Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Nursing Homes are going to the Dogs!

By Suzanne Alicie

People who love pets can’t imagine having to live without the comfort of a furry back to stroke or a purring foot warmer. However, as responsible pet owners age they may have to face the fact that they can no longer live alone and must move to a nursing home. Because there are so many people with different ailments and afflictions in a nursing home, more than likely the person won’t be able to take their beloved pets. New residents in a nursing home may experience depression due to the changes in their life and the loss of their pets.

Just imagine raising a puppy and providing it with wonderful care, attention and all the best in natural pet food like CANIDAE for years and then finding out that you are unable to care for him anymore. You are going to be moving to an assisted living facility and have to give up your precious pet to another family. It’s heartbreaking.

Because of this, many nursing homes provide animal therapy for their residents. There are dogs and cats that make regular visits to nursing homes and even hospitals, to allow the elderly to interact with an animal, to feel the soft fur and look into their loving eyes. This can make a huge difference in the quality of life that the person has in the nursing home. Therapy dogs and cats are trained to provide comfort, company and attention to all sorts of people. CANIDAE is a proud sponsor of several therapy dogs through their Special Achievers program.

Another option that the elderly pet lover and their family may want to consider is finding a nursing home that has a resident cat or dog. Many times these animals are allowed to wander around the place and visit with all the residents. Of course, these nursing homes can be difficult to find because so many people have allergies and other problems with animals, and the administrators want to be as accommodating as possible to all the people who need their services. Still, it's worth looking into.

The benefits of pets for the elderly are well known. Pets provide entertainment, companionship, comfort and therapeutic energy. Why should aging lead to the loss of the comforting love of animals that a person has enjoyed throughout their life? It shouldn’t. There are ways of making sure that the elderly, even in nursing homes, have the opportunity to enjoy a pet.

Responsible pet owners who have animals that are good with people or who are trained therapy dogs may want to consider contacting their local nursing homes to see if a visit can be arranged. Your pet will enjoy the interaction and excitement of a visit as much as the residents of the nursing home. Be sure to take along plenty of CANIDAE Snap-Bits™ so that your dog’s new friends can give him a treat!

Read more articles by Suzanne Alicie


  1. thanks for this informative and important post. My father-in-law who passed this past Nov resided in a Nursing Home that had a resident cat and dog.

    Even those with Altzheimer's (as he had) can take comfort from these wonderful furry creatures who just stroll by for a pet on their head or back or lay by their feet.

    The smiles on the residents' faces is priceless!

  2. This is all good and fine but what I really want to see are nursing home that will let you bring your companion animal with you. It is not that difficult is is being done is drug rehab facilities currently! So why don't we give our delightful seniors a chance to keep their family members with them instead of shoving they away in a facility to wait for death?

  3. Mr Budrow makes a great point, one that I could not agree with more. However, being a member of a therapy dog team, myself and my gorgeous chocolate lab Mia, I know how much time and energy it takes to properly care for an animal. I can not begin to imagine the time and resources it would take to see to the needs of numerous animals in addition to the needs of the facility residents.
    We all have opinions on how the world would function better. In the mean time people need to blog less, get up, burn a few calories and VOLUNTEER their time.
    I witness the joy, love, exuberance, expectation of the residents twice a week during our visits.


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