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Animals at the end of life
Jessica Pierce Ph.D.
People often use “she’s adopted from a shelter” or “she’s a rescue” to explain away quirky or problematic behaviors in a dog. But maybe this isn’t such a good idea.
Although “How long can I leave my dog home alone?” is one of the most common questions asked by dog owners, the answer is elusive.
A new research paper asks us to look again at the question: Can nonhuman animals commit suicide?
Behavioral pathologies are a sign that our dogs are suffering psychologically, and we need to understand what causes these problems to develop.
Why do some dogs with behavioral problems wind up being euthanized or relinquished, while others are able to successfully stay in their home?
A new study explores the personality assessment of domestic cats.
A new study help us see what dog walking reveals about human-animal relationships and negotiations of power.
Some forms of memorialization may better enhance our feelings of connectedness with the deceased.
A new analysis of data on captive zebra finches shows clearly how stress can give a biased and limited view of how these and other birds actually live in the wild.
A new study explores how often veterinarians observe behavioral changes in animals when a companion is euthanized.
Nicolas Dodman takes us into a world of dogs with autism and Tourette’s syndrome, horses with OCD, and cats who attack their owners for no apparent reason.
A new book helps young children process the death of a pet and learn to grieve in healthy ways.
Which model of the human-dog relationship is most scientifically accurate and morally appropriate?
A team of researchers in the Netherlands suggests which mammals make suitable pets and which don’t.
New legal rulings are clarifying that animals are not the same as inanimate property such as a suitcase and that owners have strong obligations of proper care.
We often hear that pets are being treated better than ever. Why, then, do so many animals end up being treated like garbage?
There is a direct correlation between the amount of quality time you spend with your dog and your dog's behavior and happiness.
Neil Abramson’s new book will appeal to those who understand the bond of love between human and dog—and what happens when someone threatens that bond.
A South Carolina county wants to make it illegal to kill your own dog.
A recent study claims that pet ownership offers an $11.7 billion savings to our healthcare system. But there is a bit more to it.
What happens when a hospice veterniarian spends the day with a human hospice physician?
When are deviations from normal behavior a sign that your cat is pain? A paper published this week presents the consensus of an international panel of experts.
You love your dog or cat. Someday your dog or cat will die. What if you could put aside the genetic materials to make a perfect copy of your beloved animal, a clone of your pet?
A new book helps dog owners understand and address pain.
Presumably, death has meaning to animals themselves. The death of an animal can also be profoundly meaningful to their human companions.
If you are the caregiver for an ill animal, watch for signs of burnout. Remember that caring for an animal means also caring for yourself.
End-of-life care should seek to protect the integrity of an animal patient, and should allow the animal to live in ways that honor what she finds most meaningful.
One of the most important things we can do for our elderly or ill animals is attend to "total pain," and respond creatively and compassionately to the full range of suffering.
Four core ethical commitments can shape our work in caring for our dying animal companions, either as professionals or as individual caregivers.
We should be cautious about using the phrase “pets are family” as an endorsement of the way companion animals are treated, but should use the language of family very mindfully.
Jessica Pierce, Ph.D., is the author of Run, Spot, Run: The Ethics of Keeping Pets and The Last Walk: Reflections On Pets At the Ends of Their Lives.