Dog ownership has many benefits for senior citizens. We discussed some of those benefits in our recent Dogs for Seniors article. But it’s a reciprocal relationship – a two-way street – with good things flowing in both directions. Now it’s time to talk about the flip side of senior citizen dog ownership: senior citizens help dogs, too.
Most senior citizens are retired. They’re no longer a part of the daily rat race and don’t have to be at work (read, away from home and their dogs) for 9 or more hours a day. This means that a dog owned by a senior is likely to spend much more time every day with its owner. Day in and day out, the lucky dog that’s owned by a senior citizen will get much more human companionship than a dog that’s owned by a person who’s still a member of the workforce.
Since seniors usually have much more available time than those people who still work, they are much more likely to have the time to take their dogs on regular walks or for regular visits to the dog park. The same is true for dog training – seniors have much more time to work with their dogs.
The amount of time seniors can spend with their dogs mean that their dogs are much more likely to be happy dogs!
Some senior citizens want the companionship of a dog but don’t think they’re physically up to managing a puppy or a young dog. The good news for these seniors: dog shelters and dog rescue organizations are full of older dogs that many younger people just don’t want because the dogs will only live for a few more years.
These dogs can be adopted by senior citizens and given a good home for the rest of their lives, instead of living out the rest of their lifespan in a dog shelter (or even worse, being put to sleep because they’re unwanted). Older dogs are often easier for seniors to handle because their activity level is usually lower than pups or younger adult dogs. And there is much less concern about the dog outliving its human companion.
Shelter dogs are often very loving companions. It’s almost as if they know they’ve been rescued and are grateful for it. So senior citizens, please consider saving a rescue dog!