The benefits of owning a dog, for seniors, have been documented for decades. Dogs help relieve stress, prevent depression, alleviate boredom and provide the companionship needed during the later years. There is nothing more rewarding than hugging a dog and getting a wag of the tail and a kiss of welcome. But, if you are considering becoming a dog owner, there are some factors you should consider.
- Lifestyle – Although this may seem like the perfect time to own a dog, consider your lifestyle before doing so. Are you in a position to look after it and care for it? The responsibility of looking after a dog is a big one. So, consider your lifestyle before taking the step. Once the decision is made, there is no going back.
- Cost – There are significant costs to owning a dog. They might fall ill or get injured. Can you afford the cost of treatment required, as well as, vet costs? Many seniors have to return their dogs because they are unable to afford the costs involved. This is really not fair for the dog or you.
- Pet-Friendly Neighborhood – If you are living in an active adult community, you should ensure it is a pet-friendly community. There are a number of active adult communities that allow pets and have facilities for pets. If your community is not a pet-friendly one, then you should forget about getting a dog.
- Travel – If you travel often, you may not be available for your dog all the time. This can be unfortunate. It may be better if you have someone to look after your dog while you are away. However, if you don’t have enough time for your dog, you shouldn’t consider getting a dog.
- Training – Dogs require a significant amount of training. Can you handle it? You really don’t want to be considered a bad dog owner. If you think you are not in a position to train your pet, you can always try obedience school for pets. But, once again, you need money and time for this.
The rewards of owning a dog are immense. However, you should keep in mind; dogs need love and care too. If you are not in a position to do this, you shouldn’t put a dog through the experience of being returned. It just isn’t fair.