Dogs and cats are fantastic companions. Studies find that pets can help lower blood pressure, reduce stress, and lower the risk of heart disease and diabetes. A lot of this is due to the requirement to take a pet outside for walks or clean up after the pet, both of which ensure you get some exercise.
What happens if your dad can no longer properly care for his pet? Have you and your family discussed the “what ifs” of sudden or severe changes to health and mobility?
Situations You Need to Think About
Some people just don’t like to consider the “what ifs.” It’s understandable, but when your dad has a pet, you have to go there. It’s the only way to make sure that pet is treated well and never neglected.
If he has Alzheimer’s, he may be perfectly fine walking his dog now, but it won’t always be that way. A day will come when he forgets to feed his dog. He forgets to let the dog out to go to the bathroom, so that dog is forced to go on the floor inside the home. He could let the dog out and never let that dog back inside.
Your dad had a stroke and can no longer manage on his own. He can’t clean the cat’s litter box. He can’t feed the cat. He may not even be able to lift a hand to pet his cat anymore.
While the pet is dealing with lack of care, if you take that pet away, it can be just as detrimental. The animal is suddenly uprooted, scared, and struggles to fit into a new environment. Taking the pet away can also make it harder for your dad. For years, he’s relied on his dog or cat for companionship. You’ve taken his best friend away. He’s not going to react well.
What Are Your Options?
At this point, you can either keep the pet or re home the pet. If you opt to keep the pet, someone needs to step up and make sure the pet is fed and watered every day. If the pet takes medications, someone needs to make sure the pet still gets those medications on time.
See if local caregivers can help with reminders to ensure your dad is taking care of his pet’s needs. You can also look into dog walking and pet sitting services to help out. A caregiver can look after your dad’s needs and be there to let a pet sitter in each day to care for the pet.
Make sure you have these discussions together as a family. Consider what’s best for the pet and your dad while making decisions. When you’re ready, call a home care agency to talk about all of the services caregivers can help with. That way you’ll know what needs to be done if the pet is going to stay.
If you or an aging loved-one is considering a Caregiver in Plano, TX please contact the caring staff at Althea Home care today at 972-245-4458