Dogs have earned their rightful reputation as “man’s best friend”.  For many seniors who live alone, dogs provide great comfort and companionship.  From their ability to cuddle to warning us of intruders, dogs top the list of favorite pets.  However, in choosing a dog, there are several things to consider.

Size matters when choosing a dog, especially for older adults.  Inevitably a dog needs to be picked up.  Trips to the vet or the groomer will require transportation.  Having a dog that is easily transportable will make these trips much more manageable.  When walking a dog, a smaller dog will not pull as hard on a leash, reducing the odds of knocking its owner off-balance.

Attention to a particular breed’s exercise needs is a must.  Some breeds can maintain good health with moderate amounts of exercise.  Other breeds will need large spaces and copious amounts of exercise to stay fit.

Unless regular vacuuming and dusting is enjoyed, care in choosing a breed with relatively minimal hair loss will help with keeping a tidy home.  While there are no breeds with zero hair loss, some of the cross-breeds shed much less.

It is a well-researched truth that people who own dogs tend to be healthier.  The exercise that a dog demands and the affection they show their owners are two factors that contribute to this phenomenon.  Walking a dog is also a great way to make friends and get to know neighbors.

While there are factors to consider, the benefits can outweigh the work if careful consideration is given when choosing a dog.

Home Care Tip: Did you know some CNAs and HHAs will help look after the pet of an older adult who needs a little assistance? This can help your aging loved one keep their beloved pet at home with them, making both pet and senior citizen happier!