The Benefits of Having Pets in Old Age

Pets can provide unconditional love and companionship. Cats and dogs, can keep an elderly person from becoming lonely, depressed, and feeling isolated. Rather than being lonely with one day slipping silently into another, having a dog or cat provides a reason for an elderly person to get up and gives structure to the day. Dogs and cats must be fed and groomed. Dogs must be let out several times a day, encouraging physical activity. They provide a great reason to take a walk, providing exercise and perhaps interaction with the neighbors and other dog lovers.

The great thing about cats and dogs is that there is one perfect breed for everyone. Cat lovers know which breed they like best. Dog lovers know which breed fits their lifestyle. If this is the first time the elderly person is going to have a pet, be sure to match the pet’s personality to the owner. For example:

  • A Shih Tzu can live up to 16 years and weighs on average 10 pounds. They’re not aggressive like some small breeds but they do require regular brushing.
  • A Cavalier King Charles Spaniel weighs about 15 pounds and doesn’t require a lot of exercise.
  • A Greyhound is a good breed for elderly owners. They require only moderate exercise and are content to live in a small home or apartment. They have a sweet, docile nature.
  • The Yorkshire Terrier, or Yorkie, is a relatively low-energy dog that can happily spend an afternoon snuggled up on their owner’s lap. Yorkshires tend to bond very strongly with one
  • person, so it’s a perfect breed for a person living alone.

    If falling and maintaining balance are issues with the senior, a small dog might not be a good idea. They are always underfoot! A larger dog such as a greyhound or a mid-size mixed breed might be better. The senior must be strong enough to control the dog, or have a fenced in yard so walks are necessary.

    When considering a pet of any type for a senior, adopting is much better than buying a puppy. When adopting an older dog, the rescue can tell you the dog’s personality, likes and dislikes, and each will come up-to-date on its vaccinations, neutered, and housebroken (or they will tell you where the dog is in the training process!)

    There are bumper stickers, shirts and decals that say “Who rescued who?” when it comes to adopting pets. It is 100 percent true, and the best thing that anyone can do for the senior and the pet who they will shower with love.

    livhome

    Author livhome

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