Measuring Quality of Life

Your pet’s quality of life is a determining factor when making decisions about hospice care and potentially euthanasia. Yet, quality of life is a difficult thing to measure, particularly for a beloved pet. To help you give an objective evaluation, we’ve created a tool that lists factors that could be contributing to a downgrade in your pet’s quality of life. You may choose to use this scale if your pet is suffering from a serious illness or condition, has received a terminal illness diagnosis, or is facing the aches and pains of aging. As your pet deteriorates, the scale will shift, so be sure to use this scale routinely to measure their level of decline.

Based on the answers you give, you will receive appropriate information to help you get the proper care your pet needs. You are also always able to contact us to discuss your pet’s results and talk about the next steps for their care.

Caring Pathways' Quality of Life Scale

Our quality of life scale allows you to evaluate your pet’s condition objectively and monitor it over time. You can fill this out weekly, every other week, or monthly, but we encourage you to write the total score on a calendar or in a journal to see how it changes over time.  If there are two or more caretakers for the pet, each of you should fill it out independently because each of you might see things differently. Keep in mind that many pets will hide their symptoms and eat and do things to please you, even when they are not feeling well.  Check the box beside each statement that is true for your pet right now.

This is a tool to help you identify areas of your pet’s life where concerns about quality of life exist.  As your pet is not being professionally assessed for this instrument, please know this scale is neither diagnostic nor prognostic.  For additional evaluation we encourage you to schedule an appointment with your primary care veterinarian or a Caring Pathways veterinarian.

This scale was designed by a team of veterinarians with a great deal of experience caring for pets and the people who care for those pets.  If the pet is totally happy and healthy, they should not have any points. As the quality of life of the pet and family deteriorates, there will be more items checked and thus more points.  Following these points over time will help you make decisions that ensure your pet is given the best quality of life possible and avoids needless suffering.

A compassionate way to say goodbye.