You've been thinking about getting your aging parent or other senior loved one a pet. There are plenty of great advantages, right? Before you dive in and make the decision to purchase a pet, however, make sure that you carefully consider the ramifications of your decision. There are several pros and cons to pet ownership for seniors, and you need to be familiar with all of them before deciding to embark on that journey with your loved one.
Pro: Pets decrease feelings of loneliness. They give your loved one someone else to love on and focus on throughout the day.
Pro: Pets lead to higher activity levels. Dogs, in particular, need to be walked--and as their owner, your senior loved one will be doing the walking!
Pro: Pets can lead to more social interaction. An adorable dog is a great reason for someone in the park to strike up a conversation!
Pro: Pets create a regular routine. They need to be fed and walked at consistent times, which can help create a better routine for your loved one.
Con: Pets are expensive! This is particularly difficult for seniors who are already struggling on a limited income.
Con: Pets require a high volume of care. For a senior who is struggling to care for themselves, this can be an insurmountable difficulty.
Con: Pets are disruptive. If your loved one is used to their routine and likes it just the way it is, it may be frustrating for them to introduce a pet to their regular routine.
Con: Pets can create trip hazards. It's important, before selecting a pet, to make sure that it's not going to jump at your senior loved one or twine around their feet. Careful training may be required.
Is it worth it to purchase a pet for a senior loved one, in spite of the potential disadvantages? Whether or not your loved one will benefit from a pet will depend on their unique situation. Many seniors, however, find that owning a pet is highly rewarding in the later years of their lives.
At Caring Senior Service, our expert staff is comprised of extremely knowledgeable, friendly, and trusted professionals who take pride in helping your loved one manage their daily activities. Contact us today to learn more!