My mother has dementia, what can I do about her untrained dogs ?

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My 80 year old mom has dementia. She lives at home with my niece. The house is cleaned every day and we have a housekeeper once a week. Mom's 2 small dogs do not use the pee pads nor will they do their business outsides they poop and pee all over the house, even on her bed. We have tried to train the dogs, but they have been like this for too long. My mom will not clean up after the dogs, nor does she feed them, my niece does it all. Mom is attached to the dogs, they sit on her lap constantly, she is comforted by them and she does to want to get rid of them. Mom's dementia is getting worse and she has congestive heart failure. I really want mom to move in with me and my husband (my niece wants to move out), but I do not want the dogs in my home, my husband is fine with my mom moving in, but will not allow the dogs to come with. When mom is away from her dogs she asks about them constantly. What should I do? Would it be too hard on Mom if we found a new home for the dogs against her wishes?

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My aunt and I lived it hours away from each other. I was set up as her DPOA & HPOA many years before she began having problems with dementia. When I went north to step in, I was faced with the appalling condition of her dogs and cats. Having a house full of my own animals, and being involved with Pet Rescue for several decades, I knew what I had to do. I got the animals the vet care for grooming services they needed and I got them placed. I brought my aunt down south to live with me. I found myself calmly and distractedly (nonchalant, matter of fact) lying to her about her animals: they had to go to the vet, they were getting a bath or their nails trimmed, they were doing fine at home, so and so was taking care of them, she be going home soon, blah blah. She retained very little anxiety over them as long as she believed they were okay. After a few months, she forgot about her animals because she had mentally transferred ownership of mine to herself. She what's with me six and a half years, however, and never did forget about her house. Given more time she may have. In our case, her dementia only progressed to the moderate stage because she died of the three separate strokes that she had.
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This is my story. My sister who has dementia has a little Bichon where her and I rescued 1-1/2 yrs ago. She was a mild tempered dog when we got her. After my sister progressively deteriorated and the training, feeding, etc. was too much, the dog became more territorial and no one could come over for fear of getting bit. Now she requires all night and day care and we need more people involved in her care. She's cried and cried. It's very clear what needs to be done but it is very hard.
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A lady I know was living in a care home with her dog. As the lady's dementia got worse, of course she forgot to take the dog into the garden, so it was doing it's business in her room, which the poor carers had to clean up. Eventually the owner of the home took the dog away and re-homed it. The lady didn't really notice, but if she did ask, she was told he'd gone out for a walk, which she accepted.
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I have just gone through a similar issue - hesitated for a year to move Mom out of her home because she was so attached to her dog. When we broached the subject of :the next chapter of her life (AL home) and offered to find a place for Mom, she would say "I will commit suicide if you put my dog to sleep." (THAT was her dementia speaking - nobody ever said euthanasia was a choice and it was NOT.) Mom had been overfeeding and giving her dog so many odd treats that the dog ( a small compact breed) gained about 20 lbs in one year. This really amounts to animal abuse as I look back at it (and frankly, dogs excreting randomly all over a home is also in that category as it's a health/cleanliness issue at that point). We should've stepped in sooner, but feared Mom's reaction, jsut as youa re fearing. Mom's dog's BMs were constantly messy and unusually wet and stuck to her hindquarters and she would "clean" herself all over lower sections of wall in moms house -- horrifying to see/smell/find. There was no way anyone was going to let that dog come live in their homes (me and my husband and my brothers,included). We are all dog people, with 8 between us, so it wasn't like we don't love dogs. We were all certain there had to be something "wrong" with the dog.... Well, Mom had to be hospitalized for the first time ever and during that time, our family took turns going over to her house to feed/care for the dog. Guess what? No more dirty bottom, a regular diet was all that she needed. Mom has not returned home, but had to move to an AL setting. In miracles of all miracles, I found one that we could afford that is a caregiver's home -- and there are 2 cats and two dogs there! Mom never again mentioned her dog and has a love-fest going with the cat there who sleeps on her bed at her new "home." I cry when I go over and visit and see how all my worry about her missing her pet was for nothing. What a waste of time and energy... BTW, her sweet dog is now living happily (but on a diet!) with us and our two dogs and there is no BM issue. We are working with a breed rescue to have her placed where she can have a fenced yard which we do not need for our dogs. She is elderly so it will be difficult to place her and she may just stay with us. I am fortunate to have an understanding husband.

My whole point in telling this tale is to share that your Mom is going to "forget" these pets. It's just a reality of dementia (though a very harsh one). Taking them on, given they are not trained, will add mega- stress levels to your home, I would not do it. Sorry if this is not a "popular" option but nobody is in your already-full shoes. The comments suggest training. Nice idea but it means time and a lot of money. Do you have plenty of that? Training and medical care for dogs is a whole new (big) expense to add to your lives. In our case, both are needed to be spent caring for Mom. None of the comments above mention the stress all this will have on your marriage -- Moving Mom in will be hard enough without adding two untrained 4-legged creatures to the mix. When talking to others with this problem, I did come across a gal who was able to subsitute a look-alike stuffed animal for the real thing and re-homed her Mom's dog with a family that could train/handle/care for the real one. She told her Mother that the dog was getting a haircut one day and after less than a week, her Mom forgot all about the dog. She said she didn't seem to miss her (him?) at all. And the gal had worried and stressed over her decision for two yrs. For nothing!

FYI, dogs that excrete on a bed are stressed, too, and crying out for help. (And they will excrete in their crates if they are already free-range poopers...talk about a mess to clean up....) Pooping/piddling on beds not a normal thing.. Re-homing the pups is not the end of anyone's world. They will re-adjust and perhaps even thrive -- we all know stories of dogs rescued even from horrific environments that go on to live happy lives.

The pet issue is huge -- and people without pets don't get it. As much love as they give, they can be stressed (not good for the dog or the humans) and cause great stress, too. All that being said, do what's best for YOUR family, factoring in the additional time and stress added by caring for two dogs as well as a Mom w/dementia. Guilt over this is huge. And it can eat away at you. Don't let it! You can do this!
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All of the above comments are great...I think it would more than likely be very detrimental to take the dogs away from your Mother...they are all obviously very attached and she needs them...she's already losing so much with her dementia...and don't forget, dogs are taken into facilities with dementia patients to make them feel better! They CAN be trained...it will take some work and some time, but it would be far better to spend that time rather than take the dogs, her little babies (!) away from her. Best of luck to you!
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My 87 year old mother & 82 year old mother-in-law live with us. My MIL brought a 5 year old totally untrained small dog with her. My MIL also let the dog wet & mess anywhere in her house that he wanted. He also jerked & pulled whenever I tried to take him out for a walk. After some time & effort I have trained the dog to peacefully walk on a leash by my side. I am still working on the house training. In the meanwhile he spends most of his time in a dog crate .He now considers the crate his space & eagerly goes in it as soon as we return from a walk. Dogs will not mess where they have to eat & sleep. We take him out of the crate & he jumps up on my MIL's lap & they are both happy. As PatriciaAS said mature dogs can be trained. You just need to be patient & consistent. You need to establish yourself as the pack leader & they will respect you. I highly recommend "The Dog Whisperer". Do a youtube search & you will find a bunch of videos that are very helpful.
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My mother had three small dogs that were also untrained. We had a doggie door installed to the laundry room of the home and they could come and go as they pleased. Of course the yard is fenced in. They slept in the wash room in their beds and spent most of their time outside and my mother could see them whenever she wished to, maybe something similar can work for you.
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Kejeppson - Yes, Mom could live with you and with her dogs. Since she has dementia and really can't do training I suggest that you, your husband, niece or even leave them with a trainer (which would cost you) and GET THEM TRAINED NOW! It can be done with doing things on a schedule and patience. I have had many dogs and have trained them myself and it is quite rewarding. I have had a couple of "accidents" which is expected from time to time but nothing else. Call PetsMart if you have one in your community or a trainer and get some suggestions and get started. Your reward will be great. I adopted another older dog a year and a half ago with some manners that needed to be polished off. We went to training at PetsMart and my reward is a obedient dog now. So, older dogs as well as young ones can be trained it just takes a little longer sometimes. Also, Margolis has some wonderful books. All the dogs want to do is please you and they will with lots of LOVE and patience and a schedule. Makes everyone in the household happy.

Good Luck!
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That's a tough one! It would be a horrible blow to your mom to lose her beloved pets at a time when she's experiencing so many losses (and let's face it, it's very unlikely you'd find a new home for untrained animals), but I sure wouldn't want them stinking up my house either.
Would you be willing to accept her dogs into your house if you could confine them to one room (with a tile floor!)? Put a TV in there and that's where mom could spend most of her waking hours. As a bonus, strictly confining the dogs to limited space and letting them out frequently may be just what's needed to finally get them trained.
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