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The Pros and Cons of Bringing an Older Pet Into Your Mom's Life

Loneliness and isolation have been linked to a heightened risk for Alzheimer’s disease, anxiety, depression, diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure. They can also affect your immune system. People who cannot drive, have lost a spouse, have retired, or live far from friends and family are all at risk.

Pets are one of the ways people can gain a level of companionship. Older dogs and cats are harder to rehome as people worry about developing a relationship and losing a pet too soon. Before your mom takes this step, she and your family need to carefully look at the pros and cons of adopting an older pet.

Veterinary Bills Add Up

Some animal rescues and humane societies offer plans where free vet care is offered to senior citizens who adopt an older pet. It’s not available everywhere, however. Your mom may have to spend hundreds a year in vaccinations and exams for her new dog or cat.

Flea, tick, and heartworm medications drive up this cost. She can spend hundreds of dollars on these topical and/or chewable medications. Pet food, supplies, and grooming will drive up the cost. She has to make sure she can afford the expense that comes with owning a pet.

Pets Can Change Your Mom’s Routine

Pets can change your life. They can improve your mood and positively affect your emotional and physical health. They also may require your mom to change her routine. If she adopts an older dog, daily walks are a must. A cat needs its litter box cleaned daily.

Your mom’s new pet will need to be fed each day, possibly multiple times per day. Fresh water is a must. Time for play with toys and treats as training rewards are also a part of owning a pet.

The Death of a Pet Can Be Hard

Older pets don’t have the same longevity as most puppies or kittens. There’s no guarantee either way, but when you adopt a puppy or kitten it’s estimated that you’ll have at least 12 years with that pet. An older pet may only have a few years left. When that death comes, it may lead to heavy grief.

The other aspect to consider is if your mom’s pet outlives her. Someone needs to step in and care for that pet until it can be rehomed.

Pets are excellent companions, but there’s another option. Caregivers can stop by and join your mom for games, movies, outings, or household chores. She has companionship whenever it’s needed. Call an agency to discuss the many services caregivers offer that help provide opportunities to socialize.

If you or an aging loved one is considering caregivers in Sedalia, CO, please contact the caring staff at SYNERGY HomeCare today at 303-953-9924.