13 Responses to “When Aging Parents Can No Longer Care for their Pets”


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  1. While I accept that it is a great therapeutic help to let Seniors keep pets, I strongly believe that it is unfair to the pet and the care givers to keep pets if the Senior is unable to provide the kind of care the pet requires. I have not allowed pets inside my house for this very reason, despite having grown up with them and kept them till my own health problems and my late wife’s, made it difficult.

  2. Fortunately our two cats have lived with my husband, mom, and me for eight years, so this will not be an issue, and I’m at glad that’s one drama I won’t have to deal with! I wouldn’t want to face such a tough decision.

  3. Hi Rummuser,

    Sounds like you made a wise and compassionate decision for your family (and pets) based on your personal circumstances. Thank you for caring so much.

    Hi Lori,

    Caring for pets is a shared responsibility (and joy) in multigenerational family living and another win-win for everyone involved. Thanks for pointing this out.

  4. Hello:

    The elderly do NOT have to give up their pets! Pets help them live longer! Neither the pet nor the pet owner want to lose their family member!
    There are services … pet sitter services to help! Example – in Tampa Bay, Florida – Leash on Life Pet & People Services. They are quite reputable, bonded and insured. Leash on Life offers pet care and assistance for one visit, regular visits and even overnights if you will be away. They feed, supply water, give medications, bathe, walk pets and more! For the owner, they also can house sit, house clean, run errands (grocery store, etc) and even offer companionship for the elderly.
    With service like this, why give up your cherished pet? Ask about similar services where you live!
    See their website at leashonlife.vpweb.com

  5. Dear Nancy,

    Welcome to TLeC! Thank you for sharing this Florida resource with us. I do hope people will do as you suggest and look up similar services in their area.

  6. This is one of the hidden problems of aging not many people discuss. It is heartbreaking because people who are older rely more on their pets for contact and emotional well being. Our pets become our family, and when the elderly can no longer care for their pets everyone suffers. There are services out there but not enough of them. I do not know what the solution is but I am grateful for your bringing the problem to peoples attention.

  7. Hi Bobby,

    It is so true that our pets become our family and to have to separate from them is heartbreaking — at any age, no matter what the reason. Thanks for adding to the discussion here.

  8. Cilla

    I realize this is an old post, but I need some advice. I fully believe that pets are beneficial and theraputical for our ‘Golden Oldies’, but what do you do when they can no longer care for their beloved pets due to dimentia and the like? I’m asking this because my grandmother lives for her two dogs. However, she is entering the beginning stages of dimentia and can no longer care for them properly. Family is there daily to help her out, bu her house is a mess because she doesn’t feel safe taking them outside. What if you can’t afford pet sitter services, but are tired of cleaning the mess yourself? I’ve thought of trying an easier pet such as fish, but how do you explain why you are taking her dogs away? Help!

  9. Welcome to TLeC, Cilla! Thank you for this comment and your permission to share it with my readers in a new post. You can read more suggestions to the points I make above.

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