Pets can improve life for our aged loved ones
Pets make our lives more fulfilled. Sharing life with pets creates many benefits for most people. Many cite a calmer, happier attitude. Others show reduced blood pressure. Moreover, some believe that a pet companion can strengthen the immune system, probably in part due to the comfort pets bring.
More than a companion
While companionship is a definite perk, we see many others, too. Often our seniors need a purpose, something that they need to do. Feeding, walking, cleaning up after pets fills that need. Even if they cannot manage the entire routine without assistance, managing what they can shows great benefit. For those with pets that need walking, exercise becomes an added benefit. Even if the senior just needs to open the door to the yard, those few steps make a difference. They also enjoy the fresh air and outdoor time with their pet.
Pet companionship often offers our elderly a stronghold to continue living. Their pet needs them, as much as they need him. When they must be separated for even a short time, such as a visit to the doctor, both senior and pet show stress. The reunion creates more emotions from both.
Pets yes, but which one?
While most of us consider pets to include dogs and cats, plenty of choices exist. For a wheelchair-bound apartment senior, consider a small quiet bird such as a canary. Fish in a decorative aquarium also make a good choice.
However, if possible, many prefer the company of a cat, dog, or even a very tame rabbit. Dogs require walking several times a day, although small toy dogs can be trained to a litter pan, similar to a cat. Usually dedicated to their humans, dogs bond tightly and might be preferred. Some breeds are better than others. Try to match the personality of the human with the dog.
Also, think small for most choices.
A smaller dog requires less food, lower veterinary costs for flea medicines and others based on weight, and can share their human’s lap. Some breeds try to please; others are quite challenging for a less confident person. Also, consider coat care. A short-haired dog requires less grooming but the non-shedding poodle, with regular grooming, might prove an even better option. Don’t overlook mixed breeds. Elderly enjoy the companionship, regardless of the pedigree, or lack thereof.