How Seniors Can Care for Their Dogs

One of the major worries for seniors as they grow older is what will happen to their dogs when they cannot care for them any longer.

By Guest Blogger, Maggie Hammond

There are many ways to support seniors caring for an animal that will ensure that the pet is well looked after, both now and in the future. 

In-Home Care

Being admitted to a care facility can be traumatic for older adults if they have to leave their dogs behind. Therefore, you should consider the other options available to you to allow your relative to stay with their animal. In-home care and assistance is an excellent option in these cases as this enables older people to remain within the comfort of their own home, but they will also receive the care they need to live a full and healthy life. At, they can help you find non-medical elderly in-home care, which can provide your relative with the assistance they need to continue living within their own home.

Dog-Sitters and Walkers

If your relative is well enough to stay at home but is struggling with simple tasks such as walking the dog, looking after their pet at the hospital, or with everyday tasks such as feeding, you should consider hiring a dog-sitter or walker. These helpers will assist with the daily care of the animal and look after the pet when seniors are out of the house, making it easier for the elderly to continue to keep their pets with them. 

Financial Assistance

Dogs can be expensive, especially in terms of vet bills. Suppose your senior’s pension is small, meaning that they are struggling with vet bills and other commitments. In that case, many animal charities can assist older adults in caring for their animals. Many of these charities even have free or reduced costs clinics where they can take their animal if they are unwell for a fraction of the price of standard veterinary clinics. All that your senior will need to do is fill out an application form and get means-tested to check whether they are applicable to the requirements of these charities and the hospitals and clinics that they run. 

Adopting Older Animals

Caring for a pet has lots of health benefits for older adults, such as the encouragement to go on walks, reduced loneliness, an increased sense of security, and help to relieve stress and combat physical health problems such as high blood pressure. However, elderly animals can be more suited to older people, as not only will they be less demanding and energetic, but the animal can grow old alongside their elderly owner. There are charities set up to match older animals with seniors, which can help you find the perfect pairing for the older adult in your life.

Planning for the Future

They should also plan for the future of their pet by leaving them to someone in their will, creating a dog or cat trust that will ensure that there is appropriate funding to care for their animals after they die, or apply for a charity to help to find a home for their pet after they are gone.

About the author

Maggie Hammond is a retired nurse and freelance writer, exploring and writing in retirement. An advocate for public health and nursing qualifications, she feels passionate about raising awareness of the current strain on public health organizations.

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