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Pets Help The Elderly Stay Active

As we age, we need to make some difficult decisions and one of those might be, should we get a dog to help keep us company and help protect the house? It’s a difficult decision for myriad reasons including: who will care for your pets if you can no longer age in place, do you have the strength and energy to house train a new puppy or does your lifestyle lend itself to bringing a dog into the home?

As we age, we need to make some difficult decisions and one of those might be, should we get a dog to help keep us company and help protect the house? It’s a difficult decision for myriad reasons including: who will care for your pet if you can no longer age in place, do you have the strength and energy to house train a new puppy or does your lifestyle lend itself to bringing a dog into the home?

If you can honestly say that you have made plans for what will happen to your dog once you can no longer care for it and if you have the energy to keep up with a pet, then it may not be a bad idea to consider adopting one. There are many senior pets awaiting adoption that may be ideal and are in search of forever homes. If you feel a pet is in your future, we do urge you to consider adopting from a shelter.

What are the benefits of owning a dog? Here are some:

  • Your caregivers may feel better knowing that you are not home alone when they leave.
  • It’s been noted that people who own pets live up to two years longer than people without pets
  • Stroking a pet can lower your blood pressure and having a pet in the house may help keep depression or loneliness at bay.
  • Pets offer unconditional love and can reduce isolation.
  • A barking dog may keep potential intruders at bay.
  • Having a pet means you will need to be active. The dog will need to be walked, brushed, fed and taken to a veterinarian which means you will be more active.
  • A pet may mean you get out of the house, get more fresh air and have the opportunity to talk with your neighbors.
  • It’s been shown that patients on Medicare who own pets visit the doctor fewer times a year than patients without pets.
  • There are pets you can adopt that are trained to “sniff” out illnesses and may be able to alert the owner to a potentially low drop in blood sugar or other illnesses.

Talk with your caregiver and consider the decision carefully before you decide on owning a new pet. Again, make certain that if something happens to you and you can no longer age in place that the pet will be taken into a loving home and not taken to a shelter.

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