Companion pets for elderly

The numerous benefits of having a pet for the whole family and more specifically companion pets for the elderly are obvious and scientifically proven. More and more specialists are opting for animal-assisted therapy in cases of patients with illnesses or physical or cognitive disabilities or children with attention deficit or hyperactivity.

These therapies seek to create an affective bond between the animal and the patient to begin the therapeutic process. Therefore, it is not surprising that more families are opting for this type of pet therapy for the elderly and deciding to adopt a four-legged companion to promote the well-being and quality of life of patients. Have you ever considered that a pet could considerably improve your lifestyle?

Why is animal companionship a good idea?

Some studies show that in more developed countries, in theory with better health measures, there is a higher tendency to suffer from asthma or allergies than in less developed countries. 

This happens because we are not exposed to environmental microbes, so our immune system does not work and, when a virus enters our body, it does not know how to react as effectively. It has been proven that in homes where there is a pet, our immune system is strengthened because we are more exposed to all those microbes in the environment.

In addition, having a pet helps us to awaken our sense of responsibility, especially in the case of children. And, as if that were not enough, companion pets for the elderly enable them to do physical exercise and release endorphins, which helps with calming fear, stress and anxiety.

Benefits of having pet therapy for the elderly

Now that you know the benefits of having a pet, you're sure to have thought that having a pet is a good idea for older people.

Still, have doubts? Here are some of the benefits before you make this decision:

The solution against loneliness: Nowadays, loneliness is still lethal for people over 65. Animal companionship greatly reduces this feeling, as the elderly person has a new care routine with their pet. Having comfort pets for the elderly has proven to be effective in many households with the elderly by providing a friend to elevate the loneliness of being away from family.

Sense of well-being: The secretion of hormones such as serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin is responsible for the feeling of well-being and stress reduction, they are secreted when interacting with animals and improve their mood. Pet therapy for the elderly has shown an increase in the production of such hormones in people who have taken part in studies.

Social development: As is well known, the elderly may have difficulty communicating or lack sufficient mental stimulation. Walking a pet will make them unconsciously develop social skills. Calm and friendly dogs such as pugs and poodles have become one of the best pets for elderly persons. These and many other low-temperament dogs are a good choice as they are low maintenance pets for an elderly person to be able to comfortably live with and care for.

Encouragement of physical exercise: With this new responsibility, they will need to do moderate physical exercise, which will strengthen their muscles and their psychomotor coordination several times a day. Taking the pet for a walk around the block or to the park several times during the week also leads to the pet learning the way back home in the case by chance the owner gets lost or forgets the way back.

Feeling of usefulness: The pet will be an incentive to face a new day. It can be a great motivation in cases of depression or anxiety.

Sense of security: In cases of deafness or some kind of limitation, the animal companion can be of great help in alerting the elderly person of certain situations that may be dangerous. For example, they can warn if the telephone rings, if someone enters the house, etc. As mentioned above the best pets for seniors such as poodles and pugs are known to be alert and can learn to bark when the phone rings.

They can detect ailments: Animals have a certain sixth sense. There are cases in which a pet has modified its usual behavior to give an alarm signal to its owner when they have detected that something was not going well and they have favored the detection of some illnesses.

By adopting pets for the elderly from a kennel, they will feel good about doing a good social action.

Benefits of having a pet for the elderly

What should I take into account when adopting a pet at home?

When you decide to adopt or buy a pet, you are committing to offer it safety, affection and protection. It will be important to take the following considerations into account, especially if the pet is for an elderly person:

Assess their needs and compare them with your own. Remember to choose a pet whose character and needs match your lifestyle. For example, a larger dog will require more physical activity than a small dog. Some breeds are more energetic and problematic while some are easier to control.

They need to be fed the right food. Be aware that many of the foods we eat can be very harmful to your pet. For example, eating grapes can cause kidney failure in dogs, caffeine and theobromine in chocolate can be toxic, and onions and garlic can cause hemolytic anemia. Always consult your vet before feeding the pets new types of food.

They are expensive to maintain. You should be aware that taking them to the vet for check-ups or treatment, as well as buying their food and other accessories, only costs a small amount of money.

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