Tenley Haraldson by Tenley Haraldson

Golden Retrievers and Golden Years: Senior Citizens and Pets

Senior citizens often experience depression. Activities like walking and bicycling become more difficult, friends and family members pass on, and memories become a little cloudier. It’s understandable that depression creeps in, but it has a drastic influence on their health.

Owning an animal, however, is a great way to combat despondency. People who have recently lost a loved one often connect extraordinarily with pets. Not only do these people have something to dedicate time and attention to, but they also receive unconditional love and affection back.

Senior citizens who live more solitary lives might benefit tremendously, too! A pet is a fantastic addition to raise spirits and create a social atmosphere. Now, before running out and buying the first dog or cat that you see, take your senior friend or family member’s personality and needs into consideration.

If the owner has issues cleaning their house, you wouldn’t want to get an animal that sheds a lot. High-energy dogs like border collies, greyhounds and Jack Russell terriers need regular exercise, which might be a poor match for someone with mobility issues.

Large dogs are surprisingly great companion animals for the elderly, while many smaller dog breeds require extra attention and exercise. Larger dogs like St. Bernard’s or Great Danes are often quite docile and gentle.

If the owner suffers from disabilities, a cat might be a better option than a dog, as cats usually need less attention and care than dogs. Think about getting an older cat (rather than a kitten) if the future owner has mobility issues.

Kittens run amok and make messes, whereas older cats are more settled in their personality. Generally, older animals are often a great match with older clients because of their calm, obedient nature.

It’s possible that the elderly person in your life could be a candidate for a therapy/service animal, and a service such as Paws With A Cause.If you are interested in learning more about types of assistance dogs, this website has a lot of information.

The cost of an animal should always be taken into account, as many senior citizens live on a strict monthly budget. Make sure that you know that the animals will be well cared for. If the budget is tight, think about getting some birds or fish, as they are much more affordable companion options.

Lastly, before you place a pet with an owner, make sure that they will be provided for in a will. Many dogs and cats are needlessly euthanized due to the lack of foresight. For more information about therapy animals, please visit the American Kennel Club website.