Puppy for an elderly person? Thoughts please!

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  1. Back story - My grandpa is 99 years old in a couple of weeks. He's very able bodied, he walks with a walking stick, still goes out and about and still lives alone in his home. He has a carer come in twice a day to check he takes his meds and to cook a meal for him. My family & I live a couple of doors down from him so we call in with him at least 2/3x a day. So people are always calling in with him.

    He's decided that he would REALLY like to own a dog again (he's owned some before, but not in like the past 20 years or so) and we all think it would be good company for him, our only worry is.. is it really feasible?

    I've agreed to walk the dog and help him train and look after it. I've wanted a dog my whole life but my dad is not keen on having one, so I'd be absolutely thrilled to look after my grandpas dog and willing to take full responsibility for it's health and well-being.

    Obviously we'll be doing all our homework on the dog and how to care for it properly when/if we decide to go ahead with it. I just wanted to gather some opinions from here since I've never owned a dog before and just wanted to see how feasible you think it is for him as an elderly person?

    Note: We're not at all opposed to rescuing a dog be it a puppy or an older dog, we will definitely be having a look around shelters. However, a few years ago when I tried to adopt a kitten we were told we live out of the homing zone! (You needed to live within certain miles from the shelter and we were 'too far out', hopefully this has changed in the past years - will be checking!)

    Thanks! I hope this all made sense! x
  2. Hmm, I don't think a puppy is a good idea for your grandfather. I think an older dog would be more suited for him. Their personalities are already molded and their energy level is usually a lot lower. Plus, they usually already have basic commands down.
    I think a puppy would just be too much for a 99 year old man, no matter how able-bodied and spunky he is or how much help he has.
    I would look into local rescue groups or maybe contact a local veterinarian. Sometimes your veterinarian may have a client that is looking to rehome a dog, so they can be wonderful resources.

  3. I feel aklein has given you great advice. A dog at least several years old and hand picked from a shelter where the people there know the dogs and can make suggestions.
  4. #4 Sep 18, 2010
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2010
    I think that's a good idea somewhat. I agree with getting him an older dog as well, puppies are so much work and I'm not sure that would be best for a man his age. Animal shelters have wonderful adult dogs from all walks of life that I'm sure will fit your grandfather's personality.

    Also, I think it is important to mention that your family needs to think about what will happen to the dog when your grandfather is no longer with you (if the dog is still around at that time). I know it isn't pleasant to think about, but I think it's necessary given your grandfather's age even though you said he is healthy. My aunt helps out at an animal shelter, and a great deal of the animals come from elderly owners who passed and the remaining family did not want to take them in so they ended up homeless. Someone in your family should agree to take the dog if/when this happens so the dog doesn't end back up in a shelter. If no one is up for it, then I would recommend not getting him an animal.
  5. Shelters are full of dropoffs where elderly owners passed away and the kids couldn't keep a dog..
    I would highly suggest a docile senior pet looking for a quiet place to retire..
    and your father will be saving a life, as senior dogs are not high on adoption list..
    personally, I love senior dogs, puppies are so much work.

    Please make sure there's a good home for the dog should something happen to your

    Please post pictures of the new addition!
    Good luck!

    ***Agree with Lauren..we posted at the same time**
  6. Thanks for the responses! Don't worry, we've already discussed that if something were to happen to my grandpa that the dog would either come to me or to my auntie, we would definitely not be looking in to getting him one if it wasn't coming to a forever home. :smile:

    I do think that looking in to an older dog sounds like the best idea for him and ty for the vet suggestion, I'm sure they would be the best people to ask for an idea of where rehomes to our area or if they know of any dogs looking for homes. Will keep you guys posted!
  7. I agree that an adult dog would be a great choice! Good luck!
  8. Add another vote for an adult dog - I don't even have the energy for a puppy and I'm more than 50 years younger than your grandfather!
  9. I would suggest looking for an older dog, too. We adopted a 14 year old dog 5 months ago and he is so relaxed and easy to handle.
  10. Another vote for an older dog. Puppies are too crazy for an older person to handle!
  11. I would also take into consideration the needs of the breed. A 5 year old JRT or Dalmatian is considerably different than a 5 year old Bull Dog.
  12. I adopted a senior dog who outlived his elderly owner and he is a great little guy. Older dogs are calmer, have got the housetraining thing down, don't do all the puppy things like chewing, and are so deserving of good homes.
  13. Thanks for all the responses! I've been having a look online for shelters in nearby areas and found an independently owned one that looks promising! I've sent them an email detailing my grandpas needs and situation just to see what they think is best for him - I'm looking forward to hearing back from them!

    I've already seen an 8-10 yr old Lhasa Apso on there that sounds like it could be a pretty good match for him. Although obviously we don't want to rush into anything! We'll have to see where it all goes from here! :smile:

    Thanks again for the responses!
  14. This is so true! I adopted an adult dog (4 years old) from the shelter last year. No housetraining needed -- she already knew the bathroom was outside!

    I also foster dogs, and the one I have now is 2 and was given up at the shelter by his owner. He also is housetrained. It's much less stressful to adopt an older dog!
  15. I know 30 year olds that can't handle a puppy! I agree with everyone about adopting an older dog. Your Grandfather wants a companion not a baby which is what a puppy is. A time consuming, nipping, whining, peeing, pooping hurricane of fur and teeth! A senior dog is most likely already trained, really mellow and wants nothing more than to be with his owner.

    Good luck on your search. I hope your Grandfather finds his perfect little friend!