Can anyone advise me on getting a dog for my mother (85) who has dementia?

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Is it even a good idea? We live in a building that only allows dogs under 20 pounds.

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DON'T DO IT! My neighbor 86 just lost her husband, Her daughter lives on the other coast tells her to get a puppy. Against my better wishes she got one, it is driving her crazy and tearing her house apart. it does give her company but she does not have dementia. She is pending surgery, I am trying to get her to go to the other coast to have it done (no relatives here) Looks like Ill be stuck with the dog. Don't do it, too many issues! Get her a fish in a tank!
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We had a standard poodle when the kids were small, I can't remember ever having a problem with pet hair. The dog may have been smart but he was bonded with BIL and wouldn't listen to anything sis or I said, a very willful dog.

My mom became afraid of animals somewhere along the way, even a gentle cat freaks her out. She has taken to her stuffed animal though, she fully realizes it is a teddy bear but it seems to bring her comfort when she is afraid or lonely.
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AmyGrace - how is the shedding with your poodles? I've often thought of getting one.
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Rainmom. Right you are. Poodles are the second smartest breed in "dogdom". In fact, if you don't own them, they own you (with lots of love and they have a great sense of humor) I've known many seniors who have had toy poodles. The one down side is the ongoing grooming (daily combing, brushing teeth, bathing once every 1-2 weeks, and the haircuts at least once every 6 weeks because poodles have hair, not fur, so it grows just like ours)
The good thing is, there are mobile groomers (expensive though) who will come to senior facilities. Having two minis, I probably spend 14-18 hours a week caring for them, one way or the other - not counting long walks or dog park visits (on non-grooming weeks) and bathing and grooming both takes about 3 hours each every few weeks. But I wouldn't have it any other way - they repay me with so much love and its a great bonding experience!
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Poodles are suspose to be one of the smartest breed of dogs. Of course there are alway exceptions. I had a golden retriever that was dumb as a bag of rocks and hyperactive. Belle even flunked obedience training - twice! However she was very sweet and tried her best to please. I'm grateful that my hubby is so generous and patient - Belle became his dog and they adored each other.
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No, Mulatta- you misread. I said the first time I read that idea- a while ago - I thought it was silly. I now think it's brilliant and definitely worth trying.
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My MIL had a little white poodle, Nicky. She was a big pet person all her life but hadn't had a dog in several years. After she was diagnosed with dementia her son gave her the poodle. The dog loved her and she loved him. He was mistreated, she would forget to give him water, he constantly had fleas, about everything that the other posters mentioned was true for MIL and Nick. He would also bark incessantly whenever anyone would come over and MIL would start yelling at him and that was worse than his barking. He was/is a very smart little dog and people loved him (except for the fleas) and he would remember who gave him treats (or water) and loved to perform for them. Before MIL passed, she asked her sister to take care of her dog. The sister had a Chihuahua. A teacup named Pepper. Pepper was very old and really didn't like other dogs around but Pepper mostly slept and soon passed away and it was a real blessing that the sister had Nick. Now Nick has a wonderful home and is well cared for. He has even had cataract surgery. His new mama has dementia also and feeds him only treats BUT I see that he always has food and he has a water dispenser that is filled once a week which keeps him with plenty of fresh water. Her groomer picks him up and brings him home once a month. Her vet is an old friend. I guess I'm from a different time but I think dogs like a job and this little guy knows he is indispensable and gives and receives a lot of love. He sleeps on her bed at night. If she takes a nap, he takes a nap. He sits in her lap most of the day. She taught him to fetch his various toys and she puts them away every night right before she gets her coffee pot ready for the next day. He loves to hide his treats (only has two teeth left) and will play ball with her. He always barks when someone comes to the door but she thinks that is great. He is very quick and never seems to get underfoot. She uses a cane and is constantly up and down letting him in and out and does not mind doing it. I think it is great exercise. She is almost 90 and he is probably 8-10. He has a big back yard to run and play in but he really would rather be with her at all times. When her aid comes to bath her, he sits outside the bathroom door waiting for her to come out. I know if my aunt passed before Nick, I would take care of him. I'm sure you would take care of your moms dog as well and he would be company for you after she is gone. Poodles have to be groomed and they have bad teeth but they don't shed and as I've mentioned, they are very smart. He is a lot of company for her. I'm not sure if Nick is a Miniature or a Toy but he is light as a feather and very soft when he hops on her lap. Good luck with your search.
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My mom is here and my 3lb chihuahua too. Twiggy is an outside dog, she is 13, and she was rescued. So........not your typical chihuahua, thank goodness. She is beginning to slow down, to the point that when we are walking out in the patio, back yard, we cannot make sudden moves because she does not SEE as well as she used to. I can tell she has cataracts, because the light that shines into her eyes, reflects right back.
When hubby is cleaning the yard, NOW he has to stop, look, slow down, so he won't run over her. And he is mentally healthy and very physically active at 73.
Mom likes Twiggy, but for just a few minutes. We've been together 5 yrs. and I can see mom getting uptight around Twiggy. She says "Oh, you are going to hurt her", Oh, watch out, "you are going to step on her"......."AAAHHH, she is right behind you".
Twiggy's paws have lost traction, any of you who has had dogs for a lifetime know what this means. So, T can slip and fall in front of OUR feet, and WE are GOING to FALL.
When mom (after much begging and coaxing) walks out back, I go with her. I did not use to, but now T can cross her path, or whatever and neither one of them is fast enough to know better.
I see T, and I see she has not too too long left...........and I do grieve as well for her.

Ok, so, Rain, you thought my earlier comment was silly huh??? That's ok. That is why we come here and contribute. Let the person take it all with a grain of salt.

They do make the "fake" pets........I don't know who or where, but you know our motto: "Google It!"

Hugs,

M 8 8
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You didn't state in your question if your mother is violent in her dementia. My mother is only mildly demented but isn't combative - at least not yet. She's also bedridden. I originally adopted our two dogs for my mother as companionship, something for her to nurture after my father expired. Mom lives me and I've come to love having our dogs because they need their daily walk and this forces me out of the home for a little while - a welcomed relief as the walks give me a chance to clear my head and enjoy the sunshine. Our dogs are larger and more than 20 pounds. I think both the temperment of the dog and how the dog was treated from its previous owner(s) no matter the breed is important. For example, our dogs are senior dogs (Beagle and a Beagle-mix) so they're no longer anxious and excited like they were when they were puppies. Now they're laid back and, well, sleeping and relaxing all day long. Maybe you should consider looking into getting a senior dog or maybe even senior cat. From my experience senior pets tend to be very easy going because they're so appreciative of being adopted. I think they actually know they're in their last stages of life and just want to die alongside any family who will love them until their deaths. However, with senior dogs they also have typical senior health issues so I guess you would also need to consider this, too, when deciding on an age of the dog. Our tri-color Beagle now has doggy Alzheimer's. He's only in the initial stages.
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About what pamz said - the first time I read here the suggestion to get an elderly loved one with dementia, a stuffed animal or a doll - I admit I thought "that's just silly"! However, a couple of months ago a new lady moved into my moms nursing home - everytime I see her she has some sort of stuffed animal in her arms - can't even tell what it's suspose to be as she is loving on it so hard. Obviously this stuffed animal means the world to this lady. So - don't write it off - do you have any old stuffed toys around? Give it a shot - perhaps this could be the simplest solution of all.
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