ImPawsibly Perfect: Older People and Older Dogs Make Great Companions5 min read
November is here, and as the colder months creep in, and for many that means a time of holiday celebration, family, community, and friendship. These next two months will be a time to give thanks and make memories with loved ones. One of the ways this is done is through gift-giving. Specifically, we’re going to discuss one common gift and how it can affect the elderly loved ones in your life. There are dozens of videos on the web that show children giving the same gift to their parents: a dog. However, this comes with it’s own set of issues. Gifting an elderly parent with a new puppy can be a difficult task. That’s why, instead of giving a puppy for companionship this holiday season, you should give the gift of an older dog. November is adopt a senior dog month, so this week we’re taking a look at reasons elderly family members and senior companions make perfect mates.
Giving a puppy to an elderly family member may seem like a way to give them companionship. However, you’ve really just given them a chore. Puppies are a lot of work and have a lot to learn. This is especially true of bigger dogs. They need exercise, and your family member may not be able to take them on multiple walks during the day. An older dog, however, needs less exercise than a young pup. This will be more conducive to an elderly person’s home health care ability. They will be able to play and walk with the animal, keeping both owner and pet active, without the process becoming an overwhelming burden.
Training is Done
There will be no pottying in the house or chewing up shoes with an older animal. For most of these dogs, training is complete. This mitigates the burden placed on elderly family members who want animal companionship. Additionally, when your loved one does want to take their new friend on a walk, older, more established dogs are less likely to pull on the leash. This makes them more manageable to older family members who may have a hard time keeping hold on a younger, more active dog.
It is typical to walk into any animal shelter and see puppies with higher price tags. Because most people adopting animals are younger people or burgeoning families, puppies are ideal. Unfortunately, this means older dogs are often overlooked. This means that they often cost less in the hopes that it will incentivize people to adopt them and make room for other dogs in the shelter. Additionally, new puppies often need more shots which means more vet visits, and they could potentially need money spent on special training. Older dogs typically have all their shots and, because they want to hang out inside with their owner most of the time, will not likely be exposed to circumstances which will send them to the vet. Plus, as we’ve mentioned before, training is done, so there’s no extra money spent there.
In Need of Home Care
Often, older dogs have a “home with no children” requirement on their tag which deters young families. This is not because they are aggressive or need extra in home health care, but because children playing rough with an older dog can be hard on the animal. For this reason, seniors adopting senior dogs gives the animal a perfect home. Older dogs need a calm household and someone who understands that sometimes just having a relaxing day is the best way to spend a weekend. Who could understand that better than an older person?
So this year, if you’re considering getting a companion animal for your loved one, look at older dogs. They need less training, they are less expensive, and it could be their last option. Your loved one and an older dog together will be a match made in heaven: the older person gets a calm, loving companion, and the older dog gets a person and a home to love.