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Pet Benefits

Updated on February 9, 2016

Pets and the elderly

It is very beneficial for the elderly to own or have access to pets.

For elderly pet owners, who often live alone or in group facilities, pets can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase social interaction and physical activity and help them learn. A new pet can stimulate someone to read up on an animal or breed, which can be very mentally stimulating and important at that age​.

Pets can reduce depression and lessen loneliness. Older pet owners have often told us how incredibly barren and lonely their lives were without their pet's companionship, even when there were some downsides to owning an active pet. Pets benefit, too, particularly when older folks adopt older pets. "These lucky pets go from the pound to paradise. Since most of the adopters are retired, they have lots of time to devote to a previously unwanted pet.

Spending quality time with a dog, cat or other animal can have a positive impact on your mood and your health. Pets can be calming stress-fighters. Pet owners, on average, are better off than non-owners, especially when they have a higher-quality relationship with their pets.

Your dog may make you less likely to get heart disease., Petting your cat or dog feels good. It can lower your blood pressure, helps your body release a relaxation hormone, and cuts down on levels of a stress hormone. Pets, especially dogs, can help you connect with other people. People with pets are generally happier, more trusting, and less lonely than those who don't have pets.

Even Turkeys need love!
Even Turkeys need love!

When Selecting a pet:

Right pet for the right owner. But because people age so differently, the decision needs to be made carefully.

  1. Are you set in your ways? If you don't like change, you may not be a good candidate
  2. Have you had a pet before? it's best if the elderly person is an experienced owner.
  3. Do you have disabilities? Dogs can be wonderful companions who encourage a senior with no major physical limitations to walk and interact with others,
  4. Do you need a therapy pet? If the person is very infirm or impaired, they may be a candidate for an assistance or therapy dog to help them function or interact.
  5. Is the pet the right age? A puppy or kitten may not be the best choice for elderly owners because of the care they require. A young pet may outlive its owner. Birds especially have long life spans.
  6. Does the pet have a good temperament? Although some older owners may think a Great Pyrenees would be too big to handle, some are so mellow that it would have been a good pet for a senior. Some small dogs are very active and would not ne good choice for the elderly.
  7. s the pet healthy? It's important that any pet be examined by a professional.
  8. s the pet healthy? It's important that any pet be examined by a professional.
  9. Are finances an issue? Pets cost money. A small puppy can run more than $810 its first year for food, medical care, toys and grooming while a fish is less expensive--about $235, Things to consider before diving into pet ownership.

Puppies are cute but a lot of work
Puppies are cute but a lot of work

Where to find pets

While breeders are a good source, some shelters also provide a pet for less and offer the advantage of rescuing it from euthanasia. Purina Pets for Seniors partners with 200 shelters nationwide to provide seniors pet adoptions at a reduced cost.

Shelter employees often know the pet's personality well and can make a good match. Online pet shopping is also possible, thanks to sites like www.petfinder.com, which pairs owners with 250,000 adoptable pets from 11,000 animal and rescue groups nationwide.


Best Pet

What is the best pet for the elderly?

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How do Pets help the elderly?

I can speak from personal experience that pets really do help the elderly. My father was a good example, even when he was down and out his pet gave him someone to love and give attention to, pets give even a lonely person something to do and to live for. Its a proven fact that pets help all sorts of people with medical conditions and other issue.

Spending quality time with a dog, cat or other animal can have a positive impact on your mood and your health. Pets can be calming stress-fighters. Pet owners, on average, are better off than non-owners, especially when they have a higher-quality relationship with their pets.

Your dog may make you less likely to get heart disease., Petting your cat or dog feels good. It can lower your blood pressure, helps your body release a relaxation hormone, and cuts down on levels of a stress hormone. Pets, especially dogs, can help you connect with other people. People with pets are generally happier, more trusting, and less lonely than those who don't have pets.


Choosing a Pet

It can be hard to decide what type of pet to get, especially for the elderly, several factors need to be considered, Young pet or older pet? Life span of the animal and also who will take the pet if it outlives you.

When considering a pet for anybody, it is important to keep these things in mind, you also need to consider the cost of a pet. Cats, Dogs, Birds etc will cost a lot more then say a goldfish. It is important to do your research before you jump into more then you bargained for.

What Type of pet to get?

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Danger of chocolate for dogs

The sweet treat can lead to illness and even death in dogs. Vets say it’s one of the most common causes of dog poisoning.

If you think your pooch might've eaten chocolate -- especially the darker kinds -- call your vet right away.

​A chocolate chip cookie can cause problems for a little dog, and a bag of chocolate chips can spell trouble for a big one.

Your Dog Ate Chocolate. Now What?

Typically, your dog will vomit on his own. If not, your vet might want you to give him hydrogen peroxide to make him throw up -- 1 tablespoon for every 20 pounds. . You can use a turkey baster or a medicine dropper to give him the liquid.

Some pet owners use peanut butter in a bowl and put the hydrogen peroxide around the rim, dogs tend to lick the bowl clean. Once your dog vomits, don’t give him any food or water.

If you think your dog ate chocolate, don't wait for warning signs, These can take 6 to 12 hours to show up. Symptoms include:

Extreme thirst
Diarrhea
Too much energy
Pacing
Panting
Shaking
Seizures

The stimulants in chocolate stay in the body a long time. In severe cases, symptoms can last up to 72 hours.


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