Imagine you’re 87 years old, you’ve been a widow for several years, you live alone and you want to adopt a puppy. How do you start the process? What kind of puppy should you get? What are some things to look for and be aware of?
In this client spotlight, we’re sharing bits of a story from one of our clients, Janie. She was a spunky and witty 87 year old that NEVER had a pet. After her husband passed away after 50 years of marriage she decided she wanted a dog so that’s where we’ll begin.
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- Do you live in a pet-friendly residence or residential area?
- Do you afford to take your new pet to the veterinarian for routine vet care? And emergency care if needed?
- Are you physically able to bend over to clean up potty messes?
- Are you able to carry pet food (or cat litter) in the store, then to the cart then inside your home?
- Do you have someone that can step in and help you with the pet if you get sick, injured or need to be away from your home for medical reasons?
- Are you still able to drive? If not, who will take you and your pet to the veterinarian?
- Have you ever had a pet inside the home before?
There are pet professionals like sit-stay-play.com that can assist new pet parents in all facets of new pet parenthood. If you’re near Muncie, Indiana and need help, give us a call at 765-744-5688.
Pets Bring Benefits for Many People
Pets can help lower your blood pressure.
They give you a reason for living a purpose for your life.
They keep you company.
They can help you stay active.
Adopting a puppy, especially if you’ve never had one, can be a tricky situation.
I encourage you to do some research on the breed of puppy you’re looking for. If you’re not able to walk very far, you would want to adopt a mellower breed of dog. Getting one that is high energy would probably create a lot of problems.
Take some time to meet a variety of dogs or puppies and see which one chooses you.
Raising a New Puppy Isn’t Easy
If you choose to adopt a puppy, know that they require constant supervision if you want them to grow into well-behaved adult dogs.
You can’t just let a puppy run all over your house or stay caged 24/7 because you don’t like that it chews on things, pees everywhere or bites and nips all the time.
A person that gets a puppy needs to understand that the pup won’t know where to potty unless they’re shown the right place to go – whether that’s on potty pads or outside in the yard.
The pup might think furniture and shoes are great chew toys unless he’s given age-appropriate toys.
An inexperienced dog owner might not know that puppies should eat puppy food, they should learn how to walk on leash and be socialized so they become well-adjusted dogs.
Adopting an older dog that’s already house trained and used to living in a house may be a better choice for a first time dog owner or one that’s older.
A pet can bring joy to an older person’s life. sit-stay-play is here to help if you adopt a pet, call us today! 765-744-5688
Puppy Training was Needed
Let’s jump back to our client, Janie.
Once she settled in with her new puppy, she realized she was in over her head. Bella was chewing the couch and the table legs. She was pottying on the carpet. She wouldn’t walk when she put the leash on her to take her outside to potty.
Here’s Some Puppy Training Topics We Worked On
- Where to put potty pads and how often to change them
- Different types of puppy food
- Putting the collar on the puppy and walking her on leash
- What kind of toys puppy should have
- How to encourage good behavior and minimize naughty ones
- I talked about find a veterinarian
- I talked to her about spaying and microchipping
Flash Forward 1 Year
An unexpected trip caused our client to panic.
She called, frantically telling me that she had to go out of town and she didn’t know what to do about Bella. I reminded her about our pet sitting services and she booked 3 visits a day.
During her trip, she barely slept and called me constantly. I ended up bringing Bella home with me because Janie was so worried about her being by herself despite my constant updates and reassurances.
Sometimes Doing the Right Thing is More Important than Receiving Money
Janie was in the hospital a year later after having a heart attack.
Once she was able to talk, she called me in a panic. Bella had been alone in the house for two days.
Again, I stepped in and helped. This time however, she didn’t have money to pay me. Her social security check just got lowered a little and her rent went up.
I did the visits because it was the right thing to do. When she recovered and went home, she sent me a nice thank you card.
Have a Back-Up Plan
During our initial consultation, we always go over emergency plans and what-if’s, regardless of the age of our clients.
With Janie, I really had to go out on a limb. We talked about long term plans for her baby since she started having heart problems. She was 89 by this time.
This is something else every pet parent needs to think about.
What happens if you get sick and can’t get home to take care of your pets?
What happens if you have a heart attack and die?
Have Your Affairs in Order
Having your affairs in order, a Will, Living Will or Trust, with pet directives, is something I encourage. If you have someone that would be willing to take your pet(s) if/when you pass away or become incapacitated, now’s the time to get it in writing. If you want to set money aside for your pets when you pass away, get all that set up while you’re still healthy.
Again, age shouldn’t stop you from getting a pet, however, there’s things to think about when you decide to take on the responsibility. I watched Janie go from being a vibrant and spunky woman to one that barely got off the couch and Bella, she went from a 5 week old puppy to an overweight and severely underactive young dog.
Being a pet sitter is rewarding, especially when we get to help seniors, their pets and lonely people like Janie.
If you know someone that needs help with their pets, or you yourself could use a hand, please give us a call at 765-744-5688, I would love to help if I’m able.
Helping seniors and their pets,
Kelley Stewart, CEO|Pet Sitter
sit-stay-play In-home pet sitting & more.LLC
Serving Muncie and east central Indiana
P.S. Click here to read our client spotlight #1 about two master degree students in town for an internship.
P.P.S. Many shelters have designed programs for senior adopters. The pets available in these programs often are mellow, with little to no health issues and little regular grooming needs. Often these pets have had older parents and ended up at the shelter because their owner passed away. We suggest you contact your local animal shelter or rescue organization and ask if they have a program like this.