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Lap of Love Brings In-Home Pet Hospice Care to Greater Cincinnati

Caring for a beloved pet when they become geriatric or terminally ill can take an enormous emotional toll on owners. Fortunately, a special service in the Cincinnati area is expanding to provide in-home hospice care and euthanasia.

Lap of Love is a growing network of veterinarians who provide family-centered in-home hospice and euthanasia care for pets. It now has over 60 veterinarians in over 40 locations in the US. The service is dedicated to maintaining comfort and quality of life for terminally ill or geriatric pets until natural death occurs or the family elects peaceful in-home euthanasia.

“In many ways, the loss of a pet can be as traumatic as losing a friend or family member to a terminal illness,” says Emily Miller DVM, Cincinnati area veterinarian and Lap of Love provider.

“Pet owners face helplessness and anxiety, with one question always at the forefront of their minds – how can I help my pet be more comfortable? At Lap of Love, we provide the answer,” she says.

Providing hospice for pets is an emerging trend in the veterinary field, and being able to offer these services in the pet’s home can be a reward for their unconditional love and devotion.

Going back and forth to the veterinarian’s office is often stressful for animals, especially those who are aged and/or sick. Lap of Love eliminates this additional stress at a time where each day counts.

Lap of Love veterinarians tailor a specific treatment plan for each pet, taking into account its age, overall health, and any disease or specific medical needs. This may include making husbandry changes, providing pain relief, administering fluids, wound care, supplementing the diet and helping to manage incontinence.

“Educating the owner about their pet’s medical condition is the most important aspect of hospice care, and we spend a great amount of time doing this,” says Dr. Miller.  Pet owners across the country find in-home hospice care a great comfort, she notes.

Florida veterinarian Dani McVety founded Lap of Love in 2009. Shortly thereafter she partnered with Dr. Mary Gardner. Both are popular speakers at the largest veterinary conferences on hospice care and euthanasia techniques, and contribute regularly to veterinary journals.

“To be able to see the pet in their own surroundings is huge in end-of-life veterinary care,” says Dr. Miller. “The whole point of what I do is about the comfort of the animal. This is not a depressing line of work – it is actually an honor to help families, and to see the love they have for their pet makes this job worth it. Our veterinarians treat pets and their owners with dignity, respect and love as they go through this difficult time.”

Lap of Love also has a free online tool, Pet Hospice Journal ( ), that pet owners can use to determine when it is time for help, as well as a wonderful pet memorial website that also helps explain the grieving process owners experience after losing a pet.

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From Lap of Love/Photo: Dr. Emily Miller (provided)