Senior Citizens Benefit From Living With A Dog

Companion animals make our lives fuller and happier. Our dogs love us no matter what — whether we’re having a good day or a bad day, whether we are dressed and fully made-up and they are there to offer seniors benefit from life with dogs unconditional love when no one else is.

Sharing your life with a cat or dog brings many benefits. Senior citizens benefit as well because research consistently shows that:

  1. Seniors (anyone, truly) who own a dog are active more minutes per day than people without a dog
  2. Pets can help individuals suffering mental illness or dementia
  3. Petting a dog can lower your blood pressure and stress and brings along a feeling of calm
  4. Living with a dog can help with emotional health and alleviate feelings of isolation
  5. Living with a dog gives a senior a renewed and increased sense of purpose. The reason for this is because the dog is depending on that person so they are motivated to get up, get moving and care for the pet.
  6. A lowered risk of heart attacks; this could be because of a higher level of activity.

Senior Citizens Benefit From Living With A Dog

Are there any drawbacks to senior citizens sharing their lives with a dog?

There may be a few, including:

  1. Who will care for the dog when you no longer can? Will you move into an assisted living facility that allows dogs? Do you have a family member who will step in and take care of the dog for you? Too often, senior dogs are surrendered when their senior owner goes into a nursing home facility. It’s best to have a conversation with family members now, before a crisis situation arises, to determine who will care for your dog when you no longer can.
  2. Budgeting for veterinarian costs. Pets are expensive and get even more so as they age and require more frequent vet visits and medications to keep them healthy. Food costs may increase because the dog may need a special diet. Pet insurance may alleviate some of the costs associated with caring for your dog.
  3. If you move into an assisted living facility with your dog who has been accustomed to living a quiet life with only you as a companion, how will he react to being surrounded by strangers? This is a reason to look into purchasing a dog bite liability insurance policy. This policy will protect you and provide coverage if your dog bites someone.
  4. Is your dog well-behaved? Even if you move into a facility that allows dogs, they will expect that your dog will be a “good citizen” and this means he or she won’t bark a lot or try to fight with other dogs onsite.
  5. You need to be a responsible pet parent and that means cleaning up any messes your dog makes in your room. You will also want to carry waste disposal bags with you and pick up after your dog.

If you want to share your life with your beloved dog you may want to begin a search for assisted living facilities that allow pets. If you cannot find one, you will want to talk with your friends and family members and make arrangements for your dog to be cared for when and if you no longer can.

About FIDO There are many reasons a dog may bite, and it’s not always 100% preventable. In addition to financially protecting dog owners from dog bite claims, our Canine Liability Policy also covers other injuries to people, including scratches and fall injuries caused by dogs and injuries to other animals. Please contact us today for more information at (407) 865-7477, ext. 101.

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