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Seniors Guide to Selecting and Owning a Dog

Posted by Jennifer on October 5th, 2011

 All of us can enjoy the unconditional love a companion pet offers. This is especially true for senior citizens, as they typically have the time available to nurture and develop a strong emotion bond. Dogs, cats, and other small pets can make ideal companions for senior citizens. Pet companion can offer loyalty, provide joy, and give unconditional love. Pets are totally accepting of their elderly owners. They don’t see any wrinkles or physical limitations. Instead, they only know they have someone to love and who loves them back. A pet’s devoted and affectionate nature can make a senior owner happier and even healthier. Medical professionals who work with seniors have long noted the benefits a pet can make in the life of an elderly person!

  • A pet offers a sense of well being and independence, helping to prevent stress, depression and loneliness.
  • Being responsible for another living creature can add new meaning and purpose to a senior’s life.
  • Caring for a pet with activities such as feeding, grooming and walking helps people stay active, both mentally and physically, and thus enhances and increases the quality and quantity of her life.
  • Numerous clinical studies verify that owning a pet can benefit a human’s physical health. For senior people that results in lower blood pressure, decreased stress, reduction in bone loss, lower cholesterol levels, and improved blood circulation.
Adopting the right kind of dog can improve a senior person’s life. People of all ages should understand that caring for a pet comes with responsibilities, commitment and time, as well as physical and financial requirements – for senior people, these can be a bit different. Here is our guide to selecting a dog:
  1. Adopting a dog from a rescue where the pet has been in a foster home is one excellent way for seniors to get a dog who’s energy needs are more known. 
  2. Another way is to work with a dog trainer or rescue volunteer experienced with assessing dogs in a shelter, to use their knowledge in selecting a pet that is more likely to be a good match.  
  3. Adopt an adult or senior dog. You can then see the dog’s actual temperament and energy level, and bonus is you may adopt an already trained dog!
  4. Avoid puppies with their razor sharp teeth and teething stage. 
  5. Owning a dog includes a humane responsibility to that pet for their entire life. Smaller dogs can live 15 years or longer, and even larger dogs are now living 12 years and more. Plus, accidents happen. Before acquiring a new pet, have a financial plan in place that will assure the care of your dog if you are temporarily or permanently unable to provide full or partial care of your pet. 
Seniors and people of all ages can find pets to adopt using the pet search
 
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