How a Dog Has Helped My Elderly Father

Started by

This may sound silly, but one of the best things I did to make caergiving less stressful was to get a dog. She is a wonderful companion for my parent and fills a need/role during the day when I can not be there. My father has become so attached to her!


That is so good to hear. We are always looking for that unconditional love and this is exactly what he has found with her! He will get so much from this dog and so will you! Getting her was probably very theraputic for her as well. I don't know if you bought her or saved her life from a pound. They seem to know when their own life is precious to somepone else!
I've thought about this, but I just don't know if I can handle one more creature to care for. My dad would love it, I know he would, but I don't know if I can handle it.
Yes, pets can be a tremendous assistance in caregiving, providing companionship and unconditional love to your elderly relative. Of course, pets are also a big responsibility. Sometimes, it is good for the elderly person to have something to care for (if they're able) But if they can't take on the responsibility, unfortunately, that task falls on the caregiver's shoulders. We did an article on this very topic that might interest you. It discusses how to determine if a pet will fit into your situation, and also lists some organizations that specialize in bringing together good pets and the elderly. I hope it helps:
So far we have held off on the dog. I think it would be just too much for me right now. I have enough to take care of with just dad and my girls. I think he would enjoy having a pet, but he wouldn't be able to let a dog out when it had to go. I suppose a cat would be a good choice, but for now, I'm just gonna wait. Thanks for all the comments.
Good on the choice. I gave up my dog due to the landlord. I just have my husband and I, but with the caregiving on my part, it was a big relief not having a pet to look after. I loved my dog and hated giving her up, but we only had her for a month and we found her another home.
He still comments about pets every once in a while. My beau is a cat person and has offered to have his cats come over and stay with us for a while, but my dad really digs dogs. See, I'd like to have the pet as a companion for him if I have to go out for a while, but he's not able to get up and let a dog out. So, litter trained cats would really be the way to go, but cats can be so doggone anti-social at times. Litter trained dog?
Hey, you can litter train a dog! I "paper trained" a small dog and it was so very nice! However, dogs like to escape out a door when it is opened and if there is no one to stop them, they are in danger of being hit or claimed by someone else as their pet. I had to give up our dog because we moved into a home and the landlord did not allow dogs. I love dogs but my priority was caring for my husband. There are people I know that have dogs and cats and I love it when I get to pet them! Yes, you can litter train a dog! When I first got my puppy, I would place him in the litter box and say, "pee pee on the paper". He eventually got tired and just peed. Consistency and patience does pay! They eventually get the idea.
How do I go about getting a theraputic companion dog for my elderly mother, when there's no pets allowed in the apartment complex that we reside at?
I agree....dogs (or pets) can be a definite comfort when we (caretakers) need some unconditional love. We "rescued" a dog at Christmas time to keep my husband company while he handles ther responsibility of caretaking...and I think it was a "rescue mission" for both of them!

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support