Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Healthy Pets

Font Size

End of Life Care for Pets FAQ

ASPCA logoCoping with the impending loss of a pet is one of the most difficult experiences a pet parent will face. Whether your furry friend is approaching his golden years or has been diagnosed with a terminal illness, it’s important to calmly guide the end-of-life experience and minimize any discomfort or distress. As your pet’s health declines, you may elect to care for your pet at home-with the supervision of a veterinarian-or you may decide to end his suffering with euthanasia.

Whatever course you choose, you’re not alone-the ASPCA is here to help. Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions about making your pet’s final days peaceful and dignified.

My Pet Is Elderly and Will Soon Pass Away. How Can I Make My Home More Comfortable for Her?

The most important thing you can do for your elderly pet is to minimize any pain or distress she’s experiencing at the end of her life. First, be sure to consult with your veterinarian and treat any health problems, since undiagnosed issues can cause discomfort and rapid deterioration.

Make your pet feel secure by surrounding her with her favorite things, like a warm blanket or special squeaky toy. Since pressure sores can develop in pets with limited mobility, it’s also essential to provide a warm sleeping spot with plenty of cushioning.

Some older pets may develop incontinence, or the loss of bladder control, so be sure to check your furry friend regularly for any wetness or soiling. If your pet needs help getting up to urinate or defecate, you can purchase a sling or use a large towel to wrap under her body and assist her.

What Determines a Good Quality of Life for My Pet?

  • Does your pet seem irritable, restless or confused?
  • Has he lost his appetite or does he drink water excessively?
  • Does he avoid his favorite activities?
  • Is your pet picked on by other animals in the home? This can happen when a sick or elderly dog becomes the weakest member of the “pack.”
  • Does he seek out unusual places to sleep or hide?

When your pet’s quality of life deteriorates due to an untreatable disease or aging, please speak with your veterinarian and family members about end-of-life issues.

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Today on WebMD

Puppy digging hole
Are you putting your pet at risk?
Cat looking at fish
Things we can learn from our pets.
dog and kitten
27 ways pets help your health.
Get the facts about prevention.
Woman holding puppy
Sad dog and guacamole
Siamese cat eating from bowl
cat on couch
Cat People vs Dog People Slideshow
Kitten playing
Orange cat nuzzling woman
German shephard reading a book