What Is Animal Hospice & Palliative Care?


We are excited to offer the first veterinary hospice centre in Ontario.

Relieving Your Pet’s Physical Pain

Animal hospice or palliative care is focused on relieving your pet’s physical pain. The goal of this type of care is to improve their comfort while supporting pet owners until they’re ready to consider compassionate euthanasia for their companion. Dr. Coulter works with owners and pets in palliative care, enabling family members to provide as much medical and emotional support at home as possible. This time allows families to adjust to their pet’s progressive disease and say goodbye in a peaceful, more personal way. Many pet parents choose hospice care to have the time to plan for their death and to ensure that all the decisions about the pet’s needs are guided by their personal interpretation of the situation. If you have the resources to support comfort care, the time and desire to care for your pet during the last days, weeks, and sometimes months of their life, and a good support team in place, then hospice care may be the right choice for you and your pet.

Examples of Steps We Take During Palliative Care for Pets
  • Antibiotics for chronic skin, dental, or urinary tract infections
  • Anti-anxiety medications for emotional distress caused by limited mobility, nighttime pacing, or signs of cognitive dysfunction
  • Pain medications, including narcotic and non-narcotic medications
  • Heat, massage, and physical therapy to improve mobility and comfort
  • Appetite stimulants to improve eating and overall well-being
  • Fluids for patients with kidney disease or dehydration
  • Medications to relieve nausea or other symptoms limiting quality of life
  • The use of mobility aids
Conditions That May Warrant Pet Hospice and Palliative Care
  • A variety of cancers
  • Organ failure (kidneys, liver, and heart are common examples)
  • Arthritis or other diseases affecting mobility
  • Dementia and other cognitive problems
  • General “slowing down” or the worsening of chronic conditions
  • Failure to thrive
  • Any life-limiting condition that is contributing to an excessive burden of caregiving for a family or treatments and interventions that are unacceptable to the pet or owners


The purpose of our practice is to help dogs and cats feel more comfortable and relaxed in the comfort of their home, surrounded by the things and people that are most familiar to them. Working in general practice, Dr. Coulter saw just how many owners are unable to provide the comfortable end of life experience the way they wanted to for their pets. Pet euthanasia often takes place in a busy and hectic hospital, scheduled in between appointments. Her mission in creating Coulter Mobile Veterinary Services has been to offer pet owners the opportunity to say goodbye to their beloved companions in a stress-free, peaceful way. To offer a passing that celebrates the wonderful life that they have lived. As a mobile veterinarian, Dr. Coulter is able to provide comprehensive senior pet care, including palliative care for cats and dogs throughout Barrie and the neighbouring communities.

We’re here to help you and your pets through what we know is a difficult and heartbreaking time in your lives. Dr. Coulter can talk to you about how your pet is likely feeling, provide quality-of-life assessments, offer palliative and hospice care, and walk you through the process of what home pet euthanasia is like. We also handle your pet’s aftercare, including pet cremation and memorialization, so that you won’t have to worry about those next steps.

Although we continue to offer our services in the comfort of home, we recognize that every family’s needs are different. Our hospice centre allows us to provide our veterinary services in a comfortable, relaxed and neutral location. This will provide families with another option when planning for their pet’s hospice and end of life care. Our centre will also help families that may need a little financial assistance as our hospice centre appointment fees are less than our house call service fees. We have worked really hard to provide families with a space that is inviting and comfortable.