Assessing Your Pet’s Quality of Life

Written by Elsa Mou

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Posted on June 25 2024

Assessing your pet's quality of life serves as a compassionate guide when making the challenging decision of pet euthanasia.

You can make an informed decision that prioritizes their comfort and well-being - complete GNight Fetcher’s short Quality of Life Assessment worksheet below, to find out whether it might be time to consider hospice care.

Please read before completing this test:

  • Please write down your answer to each question as you go, as you will add them up at the end.

  • Answer each question below by typing a whole number between 1 (Poor Condition) and 10 (Good Condition).

  • Add up your answers to the below questions. If your total is less than 35, it may be time to reach out to your vet or a hospice care provider to discuss next steps. Your pet is lucky to have a caring parent like you.

Quality of Life Worksheet

  • HURT - Adequate pain control, including breathing ability, is first and foremost on the scale. Is your pet's pain successfully managed? Is oxygen necessary?
  • HUNGER - Is your pet eating enough? Does hand feeding help? Does your pet require a feeding tube?
  • HYDRATION - Is your pet dehydrated? For pets not drinking enough, use subcutaneous fluids once or twice daily to supplement fluid intake.
  • HAPPINESS - Does your pet express joy and interest? Is your pet responsive to things around him or her (family, toys, etc.)? Is your pet depressed, lonely, anxious, bored or afraid? Can the pet's bed be close to the family activities and not be isolated?
  • MOBILITY - Can your pet get up without assistance? Does the pet need human or mechanical help (e.g. a cart)? Does your pet feel like going for a walk? Is your pet having seizures or stumbling?
  • 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.
  • HYGIENE - Does your pet have sores and long term wounds that are not healing and need consistent care for?

What’s next?

We recommend taking more than one Quality of Life assessments to come to a more holistically informed decision about your pet’s care. For a list of recommended worksheets, please download:

● JOURNEYS Scale: download PDF

● HHHHHMM Scale: download PDF

● Lap of Love Scale: download PDF

● Pain Assessment in Dogs and Cats (Detection and Scaling): download PDF

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