Seniors and senior pets make a great match–both still have so much love to give.
Posted in , Mar 12, 2015
The wiry spaniel crouched in the corner of the cage, graying muzzle resting upon his paws. No one had come to adopt him. They all passed him by for the puppies, and cute younger dogs. Sure, he was a little slower these days. He liked his naps. But he still had so much love to give.
The old woman sat in her easy chair, pushing back her gray locks. She had arthritis and couldn’t hear so well anymore. She didn’t get out like she used to. She was lonely. She missed the companionship of the little dog she used to have. But she still had so much love to give.
Unfortunately, many senior dogs and cats in shelters remain homeless. And many senior citizens alone in homes resist getting a pet, thinking they are too old to care for them.
The good news–seniors and senior pets can be a great match! Studies have shown the pets help lower blood pressure and cholesterol, ease depression, and improve heart health.
Seniors with pets are more active than seniors without pets, have a greater sense of physical security and are less lonely. Pets offer unconditional love and an opportunity for the senior to think beyond himself and care for another.
Senior pets are perfect for seniors because they are usually already housebroken or litterbox trained, already know the rules, don’t need excessive exercise, are content to nap and rest during the day. They are often easy to care for and have schedules and demands that fit in with the slightly easier pace of most senior citizens.
Any breed of cat may be a great option for a feline-loving senior. Some great dog breeds for seniors are small lap dogs such as pug, shih tzu, lahsa apso, and Yorkshire terriers. Older poodles, Labrador retrievers and golden retrievers are also wonderful pets.
And of course, don’t forget all the wonderful mixed breeds. A shelter or rescue group worker can help match seniors to just the right homeless pet. Many programs work specifically with seniors and senior pets.
Some even have funds to help with food and medical bills, provide transportation to the vet’s and groomer’s, and will care for the pet in the event the senior has a stay at the hospital.
Seniors and senior pets are a win-win combination. The pet helps the senior physically and emotionally. The pet benefits by finding a compatible, loving home. And by adopting an older cat or dog, the senior may well be saving a life.