The benefits a beloved pet can bring to a Senior include lowered blood pressure and stress levels, as well as increased well being and social support. However, caring for a pet can be quite a challenge for an elderly person. Here are some helpful pointers regarding pet-care support for Seniors:
Select an Appropriate Pet. If you’re in the market for a pet and concerned whether you can provide all the necessary care, consider pets that don’t need regular walks, brushing or frequent trips to the vet. There are countless alternatives to cats and dogs. Birds, fish and hamsters can make for great companions and don’t usually require a high level of energy or mobility on your part. Make a trip to the local pet store and you’ll probably see a nice selection of animal companions from which to choose.
Look into Pet Sitters. As much as you’d like to take walks with your dog every day, if this is not feasible, look into a pet-sitting service. For a fee, these services will typically send someone to your house to walk your dog, care for your cat, transport your pet to the vet, and more. To find such pet care services, look under “Pet Sitters” in your local phone book; or, you can search for ones near you on the National Association of Professional Pet Sitters Web site.
Train your Dog. If your furry friend is frisky and has lots of energy, getting her to stop jumping on furniture or wrestling with pillows can seem overwhelming most days. Don’t sit back and suffer. Hire a trainer. A good resource for finding one is the Association of Pet Dog Trainers. Or, if you’re feeling ambitious, train her yourself. Dog Breed Info Center provides this helpful Training Your New Dog Web page to get you started.
Reduce Clutter. Does your pet like to get into things? Well, make the best of the situation not only by making sure he’s trained, but also by reducing the number of household items at his level. Just think, you’ll likely be reducing clutter in your home as well – an added benefit!
Pets can help out Seniors in so many ways. Here’s to a happy, stress-free partnership with your pet!