Hospice & Pallative Care for Pets

When you and your veterinarian feel medical treatments will no longer help your pet, we offer the comfort and peace of mind of hospice care. This is the most humane and comforting end-of-life option for terminally ill pets.

Hospice care provides humane, dignified end-of-life veterinary care to keep your pet comfortable and relaxed until they pass away naturally or you decide to give them rest through euthanasia.

Throughout the process, our compassionate and dedicated staff of veterinarians, specialists, nurses, and support team is here to educate and guide you through your beloved pet’s care and end-of-life journey.

In hospice care, geriatric medicine, pain management, critical care, and complementary therapies for patients may be included in the care plan.

A few of the therapies included with our hospice and pallative treatments are:

  • Medication – We will assist you in identifying, predicting, and treating your pet’s pain and anxiety. You’ll be given daily diary sheets and a quality of life scale for you to record your observations about your pet’s pain level, appetite, incontinence, mobility, and happiness.
  • Meditation – This encompasses our conversations with you and the education you’ll receive from us during the difficult time leading up your pet’s natural death or your decision to euthanize. You are welcome to ask us any and all questions that you have as you deal with the emotions and stress that accompany this process
  • Basic Hygiene – We will give you specific instructions, relative to your pet’s specific condition, for cleaning and caring for your pet. We also have printouts with information about the most common conditions associated with hospice care
  • Acupuncture & Physical Therapy – These may be recommended for some patients. We can also teach you specific exercises and massage therapy as another method of relieving your pet’s pain.
  • Mitigation – We are here to consult and share information with you as you consider the difficult decision of euthanizing your pet. Euthanasia at your pet’s home or at our hospital is available. Please understand that euthanasia is not failure or a cruel choice, but rather a humane and compassionate treatment option.

Pet Hospice Enrollment And The Home Visit Process

To be in the hospice program, your pet needs a referral from a veterinarian from our practice or outside of this practice. If outside of our practice, you will need to schedule an appointment – either at Windcrest or a house call – with one of our vets.

After creating a patient/client/doctor relationship, a technician can be scheduled to visit your home to evaluate the environment and determine how to make it the best setting for helping your pet maintain a comfortable lifestyle. For example, the technician might recommend a simple change such as placing yoga mats on a hardwood floor.

Your technician will also focus on your education and awareness. Together, you will review symptoms of the disease, medication schedules and methods, wound treatment, how to monitor pain, and more. We encourage you to ask your technicians any and all questions that are on your mind. No question or topic is too insignificant to ask and discuss!

Following your initial meeting with the technician, you will set a schedule for future appointments with a technician to continue your pet’s home care. We will also give you a phone number for reaching a member of our staff after hours.

Hospice And Palliative Services For Quality Of Life

Through our hospice and palliative care services, we strive to help you give your pet quality time when quantity of time is not possible. If you need more information or if you have questions, contact Karen Gustafson, LVT, by phone at 302-998-2995 or by email at Or, you can always contact us online.

Windcrest Animal Hospital

3705 Lancaster Pike

Wilmington, DE 19805 - Directions

Lobby Hours:

Mon-Fri: 7:30am - 8:30pm

Sat: 8am - 6pm

Sunday: 9am-6pm

Emergency: Open 24/7
(302) 998-2995 Contact Us