National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day: 3 Tips for Adopting a Companion and the Reasons Why You Should

National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day: 3 Tips for Adopting a Companion and the Reasons Why You Should
April 30th is National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day. For family caregivers who've considered getting your mom or dad a pet, now's a perfect time. 

Health Benefits to Owning a Pet

The Center for Human-Animal Interaction continues to study the benefits to owning a pet. The National Institute of Health has launched many studies that find owning a dog aids with heart health, in part because dog owners often go out and walk their dogs each day. There are other studies that find pet owners often have lower blood pressure and handle stressful events faster than those without pets. 

If you feel a pet will benefit your parent, head to a local shelter and use the following three tips to find the perfect pet.

Three Pet Adoption Tips for Family Caregivers

#1 – Don't Choose a Young Pet. Dogs and cats have lifespans of as much as 20 years. Unless you're certain you want to take the dog or cat from your parent if something happens, set your parent's sights on an elderly cat or dog. Not only are the adoption fees lower or even free in some cases, but your parent also has a dog or cat that won't be as active. This is especially helpful if your parent tires after a short walk.

#2 – Take Housing Size Into Consideration. If your parent lives in a small home or apartment, you don't want a huge dog. A small dog or cat is better for a small apartment. You also need to consider the size of the yard. If your parent is in a condo or apartment without any yard, a cat is ideal as it won't need to go outside for bathroom breaks.

#3 – Be Aware of the Needs of a New Pet. It's important to take the health needs of an adopted pet into consideration. Family caregivers need to look at the items within the home. Some houseplants are toxic to pets, and cats are more likely to go chew on greenery. Plus, cats are more likely to climb to spots where plants are located. A dog may be the better option.

Caregivers should involve their elderly parent in the choice to adopt a pet. You need a dog or cat that shows a bond with an owner. Look for animals that warm up to your parent rather quickly. In addition, ask about a trial week. Many shelters offer a trial run to make sure the pet is the right fit for the family.

Sources:

https://www.aspca.org/adopt-pet/adoption-tips
https://www.avma.org/Events/pethealth/Pages/default.aspx
https://newsinhealth.nih.gov/2009/February/feature1.htm

If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Holladay, UT, contact the caring staff at Interim Healthcare. Call today 801-401-3515.

Author: Michael and Marlena Hawkins, Owners, Interim HealthCare, Salt Lake City, UT 

Interim HealthCare of Salt Lake City has been in business since February 2014, providing in-home personal care and support services that help our elderly and/or disabled neighbors live enriched, safe and independent lives. Our goal is to provide customized care and support services that make it possible for our clients to remain in the comfort of their own homes rather than relocate to an assisted living facility.  Interim HealthCare is family owned by Michael and Marlana Hawkins, and is a Veteran Owned Small Business.

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