Companionship is important at any age. It’s something that many seniors do not always get after retirement. To make sure they have some level of companionship, many elderly men and woman get a dog. While a dog is great for companionship, they may not get the exposure to strangers that they need. This makes it hard for people to visit without worrying about the dog being fearful or aggressive.
If your mom has a dog, it’s important that you know how to acclimate the dog to people coming in and out of the house. Here are some tips.
Use Treats and a Leash at First
When someone new enters the home, have the dog in a room or kennel. Don’t let the dog out of the room until the visitor and the dog have both settled. Bring the dog out on a leash.
Let the dog approach the person, don’t have the person try to engage the dog. Make sure the visitor has a treat in hand. If the dog behaves, he gets the treat. If the dog growls, hold back and issue a firm no so that the dog knows that is not acceptable behavior. Put the dog back in the kennel or separate room until he’s calm again. Work slowly to the point where the dog takes the treat from the visitor
You May Need to Kennel or Contain the Dog to a Bedroom
If the dog continues to show some signs of aggression, it may be safer for all to keep the dog quarantined. Put a sign on the door to warn that the dog is in the room. Make sure the dog gets let out for bathroom breaks as necessary. Try again later. Remember this is going to be a slow process for a dog that is shy or nervous around people.
It’s very important that the dog is able to eventually accept visitors. As your mom ages, her abilities may decline to the point that some care is needed. You do not want to have a dog’s behavior impacting interactions between a caregiver and your mom. If you can’t get the dog to accept visitors, look for a dog trainer to help.
When you consider elderly care providers, make sure you talk about your mom’s dog. Some caregivers are fine with dogs, but others may be more cautious. It’s important to find a caregiver that is okay being around a shy dog.
SOMETIMES A LITTLE HELP AROUND THE HOUSE AND A REGULAR COMPANION CAN BRIGHTEN A SENIOR’S LIFE. IF YOU OR AN AGING LOVED-ONE ARE CONSIDERING IN-HOME ELDERLY CARE IN SUN CITY WEST, AZ, CONTACT THE CARING STAFF AT GOLDEN HEART SENIOR CARE. CALL TODAY (623) 748-3301.