Is it time for euthanasia? Helping owners assess a pet's quality of life

October 11, 2016
Mary Gardner, DVM
Mary Gardner, DVM

There is nothing better to Dr. Gardner than a dog with a grey muzzle or skinny old cat! Her professional goal is to increase awareness and medical care for the geriatric veterinary patient and to help make the final life stage to be as peaceful as possible, surrounded with dignity and support for all involved. A University of Florida graduate, she discovered her niche in end of life care and is the co-founder and CTO of Lap of Love, which has more than 130 veterinarians around the country dedicated to veterinary hospice and euthanasia in the home. Dr. Gardner and Lap of Love have been featured in Entrepreneur Magazine, The New York Times, the Associated Press, The Doctors and numerous professional veterinary publications. You can usually find Dr. Gardner wherever the party isor the golf course!

Dr. Mary Gardner says it's not just about quality of life but also quality of death.

Putting the complete burden on pet owners to decide when it is time to euthanize is not the being the best advocate for the pet or owner. Mary Gardner, DVM, co-founder of Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice who spoke with us at a recent CVC, says you can help owners assess a pet's quality of life by considering three things: 1) What ailment is the pet facing? 2) What is the pet's personality-how does it handle pain or anxiety? 3) What are the owner's personal beliefs and budgets? "When you're helping an owner assess quality of life, you also have to discuss quality of death and when they want to make that decision," she says. Hear more: