Thinking of Adopting a Pet? Here’s What to Know.

January 4th, 2021

Getting older can be tough for many reasons. New health concerns crop up. You may experience changes in mobility and transition out of your job or career. These changes can be very lonely and isolating. However, one source of comfort is constant: an animal companion.

What are the benefits?

There are numerous benefits to cohabiting with a furry friend. Dogs have been shown to reduce stress and lower your blood pressure. Additionally, simple activities like going outside to walk a dog around the block can help you be more active and social. A pet can also positively impact feelings of depression and loneliness. In some cases, they help with memory recall.

Adopting a pet doesn’t just benefit seniors—it benefits the dog, too. This is especially true because retirees have more time to care for an animal and form a lasting bond.

There are a few questions to consider before adopting a dog, though.
  • How well do you adapt to change?
  • How much care will it need? Is it healthy?
  • Have you ever had a dog before?
  • What age dog should you get? What temperament would fit with your lifestyle?

The answer to each of these questions will be different for every senior. For example, any pet will significantly change your routine. If you get a dog, expect to walk it.

What about training?

Whether you get a puppy or an older dog, it will likely require some training. Younger pets typically require more patience and training than older animals. However, it’s important that your dog respects and obeys you. This is also a safety issue, because it makes your dog less likely to run into the road or give chase. Plus, no one wants an annoying dog barking at all hours of the night! When you adopt a dog these are things you should be prepared to deal with.

Luckily, though, there are tons of tools that help you train a pet easily. Most dogs love treats, but they don’t always respond to them. They do typically respond to stimuli, but many of these options—like shock collars and choke chains—are old-fashioned and inhumane. Fortunately, training tools have gotten an upgrade, and there are stronger, more humane options. Ultrasonic tools like BarxBuddy don’t even require a collar and are among the most effective tools available.

If you’re interested in adopting a furry friend, there are many websites, such as Petfinder, that can help you locate shelters in your area. Shelters usually have a wide variety of animals at different ages and with different personalities, so you’ll be able to find your perfect match and embrace the joy of having and training a pup.

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