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  • Writer's pictureKelli Edwards

Pets for Seniors!

Pets and people are a great combination.

If you are an Elder, or a caregiver for an older person, and already have a pet or considering getting a pet, keep reading.

Pets can be a great morale booster for the elderly, but they can also pose challenges.

The benefits of pet ownership for an older person are great. There is companionship, affection, and stimulation to mention a few! Then there are true health benefits such as lowering stress, blood pressure and increasing mental activity. But owning a pet carries daily chores and responsibilities, and the elderly person has to be up for it.

  • Walking: Access to the outside to exercise a dog.

  • Health Concerns. This can range from feeding a pet to more complicated issues of seniors owning and caring for an elderly pet, like administering medications, or getting their pet to the vet.

  • Grooming: From simple brushing, to bathing, or getting to the groomer can be challenging for a senior.

  • Expense: Buying food is not the only thing a pet requires. Add to that flea protection, heartworm prevention, vet visits, and dog walking services when needed.

  • What happens if: The senior gets sick or needs to go to the Hospital? Who will take care of the pet? Is there going to be someone that will take care of the pet during that time? Your Care Manager can help you make a plan!!

All these things have to be considered before deciding on getting a furry companion. Should the person have problems with walking, they may consider a cat instead of a dog. Fish are also very easy to care for and calming to watch.

Then there are Robo-Pets, for the ones that cannot take care of a pet at all. Such devices first appeared in American nursing homes and residences for seniors several years ago. A Japanese company began distributing an animatronic baby seal called PARO in 2009, and Hasbro started marketing robotic cats in 2015. They are quite fun, and you can watch us playing with them HERE. These “pets” were made possible by the Department of Elder Affairs, State of Florida. Find information on how to get one HERE.


If you are a pet owner or are taking care of a pet owner, you may find our Pet Information Form helpful. You can view it and download it HERE.

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