9 Tips For Seniors Selecting A Pet

9 Tips For Seniors Selecting A Pet

Posted on January 23, 2015 by ElderCare Resources in Blog, Pets / Pet Care

Pets and seniors are ‘a match made in heaven’

By Sally Rummel

Pets help a person’s mental well-being, provide a feeling of being needed and help seniors get more exercise. Research has shown that people who have animal companions live longer lives.

In turn, senior pets sometimes get overlooked at animal rescue shelters because people often don’t see all the special attributes they offer. Typically more calm and relaxed, these “older” pets don’t require as much exercise or care as young pups or kittens. They also already have a routine and often don’t require much training.

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If you’re looking for a pet for your older mom and dad, here are some things to consider:

• Are your parents set in their ways? If your parents don’t like change, they may not be a good candidate for a pet.

• Have they had a pet before? An elderly person who is an experienced pet owner may be a better candidate for a pet.

• Do they have disabilities? For those who are physically challenged, a cat usually requires less care than dogs. A small dog that’s paper-trained or an indoor bird are other ideas for companion animals.

• Do they need a therapy pet? If a senior is infirm or impaired, they may be a candidate for an assistance or therapy dog to help them function or interact.

• Is the pet the right age? A puppy or kitten may not be the best choice for elderly owners because of the care they require. A young pet may also outlive its owner. Yet, it’s important that the pet isn’t too old, or it may start to have its own physical limitations.

• Does the pet have a good temperament? A large dog isn’t always a deterrent to a good relationship with a senior and a small dog isn’t always the best fit. Small dogs tend to be very high energy and require more effort and commitment. It’s more about the personality of the animal than the size.

• Is the pet healthy? It’s important that any potential pet be examined by a professional. You don’t want any senior’s health to be compromised by an animal carrying a disease.

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• What about finances? Pets do cost money. Even a small puppy can cost more than $800 its first year for food, medical care, toys and grooming.

• What will happen when the senior is no longer able to care for the pet? It’s important that the pet is provided for in a will and a caregiver named. Even more basic is that someone knows that an elderly person has a pet, so that if the person is rushed to the hospital, the pet won’t be left alone.

Published: TC Times