Senior citizens get many physical, emotional, and mental benefits from having a pet. They provide companionship, ease depression, and even the action of petting dogs can sometimes help to reduce the inflammation from arthritis in the hands and wrists. While many seniors may choose a fairly small and portable animal for convenience, other senior citizens may choose a larger dog, either to help assist them, as a protection animal, or just because they happen to prefer a larger dog. It is just as important for the dog of a senior citizen to get enough exercise as the dog of a younger person, and a large, restless animal that has not been offered enough exercise may become more hyperactive around the house increasing the likelihood of tripping or knocking over their owner in their exuberance.
Dogs have an incredible sense of smell compared to humans, with approximately two hundred and twenty million scent receptors in their noses in comparison to the measly five million found in human physiology. The world of dogs is filled with smells, and those smells can be used to enhance your dog's happiness and their mental acuity. Scent work, although most popular among hounds and hunting dogs, can be enjoyed by any canine and provides an opportunity to get your pup's mind working with a relatively small amount of physical energy required by the trainer. This particular activity can also improve the communication and bond between owner and pet, an important component in any good human/canine partnership.
Rally for dogs is a dog sport that has been increasing in popularity of the last little bit. This sport involves navigating a training course at a brisk continuous pace while performing between ten to twenty specific tricks or commands. This activity is not only beneficial in that it provides both mental and physical stimulation for your canine companion, but it also can also improve your dog’s overall obedience level as well as improving effective communication between you and your dog. Better communication and obedience, especially between larger dogs and smaller, older, or weaker individuals, can increase safety and security for both you and your dog.
Many able-bodied senior citizens retire only to find that they have exchanged the stress of too much to do and too little time to do it in, for boredom and loneliness. Whether this is you, or you just want to help alleviate someone else’s boredom and loneliness, training your dog to be a therapy dog will not only help others, but it will give you an opportunity to interact with people who you may not have met otherwise. If your dog is a relatively calm dog who truly enjoys human contact, they are likely to make a good candidate to become a therapy dog and give comfort to those who need it.
Take your canine companion to a dog-friendly beach nearby and relax by the waves while they play in the sand. Make sure you are close enough to prevent any encounters with wildlife, such as crabs or jellyfish, and to ensure that your dog doesn’t eat anything that they shouldn’t.
Dogs may not understand the plot of your favorite murder mystery or laugh with your favorite comedian, but they are able to perceive that there are pictures on the television as well as smart enough to recognize images of other animals. Stick to newer televisions with a higher refresh rate if you want your dog to see the screen clearly though, as their eyes register images much more quickly than human eyes.
While it is important that your large dog be well trained for loose lead walking in order to protect yourself from being pulled off balance, but a nice stroll in the neighborhood or at a nearby park is beneficial for the mental and physical health of both the dog and their owner.
While many people consider small dogs to be more appropriate for senior citizens, in some circumstances larger dogs may be able to provide some measure of physical stability and personal security that smaller dogs cannot provide. There are many wonderful activities that senior citizens can safely share with their canine companions, regardless of the size of the animal.