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Health Benefits of Dogs for Elderly People

elderly man with Jack Russell Terrier

Health Benefits of Dogs for Elderly People has one question for you. When was the last time you stopped and stroked your dog, really stopped and felt every hair. How did you feel? Chances your breathing slowed, your stress levels reduced and you felt joy.

Dogs, and animals, live in the present, and that positive feeling has major health benefits for elderly people too.  If you know a lonely old person, especially if they have had a dog before, maybe a friendly chat over a cup of tea would help them consider a new companion to give them a focus and friend.

Why are Dogs Good Companions For OAP’s?

Love, companionship, and friendship – what’s not to love. The puppy dog eyes and the way they snuggle up to you is heart-warming. In fact, it has been documented that elderly people with memory recall issues have regained access to memories from long ago when talking to their pets.

Are Dogs good for Depression?

As we humans age, if we are lucky, in our mind we are still in our 20’s. But our bodies are “wearing out” and with that can come loneliness & depression. Feeling sad for long periods of time, not just winter, is a worry. Pets can have an incredibly positive effect on our feelings of loneliness and even depression.

Older woman with her dog

Am I Too Old For A Dog?

My parents have had dogs, Mongrels, Labradors or Jack Russell’s, all of their lives. When their last dog Ben died, they had a gap where the house felt empty and they felt something was missing.

In their early 80’s they decided to get a Jack Russell Terrier. He may be small, but he is a live wire, very high energy. He has learnt to adapt and is mellowing with age, but he has to be walked regularly and bounds around the house, on guard!

When children have grown up and left home a new dog can quickly become a new member of the family and give a new reason to get up and outside in the fresh air. Exercise, even in moderation, is good news for your health.

Biscuit the Border Terrier Sleeping on owners boots

How do I choose the Right Dog?

Choosing the right dog is important. The demands that changing your routine may have on you is important. How much exercise or an overactive breed of dog needs careful consideration. Your home set up and mobility will also be a factor. If you cannot see or hear very well then a specialist guide dog may be better suited.

Consider allowing professionals match you with an older rescue dog that would be suitable. Old dogs are usually already trained and take life at a slower pace.

 Can Elderly People Afford a Dog?

Different canine breeds have varying requirements. You will need to ensure basic requirements are met such as flea and worm treatments, possibly grooming and nail clipping, feeding and must be microchipped in the UK.

When it comes to toys and treats and snacks, you need look no further than deer antler dog chews provided by Staglers Ltd. The family friendly small business.

In summary, none of us are getting any younger. At 60 & 70 the odd pains creep into the body. The sad truth is that in our 80’s we may not have as many of our old friends as we used to.

If you are fit enough to care for another the consideration of sharing your home with an elderly dog could help you, or an elderly neighbour, focus on something new. Giving love and care is a basic human instinct and can distract us from some of the physical or emotional pains we feel when we are aging.

Health Benefits of Dogs for Elderly People – Staglers 2022

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