The Elderly and Their Pets

It’s easy to understand why elderly pet owners develop deep and meaningful relationships with their pets—pets provide essential elements of unconditional love and companionship for seniors. For these reasons, family members may choose to give a pet to their aging parents.

Pets are often a much-needed stimulus for seniors to stay healthy while maintaining a responsible role in caring for their furry friend, according to Pernille Ostberg, MBA, RPh, president and CEO of Matrix Home Care. “We encourage the gift-giver to make certain the pet is well-trained so they can be an asset in a senior’s home, not a liability,” she said.

If a senior suffers the loss of a beloved pet, the grief can be overwhelming. According to Kat Macenas, co-owner of Leader of the Pack canine services in Delray Beach, Florida, replacing the pet with an older, low-energy dog or cat may be the right move.