Most senior citizens who have pets treat them like they are their children. Of course, you don’t need to be a senior to do that, but homes without children of the human kind truly do have children of the furry kind.
In addition to providing companionship, unconditional love and a calming effect, larger pets can also provide a sense of safety to seniors. Its also been shown that people who have pets tend to live longer. Pet ownership, as we all know, also has its responsibilities. Sometimes these responsibilities are more difficult on seniors and keeping their pets can present problems. The escalating cost of veterinary bills and the ability to transport their pets when many don’t drive are very real issues.
Several cities in Colorado have been surveying their veterinarian population to find out which ones offer discounts to senior citizens for pet care, as well as which ones either make home visits or provide some type of transportation assistance and other help. In Fort Collins, their Senior Advisory Board obtained a grant allowing it to start a mobile veterinary service for seniors called Elder Pet Care. What a great idea!! Seniors are charged based on a sliding scale for veterinary services performed at their homes. The program is now self-sustaining after ten years.
Some transit systems, like the city of Loveland, CO are also on board by allowing pets to ride in crates. Transit systems in Boston, Toronto, Seattle and San Francisco allow full size dogs on leashes to come on board as well as ferries in some of these cities.
I think all these programs are worth duplicating across the United States. Next time you’re at your vet, why not ask if they’re involved in any programs that offer discounts or mobile pet care to seniors. After all, it never hurts to ask!
Debbie Foster is the owner of Pet Beds Unlimited and an avid animal lover. You can find a wide selection of quality pet beds, dog crates, dog carriers [http://www.petbedsunlimited.com/dog_carriers.html], dog pens [http://www.petbedsunlimited.com/dog_pens.html], cat beds, cat carriers and pet strollers at [http://petbedsunlimited.com]
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