Owning a pet can be an amazing way to enhance your parent’s quality of life. Many studies have indicated that regularly interacting with an animal can offer an aging adult a wide variety of benefits for their physical, mental and emotional health. These benefits range from lowering blood pressure and supporting their cardiovascular health, to reducing the risk of depression and anxiety, to promoting more physical and social activity. With all of the benefits a pet can offer to your aging parent’s life, it’s clear you want to make sure that animals get the best care they can as well.
June is National Pet Preparedness Month. This is the perfect opportunity for you to review with your parent the steps to keep their pet safe and healthy during the summer heat.
Use these tips to help keep your parents pet healthy and safe this summer:
- Make sure the pet always has access to fresh, cool water. Animals dehydrate extremely quickly, meaning they need water continuously, and many will not drink water if it does not look clean.
- If your parent’s pet spends any time outside, make sure that they have access to a shady place where they can seek shelter from the sun and the heat.
- Do not allow an animal to stay outside for an extended time, especially on days when it is extremely hot. Short bursts of time for exercise and using the restroom is acceptable, but they should spend most of their time inside where it is cool and they are away from the sun.
- Make sure the pet is on a reliable flea and tick preventative medication, even if they are very rarely outdoors. These pests can cause discomfort and pain, but can also carry very serious and dangerous illnesses.
- Pay very close attention to the pet to detect any signs of overheating. Remember that animals can overheat even more quickly than humans, and those with flat faces are more susceptible to overheating because they cannot cool themselves as effectively.
- Never leave a pet unattended in a vehicle, even if the windows are cracked. The heat inside the vehicle can reach potentially deadly levels within just a few minutes. Keep in mind leaving an animal unattended in a vehicle is also illegal in many areas.
- Do not leave a pet alone near a pool. Many breeds are not good swimmers, and unless your pet has been exposed to water frequently in their life, they may panic if they fall in.
- Avoid using any sun protection or insect repellent product on an animal unless it is specifically labeled for use on animals.
- Avoid allowing a pet to stay on asphalt or pavement for longer than a few moments. Not only is the surface very hot and potentially damaging to their paws, but the closer proximity of the surface to their body can cause overheating rapidly.
A home care provider can be a valuable source of support for an elderly adult who wants to continue to enjoy the benefits of being a pet owner, but may worry that their challenges may keep them from caring for their pet effectively. This care provider can remind your senior about the care tasks necessary for their pet, assist them with certain care tasks, and work with them to find ways to integrate their pet into their care. This is a great way to enhance your loved one’s quality of life, and support their health throughout their aging years. This is only one part of the personalized services a care provider can offer your parent to manage their challenges, address their health and wellness needs, and promote more satisfaction as they age in place.
If you or an aging loved one are considering caregivers in Edison, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Care Street Home Care of New Brunswick today. Call (732) 607-8870.