Are you thinking about adopting and animal? Here are some things to consider before you take the next step. It is well known that a pet can help ease loneliness for senior citizens, particularly if they are living on their own or have recently experienced the loss of a loved one. But did you know that a study by the American Geriatrics Society has shown pets can help lower senior’s blood pressure and score higher in their ability to carry out normal activities of daily living?
At Quality Family Care, we know how important your pets are to maintain their health and well-being. Although not all caregivers feel comfortable taking care of pets, it is important to understand their benefits, especially when it comes to companionship, restlessness and boredom.
Many adoption agencies offer discounts for seniors who want to adopt a pet. A local shelter is a wonderful way to find a new companion and help out the community a little.
Here are some tips to help you when taking the next step towards pet adoption.
Know What You’re Getting Into. Too often people adopt, and later decide that owning a pet is not fit for them. Be sure to understand that there may be messes, they need to be fed, hydrated, and played with. Cats are a little more self-sufficient than dogs, but if you do get a dog or a cat, be sure to dedicate yourself to being there for it. It may seem like a little extra work, but those actions have been proven to help senior citizens stay healthy and active.
Consult with Your Care-giving Team. First, talk to your doctor, and family. Make sure that in case of emergency, the animal can be taken care of, and you don’t have any health restrictions that could be potentially dangerous to your health. Allergies or excessive movement may be determining factors. Also, be sure to contact your caregiver or in-home health care provider to make sure that they are OK with animals and the occasional pet care assistance. Be sure to mention your pet when using a referral service to book an in-home appointment.
Understand Your Limitations. Not all adoptable animals will be as beneficial as you think. Larger breeds can be hard to walk or keep up with. They can also knock you over or require heavy lifting of bags of food, and excessive cleaning. Also, kittens can be super energetic and rambunctious. Make sure you don’t exhaust yourself. Birds can be loud, and messy, and the cages could be bulky or potentially create a health hazard if you do not commit to regular cleaning.
Bring New Pets Directly to Your Veterinarian. It is vital to the health of the animal, and other animals that you get all the necessary shots and immunizations. A quick health check and screening is important. Especially if you will be around other animals. For example, if you already have a cat, or will be letting it outside, be sure to have it tested for feline leukemia, it could infect other cats and spread fast. Especially if you already own a cat. It could be at risk of transferring disease or viruses to other animals. Older cats are especially at risk. Also spay and neuter especially if you are letting the animal out.
Owning an animal can have many rewards. Be sure to fully understand both the benefits and the repercussions of taking the next step towards adopting a furry friend.
If you or a loved one needs in home care-giving assistance, call the company with your best interests in mind. Quality Family Care is standing by. Call toll-free at 877-513-7156.