You can’t always be there. But we can.
There’s no doubt that puppies are cute, but they can also drive their owners crazy with chewing, toilet training, barking, bad behavior and more. Most people adopt puppies however, even if it doesn’t fit their lifestyle. During Adopt a Senior Pet Month, animal advocates are trying to spread the word about the benefits of owning a senior dog, especially for senior citizens.
Many seniors are dependent on family members or senior care aides to help them with daily tasks. It’s not uncommon for the elderly to feel lonely, depressed, frustrated and bored. They aren’t as mobile as they used to be and may not have much motivation to be active during the day. A senior care aide can help get them out of the house but elderly adults can still suffer from extreme loneliness and isolation even so. That’s why adopting a senior dog can really benefit any number of elderly adults.
Here are 5 reasons why elderly adults should consider adopting a senior dog:
Low Maintenance: Senior dogs are generally well-trained and behave well since shelter workers want to maximize their adoptability. Seniors won’t have to spend much time with training or disciplining for bad behavior. Instead, they will find a ready-made companion that is eager to prove their loyalty and affection.
Proven Identity: Dogs in their later years will have set personalities that will be easy to match to elderly adults. Whether aloof, cuddly, curious, lazy or protective, whatever a senior dog’s personality is will definitely be on display right from the start.
Easy Integration: Younger dogs demand quite a bit of attention, while senior dogs usually just need casual play, shorter walks, a comfortable place to nap and plenty of pets and cuddles. Elderly adults will find that a senior dog fits in quite well to their current routines. In fact, a new dog is often a motivation for elderly people to become more active as they work hard to meet their pet’s needs.
Physical and Mental Health Benefits: Studies show that when elderly people own a dog, they actually improve their health, such as lower blood pressure, reduced stress, lower heart rate and better sleep. Senior dogs also provide companionship, loyalty and love so that elderly adults feel less lonely and isolated.
Saving a Dog’s Life: Senior dogs are more likely to be euthanized because they aren’t adopted as quickly as puppies or younger dogs. By choosing a senior dog, an elderly person is rescuing them from the ultimate fate.
During the month of November and the Adopt a Senior Pet Month movement, family caregivers and elderly adult that are interested in a pet should really consider a senior dog for years of love and loyalty. Even if the elderly adult is surrounded by friends, family, senior care aides and community services, there’s nothing quite like the bond between a person and their beloved dog.