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006 -Misty Tales – Pros & Cons of Pets for Seniors

006 -Misty Tales – Pros & Cons of Pets for Seniors

Misty tales is an episode mostly about my Mom and her dog Misty. There are a lot of pros and cons to having a dog in a memory community. First, have a listen to this episode, there are quite a few funny stories. If you are still considering a dog after what you hear, the following text will help guide you through your decision.
Pros & Cons of Getting a Dog
Before you get a new pet consider the following things carefully.  Will you or someone else be able to take care of the pet, feed it properly, make sure it gets any needed medications, take it for walks and make sure it’s trained to have acceptable manners?  If you’ve had pets before these answers will likely come easily but do give some thoughts about the future. 

Are you physically stable or do you need walking aids?  Pets can get underfoot especially when they want attention.  Cats are notorious for rubbing themselves all over your feet while you walk, a challenge for even the most stable person on the planet.  If you’re starting to have balance issues a small dog may easily become a tripping hazard.  Large dogs are easier to maneuver around but they can also crash into the back of your knees or jump up in your face.  
Dogs are great excuses to get out and walk.  There are lots of health benefits of walking so it's nice to have a built-in reminder that it's time to get your move on! You should consider what you will do in cold and wet weather. You can't stay in all winter even if both of you may think that's what you want.  Consider both your energy levels.  Puppies can be extremely energetic so consider adopting an older dog so your energy levels match more closely.

Dogs can also get expensive as they age.  My oldest Golden, Jinx is 10.5 and has arthritis in is hip. He’s getting to the point where we’re probably going to have to get a prescription for pain meds.  If you're living on a fixed income talk to a vet about what costs can be expected and budget for the unexpected while you're at it.

Older pets are vulnerable to arthritis. Their sight and hearing often fade. For owners who may themselves be frail, it's hard to cope with a heavy Labrador who's suffering from hip dysplasia. Aging pets can develop cancer or heart, kidney, or liver disease. The reality is most pet owners will eventually see their animals through sickness and disability. That can take a heavy emotional toll.

Mom & her dog Misty enjoying the courtyard of their memory community.
Related Articles
Seniors & Pets – Benefits & Challenges.

Best Dogs for Seniors!
Related Podcast Episode
Dementia Dogs for Caregiving

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Fading Memories was created to support family caregivers in a simple, on-demand form. When I was looking for advice on caring for my Mom, I needed this podcast. Since it didn’t exist, I created what I needed!
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