Pet Parents

Dr. Mary Gardner is not just a veterinarian; she's a compassionate advocate for both senior pets and their devoted families. With a deep understanding of the unique challenges that pet parents face while caring for older furry companions, she derives immense satisfaction from guiding families toward practical solutions that ensure their pets' comfort and safety. Dr. Mary is acutely aware of the emotional and physical toll that caregiver burden can bring, having experienced it firsthand. She empathizes with the heart-wrenching decision of when it's time to bid farewell to a cherished pet. Through a wealth of resources, including informative videos, insightful articles, engaging speaking engagements, and authored books, Dr. Mary Gardner is unwaveringly dedicated to supporting senior dogs and cats and the loving families that cherish them. Her mission is clear: to provide the guidance and compassion needed to enhance the quality of life for aging pets and their devoted caregivers.
pet-parents

Symptoms of Pet Caregiver Burnout are:

  • Withdrawal from friends, family, and other loved ones
  • Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
  • Feeling blue, irritable, hopeless, and helpless
  • Changes in appetite, weight, or both
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Getting sick more often
  • Feelings of wanting to hurt yourself or the person for whom you are caring
  • Emotional and physical exhaustion
  • Irritability

Caregiver  burden

Pet caregiver burden refers to the emotional, physical, and sometimes financial strain experienced by individuals responsible for the care of aging, ill, or terminally ill pets. It encompasses the stress, worry, and exhaustion that can arise from managing a pet's complex medical needs, making difficult decisions about their well-being, and coping with the emotional toll of caring for a beloved animal companion during challenging times. This burden can be particularly challenging when pet owners are faced with the prospect of end-of-life care or the difficult decision of euthanasia for their pets.

Symptoms of Pet Caregiver Burnout are:

  • Withdrawal from friends, family, and other loved ones
  • Loss of interest in activities previously enjoyed
  • Feeling blue, irritable, hopeless, and helpless
  • Changes in appetite, weight, or both
  • Changes in sleep patterns
  • Getting sick more often
  • Feelings of wanting to hurt yourself or the person for whom you are caring
  • Emotional and physical exhaustion
  • Irritability

What can help?Buddy pen

  • Mastery: Pet parents need to feel empowered and knowledgeable. Educating them not only on the disease but also the ways to manage the symptoms is vital.
  • Coping Strategies: Speaking to a counselor is something many would not even consider but they can be a massive resource for the families.Caregiver.org is a great reference site.Petcaregiverburden.org is also a wonderful site.
  • Social Support: There are many illness specific groups (locally and on social media) and recruit family and friends to help — it takes a village to care for a sick pet.
  • Respite Care: This type of care is common place in human medicine and can be a massive help to a family. Veterinary technicians can play a huge role in this niche.
Caregivers often experience burnout for two primary reasons. Firstly, they tend to impose unrealistic expectations on themselves, viewing caregiving as their sole duty. Secondly, they struggle to identify the signs of burnout, eventually reaching a point where they can no longer operate effectively and may even experience health issues of their own.

Product Recommendations

Explore Dr Mary’s curated selection of products designed to assist pet parents in managing their older pet's ailments. From mobility aids to products to help with incontinence and to specialized books to support the family. Whether you're seeking practical solutions for your beloved companion at home or valuable tools for your veterinary practice, you'll find a range of trusted recommendations below.
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