Seniors: Pets Offer Wholesome Companionship

Nov 20th, 2009 | By Dr Jerry D Elrod | Category: Senior Moments Blog

Depending on your living environment, your tolerance for pets, and your ability to care for them, one of the most satisfying activities one can introduce into a home is the presence of pet(s).  Acknowledging the logistical considerations is, of course, elementary.  Having wrestled with those and determined that there is a possibility for introducing a pet into the home, there are numerous other preparations and details to be worked out in advance. 

If  living in a facility, the first question is “are pets allowed?”  If so, what is the additional fee scale for having one in your accommodation?  If you are living in your own home, how will you deal with the pet’s need to be outside, to have exercise, to be safe?  What thought needs to go into their being housebroken? How will you clean up after them?  Can you assure that they will not be a nuisance to others?

It may sound as if this article is a discouragement to the premise of “wholesome companionship.”  On the contrary, very much as a young couple must, in bringing a new born infant into the family circle, so must one detail all the matters when welcoming a pet.

Once a pet is housebroken, has adjusted to your authority, and realizes what the rules are, then the pleasure of companionship can begin to offer its rewards.  A pet who has good household habits will be a joy when he/she jumps into your lap and sits with you while you are occupied with knitting, even reading, watching television or other sedentary activities.  When going for a daily walk, the pet will usually accompany you on that occasion with exuberance, joy and high expectation.  Just be sure, when encountering other dogs, that they are trained to be respectful and controlled. 

Feeding times are important and discipline in quantity must be observed.  It is easy to give in to a pet’s desire for more, but it is also potentially very unhealthy when that pet becomes overly obese. 

Frequent groomings and occasional vet vists are necessary for pets.  Keep a schedule for teeth cleanings, shots and other check ups. 

Typically, many pets enjoy going for a ride.  Just don’t let them take you for a ride, by their aggressive behavior in becoming the driver, a nuisance, or a dangerous distraction.

Over all, having, enjoying and sharing life with a pet, whether dog (or cat or other) life will take on additional dimensions of enjoyment, pleasure and company.  (This article has dealt with dogs, but cats are surely as wonderful and companionable as a dog, sometimes more). Because our primary experience has been with the canine family, we have more limited acquaintance in dealing with other pets and none with exotics.  So, you will need to look elsewhere for assistance in dealing with bringing others into your circle.



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