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Things To Help You Be A Better Caregiver

There are a lot of stress when it comes to caring for the people you love, but not a lot is known about the experiences when it comes to caring for our furry companions.

Caregiver burden in pet owners

We sometimes forget about the toll it takes on pet owners caring for a pet that has a serious disease. While no one would expect a person to be able to take care of a sick family member 24 hours a day, seven days a week, we forget that it’s often the case for those caring for sick pets.

It’s important that we take care of ourselves whiles taking care of our pets. Talk to loved ones, ask for help or reach out to someone you know who can assist you.

Here’s what you can do to take care of yourself while caring for your loyal companion:

Create a network

As mentioned, it’s important to consider asking a friend or a family member to help you with your pet. You need to be able to take occasional breaks. If you don’t have any support, and there isn’t anyone around, many veterinary technicians provide pet care services.

You can even consider hiring out other tasks around your home, such as housekeeping or grocery shopping. This will help ease the burden for you.

Keep notes

A big part of the emotional burden comes from having to remember things. It’s hard to remember things like your pet’s medication schedule and keeping track of eating and bathroom habits. The easiest way to get rid of this burden is to create a simple log so you can rely on pen and paper instead. Doing this, you’ll also be able to pinpoint any changes in behavior more easily.

Remember, take care of yourself, too. The only way you can be the best caregiver, is if you are healthy yourself. So, make sure to get enough sleep, maintain a healthy diet, and stay active. You can even take a short stroll around the block or cut back on soda or candy.

Discuss treatment options and goals with your vet so you are clear of expectations and options. Honest conversations are very important.  You have to schedule regular care conversations, which should include your preferences, values, goals, and fears.

When the time comes to make hard decisions, consider palliative care and even animal hospice. When your fur baby has a terminal diagnosis or a progressive disease, palliative and hospice care seek to maximize your companion’s comfort and quality of life by relieving suffering.