top of page

Zenn Peaceful Passage

Updated: Apr 9

Hospice and Palliative Care for Your Dog

Right before Thanksgiving last year, I received a call from a pet Mom whose elderly dog was facing his end-of-life.  She wanted to give him a special gift of a gentle, relaxing massage as part of his journey.  Her dog was a fourteen-year-old beagle with a terminal illness who had lived a great life with a loving family.  Now his family wanted to give him a loving, peaceful send-off.  When I arrived, he was breathing heavily but laid down easily and leaned into his massage, relaxed and content.  It was his last day and I was privileged and honored to give him a soothing, gentle massage as part of his last few hours.  The session was a transformative moment for me and the inspiration behind my decision to train as an Animal Hospice Practitioner. 


As pet parents, we all must face the fact that one day we will have to accompany our beloved dogs and cats on their end-of-life journey.  We can never really be prepared for the emotional heartbreak we will endure from the loss of our companion animals but working with an Animal Hospice Practitioner can make the journey a little bit easier.  With compassion and empathy, an Animal Hospice Practitioner can provide support and guidance throughout a terminal illness, guide you through the tough decisions that may lie ahead, provide suggestions for making your animal comfortable, and be there to offer support during the inevitable process of dying.  

If you’re like me, the idea of hospice and a natural death for my pets was something I never imagined was possible.  But I have learned that through animal hospice and palliative care, a natural death can be an option.  Much like human palliative and hospice care, animal palliative and hospice care is comfort care for our companion animals during an illness and as they begin the journey to the end-of-life.  Palliative care can begin at any stage of life while hospice care begins when a terminal illness is diagnosed with no curative treatment.  The goal of palliative and hospice care is to provide comfort and love to our animals, help them maintain a good quality of life, and prepare them for a peaceful death.

By being an empathetic, compassionate helper to the caregiver, an Animal Hospice Practitioner lets the caregiver know they are not alone in the journey and that they have support and guidance that they may need at this very difficult time.  There are always so many questions that can arise when your dog or cat is diagnosed with a terminal illness including questions on non-traditional treatments, how to make your animal comfortable, what are my options for end-of-life care and death?  The services offered by your traditional veterinarian may not include alternative treatments and options for end-of-life care and death.  Perhaps you may need a hospice trained or homeopathic veterinarian who can offer alternative treatments.  An Animal Hospice Practitioner can help you navigate through these difficult questions and provide guidance and resources to help you make the best decisions for you and your animal.  (A glossary of terms can be found at the end of this blog.).

Zenn Doggie Massage will soon be offering Animal Hospice Practitioner services through Zenn Peaceful Passage to provide compassionate support and guidance through terminal illness and death. Until this service is officially launched, please check out these organizations and resources to learn more.


Coming soon!  Families and caregivers will be able to submit a request to hear from our team of Certified Animal Hospice Practitioners (CAHP). Our goal will be to provide help and guidance. Caregivers need to know their options, develop a plan, and provide the best end-of-life care possible for their animal companions.


BrightHaven Center for Animal Rescue, Hospice, and Holistic Education

BrightHaven is a renowned animal rescue, hospice and holistic education nonprofit organization that offers a variety of caregiver resources to help you help your animals live well each and every day!  Their primary focus is on senior, disabled & chronically ill animals.

Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice and In-Home Euthanasia

Provides in-home euthanasia, veterinary hospice, aftercare, telehospice and pet loss support.

AHELP Project is the Animal Hospice, End-of-Life and Palliative Care Project. You have found a community that honors the journey of lifetime loving care for your animal family members. We are here to help you and your family with guidance and support to follow the veterinary care plan.

American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association can help you locate a holistic veterinary in your area.


Academy of Veterinary Homeopathy  Homeopathic practitioners use natural substances that produce symptoms similar to the symptoms of disease that can be used to cure that disease or provide relief from symptoms. Treatments are based on the physiologic response of an individual patient and not on a generalized diagnosis that lumps patients together into a more general disease category.



Palliative Care:  Comfort care that can begin at any stage of life. 


Hospice Care:  Comfort care that begins when a terminal illness is diagnosed and there is no curative treatment.  The goal is to make the animal comfortable, manage pain, and allow for a peaceful and pain-free transition to death. 


Holistic and Homeopathic Veterinarians:  Veterinarians that treat the whole animal rather than focusing on a single problem.  They use a more natural approach to medicine that may include alternative treatments like acupuncture, massage therapy and herbal medicine.  Most use an integrative approach that will combine alternative treatments with conventional treatments.


Please check back to see when Zenn Peaceful Passage is launched!

© Zenn Doggie Massage 2024 All rights reserved.








203 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page