October is National Adopt A Shelter Dog month which means it’s a great time to find the perfect canine companion for your senior loved one. Dogs are wonderful pets for seniors. And having a pet can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke, lower cholesterol levels, and help seniors manage the symptoms of depression. But it’s important that you choose the right kind of dog for your senior loved one. Use these tips to find a dog that will fit perfectly with your senior loved one:
Match Your Senior’s Energy Level
In order to find the right dog for your senior parent you should consider your senior loved one’s energy level and the dog’s energy level. If your senior loved one has a lot of energy and is always on the go wanting to get out and see new things a high energy dog that likes to be always doing something would be a good fit for them. If your senior parent is less energetic and prefers to nap on the couch then a dog with a more laid back attitude is going to be a better fit. Look for a dog that has the same interest and energy as your parent to make sure they won’t get frustrated with each other.
Don’t Discount Senior Dogs
Sometimes people assume that puppies are the best companions but senior dogs are often a better fit for senior people. Senior dogs enjoy a good nap and don’t need as much walking and activity and interaction as younger dogs. Puppies that need training may be perfect for some seniors but other seniors may prefer a dog that is going to be a more laid back companion. Senior dogs also usually are the last to be adopted so there are always lots of senior dogs that are looking for good homes.
Consider The Dog’s Needs
You can find a wide mix of dog breeds at any pet shelter. When you’re choosing a companion dog for a senior keep in mind that different breeds have very different needs. Some breeds need a lot of walking and exercise daily while others are fine with short walks and don’t require a lot of maintenance. Some breeds are more high-strung than others and wouldn’t do well in high-stress environments. Ask some of the shelter staff what breed would be the best for your senior parent and their particular living situation.
Get Some Help With Daily Care
If you’re worried about your senior loved one’s ability to make sure that the dog gets walked and taken outside regularly a personal care at home provider can help both your senior loved one and the dog. When your senior loved one is getting regular visits from a personal care at home provider they will also be able help move heavy bags of dog food, clean the dog’s dishes, and wash blankets and beds. With the extra support from a personal care at home provider your senior parent can get all the benefits of having a dog and a deserving dog can get a loving forever home.