A Pet for Your Elderly Parent—Things to Consider

Pets have been shown to not only make great companions, but possibly increase longevity and improve one’s quality of life as well. Research has shown that those who own a pet may even have a reduced risk of developing heart disease. They give their owners something to get up for and, for those that own dogs, the incentive to get out of the house and take a walk.

Elderly Care Perinton NY - A Pet for Your Elderly Parent—Things to Consider

Elderly Care Perinton NY – A Pet for Your Elderly Parent—Things to Consider

Before heading with your loved one to the nearest shelter, consider a few of these tips on how to make a good choice with your elderly parent.

Choosing a Pet

There are several important considerations in this area. Most elders are considering a cat or a dog and many have been either a “cat or dog” person their whole life, leaving this question already answered. If they are new to pet ownership, consider their ability to care for a pet. The biggest concern: a cat is very independent while a dog requires daily walks. If your parent has mobility issues that limit their ability to take neighborhood strolls, a cat may be the best bet. On the other hand, if their heart is set on a dog, neighborhood dog walkers are becoming increasingly common.

Size and Age

Though some may consider any dog that doesn’t come up to the knees more of a rodent than a lovable family member, smaller is often better for the elderly. And now to contradict, a well-trained large dog can be much easier to care for than a hyperactive ankle-bitter. Obtaining a dog that is three or older can bypass the demanding and needy puppy stage. They will also have a defined personality by this point, ensuring that your loved one knows what they are getting into.


If your parent is visited by grandchildren on a frequent basis, keep this in mind and choose a dog that is “kid friendly.” If they have a variety of people stopping by their home, make sure that the dog behaves well with strangers. Taking your loved one to the neighborhood shelter is often a good place to start as the mixed-breeds that you find there usually have less potential for psychological and physical issues than their purebred counterparts.

Types of Dogs

Some of the most popular breeds for the elderly are listed below:

Shih-Tzu. These darling doggies weigh in at about 10 to 19 pounds. They are known for their affectionate and loyal nature. They are often playful, but not crazy. Due to their long fur, they may need regular grooming or a close trim.

Maltese. While these long-haired dogs look like they would be a grooming nightmare, keeping them clipped short makes for an easy to care for dog that rarely sheds. They are known for being incredibly attentive companions and ones that will nestle down in their owner’s laps for hours on end.

Poodle. This breed is incredibly smart, which can be a blessing and a curse. They will require regular visits to the groomer if your parent wants them to have a “poodle cut.” A miniature poodle is a good size for the elderly and easy to train.

Elderly Care Provider

If your loved one needs assistance performing the everyday activities of living and caring for their new companion, consider obtaining the services of an elderly care provider.

Resources:  http://www.petsfortheelderly.org/research.html#5

If you or an aging loved one are considering Elderly Care Services in Perinton NY, contact the caring staff at Caring Hearts of Rochester today! Serving Rochester, Pittsford, Greece, Webster, Canandaigua, Fairport, Perinton, Penfield, Brighton, Henrietta and surrounding communities. Call 585-245-0134.

John Hunt

John Hunt

I am the owner of Caring Hearts of Rochester, LLC.

At Caring Hearts of Rochester, the well-being and genuine health of others is our greatest concern. We are committed to providing first-class person-centered care and services for our clients and patients so they may enjoy independence and relaxed comfort in their homes or residence of choice.

At Caring Hearts of Rochester, our caregivers are the most significant members of our team. They are devoted to delivering our service commitment to others.

We honor values of honesty, trust, integrity, respect and dedication. Caring Hearts of Rochester promotes a caregiving atmosphere where independence is supported, successes are attained, and a healthy culture of care is offered.

Caring Hearts of Rochester is built on a foundation of core values and dedication to client happiness, quality of life and peace of mind. Our commitment is to service excellence, personal growth, and accountability.

What makes our caregivers different?

Our top priority is excellence in care. So many businesses promise a commitment to excellence but don’t deliver. We believe our clients deserve better.
John Hunt