November is Adopt a Senior Pet Month. Pets help with emotional well-being, blood pressure, and cholesterol. If your parent owns a dog, they need to take that dog outside each day. The dog gets them moving around. Even a cat requires attention with litter box care, feeding, and grooming. Your parent will be more active.
Older animals are less likely to get adopted. They tend to be great matches for senior citizens because an older dog or cat is often less active and already has gone through housebreaking and other basic commands. Before your parent adopts a pet, however, you do need to consider what happens down the road.
Understanding a Pet’s Basic Care Needs
Both dogs and cats need fresh water, daily meals, grooming, and attention. Some animals need more grooming than others. A long-haired animal needs daily brushing, but a short-hair dog or cat may be okay with weekly brushing. Both animals need their nails trimmed and teeth brushed.
Animals should go to the veterinarian for annual health exams. Flea and tick preventatives and heartworm medications are also recommended. Vaccinations like rabies, distemper, and feline HIV and leukemia are essential.
Don’t Delay a Hard Discussion Regarding the Pet’s Safety
If you find your mom or dad is struggling to care for a pet, it’s time for a tough talk. Your mom has Alzheimer’s and never remembers to feed the dog. If someone didn’t stop by each day, the dog would never get fed. She’s not taking the dog out enough, so it’s using the bathroom floor.
Your dad hasn’t brushed his Maine Coon in weeks and the cat’s coat is all clumps. The litter box also has been ignored. The cat has nowhere to go, so he’s using an indoor plant. You smell it when you walk in the door.
If there is neglect happening, one of two things needs to happen. One, you could hire someone to come in and walk the dog, make sure the pets are fed, and clean a litter box each day. Two, it may be time to rehome those pets.
Rehoming the Pets
Rehoming may be easiest, but it can also be a challenge. First, your parent will miss the pet and may feel lonely. Second, people don’t always want older pets, so you may find it hard to find a new home. Rescues may work with you, but it depends on how crowded they are.
Could you take your mom or dad’s pets in? Many families find themselves making this decision. The pets go to someone they know and still have the chance to visit.
If your parent struggles to take care of a cat or dog, it’s very likely that your parent is also challenged by daily activities. When housework, laundry, meals, and transportation are too hard, it’s time to look into senior care services. You’ll get help finding home care services by calling our senior care agency today.
For Senior Care Services in Collierville TN, please contact the caring staff at Personal Care Services MidSouth today!