In-Home Pet Hospice

and Palliative Care

Realizing a beloved pet has entered their final stages of life can sometimes be overwhelming. We never want them to grow old or have their life shortened due to a life limiting issue. But, when they do we are often faced with very difficult decisions. Pet Hospice is limited to supportive care of chronically or terminally ill pets or acutely debilitated pets of any age.

How Can You Keep Your Senior Pet Comfortable?

River Valley Gateway does not offer routine veterinary services nor invasive surgical procedures. However, River Valley Gateway does offer three levels of COMFORT CARE, LEVEL ONE which is palliative care, LEVEL TWO which is early hospice care and LEVEL THREE which is advanced hospice care. We will work with your primary veterinary hospital in obtaining recent diagnostic tests to help complete an individualized plan. Occasionally, additional diagnostics or repeat diagnostics may be necessary to modify an already existing plan. When necessary your pet may need to travel to your regular veterinarian’s office for these tests. However, because we would like to keep the pet at home as much as possible, blood draws can be done in the home in most circumstances. If River Valley Gateway obtains blood for testing, blood work results may not be available until the next day.

Pet hospice care for dogs and cats is a unique approach to their end-of-life needs focusing on the pet’s comfort rather than finding a cure for their disease. Blood work results in these cases would serve to allow a professional opinion on how far the disease has progressed in order to help with decision making. Hospice functions on the principle that death is a part of life.

The In-Home Hospice Process with our Mobile Vet:

Initial home visit and medical assessment for quality of life (1 - 2 hours)

  • review of your pet’s medical records

  • disease education to understand the disease process and what can be anticipated

  • professional opinion on disease trajectories

  • pain assessment and client education on quality of life pain scales

  • home environment assessment

Individualized treatment plan

  • additional medications for pain control 

  • nutrition and fluid support 

  • assistance with mobility issues

  • wound care

  • daily enrichment ideas

  • in-home recheck exams 

  • follow-up phone calls

  • changes to treatment plans as necessary


Level One – Palliative care
The pet demonstrates certain care needs, with or without a life-limiting condition, and its trajectory for continued life is unknown.

Level Two – Early hospice care
The pet has been diagnosed with a life-limiting condition but is expected to continue in life for at least 2 more months.

Level Three
The pet’s condition is advanced to the point that death is expected within a matter of days to weeks.

We so appreciate your gentle, quiet, strong, professional way. Thank you for handling Cricket with dignity.

-- Bob and Val Ickes, Grand Junction, CO

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