Owning a pet can be great for the mental health and general wellbeing of older adults. Pets can provide companionship, motivation to get outdoors, and are mentally stimulating. But it’s important to prepare when adding a pet into an older adult’s life. So here are some things to consider before bringing a new furry family member home.
1. Type of Pet
First, consider which type of animal will best suit you or your loved one’s situation. Are you looking for a smaller pet, like a bird or a rabbit? Or a pet that offers more friendship, like a cat or a dog? Dogs can be amazing companions but can also be very different depending on the breed. So, choose a dog with a suitable temperament, and that requires as little or as much work as you’re willing to put in. Senior dogs can also be a great choice for senior adults. They generally require less exercise and have milder temperaments than younger dogs.
2. Surroundings and Supplies
Is your house ready for your new furry friend? Rabbits need a secure hutch full of hay and an enclosed area to sleep. Birds should have a thoughtfully positioned cage full of stimulation. And most dogs need some space to run, and somewhere to do their business. If your dog will ever be in your backyard unsupervised—make sure to check for hazards and holes in your fence. Also, a lot of dogs are food-focused. So, avoid leaving food within reach, to prevent any unwanted ingestion.
It’s also a good idea to shop for supplies before bringing your new pet home. You’ll need food and bedding no matter the animal. And may also need items such as flea treatments, harnesses, leashes, and toys.
Aging can sometimes mean difficulty completing daily tasks, or more trips to doctor’s appointments and the hospital. Thankfully, there are plenty of support options available to help you or your loved one care for their pet, no matter their situation. As part of our in home care services, most Simply Helping locations offer a dog walking service. Some of our locations also provide pet sitting, for when you can’t be at home with your new pup. To be extra prepared, it may be worth organising support for your pet early, so it’s there when you need it.
To learn more about our in home services, including pet care, click here or contact us today.