3 Things to Think about for the Senior Care Patient Planning on Adopting a Dog

Mom was adamant about getting a new dog. It had been almost 20 years since she owned a pet and we were concerned that she might’ve been dealing with some senility. She was relying on senior care and we thought the notion of adopting a dog was a bit ridiculous.

However, when we contacted the senior care service provider, we learned that pets can be a tremendous positive influence on elderly individuals.

Research has shown that having a pet, and stroking its fur, can help to lower blood pressure. Also, the right pet can provide companionship for somebody who lives alone. I know how that feels as I have owned cats for most of my life.

Sitting down on the couch when you are alone and having a furry friend jump up next to you wanting to be pet is a great feeling. It calms the mind and helps alleviate a lot of stress. I just never thought that a senior patient would even be able to have a pet. I mean, if they can’t take care of themselves, then how are they going to take care of a small dog?

There are certain considerations that need to be thought about before an elderly individual should adopt a dog. Three of these are listed below.

  1. The size of the dog matters.

No matter how old a person is, at some point they will be experiencing muscle loss. That means a large dog will be almost impossible for them to handle, unless it is extremely well trained and well behaved.

Small dogs are more practical, especially those under 15 to 20 pounds. The smaller the dog is, the more likely it will be able to use potty pads inside the house, which will eliminate the need to have the senior walk them.

  1. Temperament.

Some small dogs are hyper and others are relatively calm. Having a calm animal will have a calming impact on the senior patient. Having a hyper animal can cause anxiety and stress.

  1. Know the shelter where you adopt a pet.

There are some shelters that treat their animals very well and there are those that don’t have any real resources and the pets are in very poor conditions. Make sure that the shelter where your loved one adopts a dog is a high-quality one and the pet was living in good conditions.

If it wasn’t, it could end up contracting illnesses that will not only be costly to address with the veterinarian, but it could cost the animals its life prematurely. That can have a devastating impact on the elderly individual who requires senior care.

The caregivers at Home Care Matters are available to talk with you and your family about all of your elder care needs. Home Care Matters is a home care agency providing quality and affordable senior care near Buford, GA and the surrounding areas. Call (678) 828-2195 for more information.