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My grandma is 79 and needs a dog, she gets lonely. I need a bigger dog as I dont want her falling over it. Something that doesnt shed a lot, doesnt need a lot of grooming and can protect the house. Any suggestions?
 

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Lots of shelters have a seniors for seniors program where they adopt out senior dogs to senior citizens at a highly discounted price. These older dogs won't need as much exercise as a younger dog and many will have some basic training, manners and be housebroken.
 

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I don't know how mobile your grandma is, but my grandma is 79 and has trouble walking her dog. Personally, I would suggest a cat over a dog, but if she is able to walk the dog or can afford to have it walked, I would have to agree that going to a shelter and adopting a senior dog would be the best option.
 

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My question is..who thinks that grandma should have a dog? If it's she..then that's fine and I think that looking into an older and well trained dog is a lovely idea.

Please plan on helping both of them adjust and plan on helping for a good long time.

If it's you..then you have alot of things to consider. I won't go into a lot of detail..but lets just say that this is experience talking:)

There's a lot of pressure to having a dog. To mention a few..feeding..exercise and meshing of routines. While many younger folk might find it a challenge..someone older and more set in their daily routine might find it too much pressure to cope with..and that would take away from the joy that you may be intending.

For my situation? Turns out that what "grandma" really needed most was more visits with me..with my dogs.
 

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My Mom really misses having a dog. She is 82. She and my Dad coud never keep up with a dog. I used to "board" my dog with them when I had over night business trips, but I don't do it any more.

Mom cannot handle the dog's schedule... getting up and getting the dog out.. and my Dad (who has Alzheimers) will just "let the dog out" without a thought. A dog for them is just not feasible.. I visit and bring mine. Sometimes I let her stay for the day (day care with Grandparents who spoil her... LOL). Even a few hours is too much sometimes.

Meanwhile, someone dropped a cat off at their place. My Mom took in the cat ("pretty kitty") and that is something she can handle. They are in the counntry and so far nothing has happened when my Dad has "let the cat out because she asked to be let out." My Mom can tell him over and over the cat is an indoor only cat but he still lets her out (alzheimers is a bad illness).

Now, having said this, I can say that there are many 79 year olds who could handle a dog just fine. Only you know if your Grandma is one of those.

It is also important to consider who wants the dog. Just like anyone else, she has to want the dog and all that dog ownership entails.
 

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I am fortunate enough to have my father who is 76 and 3 months from being 77 drive over and walk my dog twice a day when I am at work. It does them both good and they both love each other. A dog walker would cost me at least a 100 a week.

If it is your grandmothers idea to get a dog then I suggest that you take her to a shelter and let her pick out her own dog. If it is your idea to spring a dog on her then I would advise against it. In any case whatever happens you need to also consider who will take care of the dog when your grandmother's time has come to where she can no longer take care of the dog or she passes. For seniors the toy breeds are the best as they are easier to handle on a leash.
 

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I have an 80 years plus friend. When her German Shepherd died, her kids tried to get her to buy a puppy. I talked her out of that as she is not that mobile, has steep steps from her home that a puppy could not go up and down plus she has a fenced in yard but has to go down the stairs to put the dog into it. I advised her to get an older dog. She adopted a Lab x Shar Pei from a Rescue place and the dog is perfect for her, already housetrained and neutered and not a high energy dog even with the Lab in it. He is just over a year old and a nice calm disposition. She lives on her own now and has always had big dogs so would not have wanted any toy or small breeds.
 

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I wouldn't get a dog in this case. All dogs shed. All dogs need to be trained so that they don't pee and poop in the house, chew the furniture, bark all day or jump up on people. All dogs need exercise -- at least 30 minutes a day, regardless of breed.

In all seriousness, I would seriously consider either a cat or a rabbit.
 

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If she likes cats, it might be better well suited for her care-wise. There are many middle aged cats out there that specifically need a home without other pets. Same goes for dogs too, but given you want a larger dog, no matter the age, it will need exercise. A backyard doesn't count.
 

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My grandmother had two dogs into her early 80s. Both were very laid back, small, poodle cross breeds. One was actually a mutt she took in as a stray in her 70s. My grandmother got around very well for someone her age so letting a small dog in or out wasn't a problem and the dogs got exercise by running around the house and in the backyard.
 

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From our experience (I'm 88, wife is 80) get an older shelter dog. It must be her choice, however. We both had a number of dogs in earlier marriages, didn't want one because we were traveling a lot, but attended dog shows, dog-sat for relatives and neighbors.
Finally decided to get one of our own. My wife previously had a Basenji that she loved. We looked at breeders dogs, finally decided that the Basenji, even as an adult, would be too active for us. Found a perfect little mix (terrier, chiuhuahua, dachshund, ??) and think he is the perfect dog for us. That said, we were very fortunate. If she decides to get a dog from a shelter, do lots of visits first.
 

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For MANY dogs, getting exercise by running around the house and in the backyard simply isn't enough and will lead to behavioral problems, such as barking, digging, chewing, etc. Perhaps a senior dog of a less active breed can be found who may be okay with this, but then there will likely be senior dog problem$ to deal with. Also, OP, either a dog sheds shorter hair or it's hair grows long and will require grooming approximately every 4-8 weeks (although all of my dogs, regardless of coat length, are groomed monthly). I like the suggestion of a cat, although some cats, like mine who needs $pecial litter and her TWO litter boxes changed often, can be high maintenance. They may also be destructive, getting up on shelves and breaking precious things, clawing up the furniture or rugs, etc. Most cats also shed quite a bit. As for protection, if that's what the place needs, I would install an alarm system rather than hope a dog will go on the defensive enough to do any good. Dog or cat, don't forget to factor in the additional cost of companionship, from regular vet visits to emergency care, plus food and other supplies. I often hear how many seniors are on a "fixed income" and it can be tough to cover their own bills, but I'm only mentioning it with the understanding that money may not be such a concern in this case.
 

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A cat might be a better option but, if she really does want a dog, I too agree, with looking for a senior dog in a shelter. One of my older relatives has a senior Golden Retriever and she is a very mellow, very sweet dog...
 

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Please bear in mind that senior dogs shed just as much as they would in their adult or adolescent days -- which, in case of a Golden, is quite a bit -- and that even senior dogs should get a walk every day, health problems notwithstanding.
 

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Guess I should've clarified to the OP, I wasn't suggesting a Golden Retriever....just saying how my elderly relatives have one that is a senior shelter dog and that senior shelter dogs can be very mellow and sweet and adjust to living with the eldery quite well....

If your Mom is really set on getting a dog, perhaps she or you could hire a dog walker to take the dog on a short walk every day and maybe she could get someone to help her with the grooming...just a thought....
 

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Up until a couple years ago, my grandma had an elderly Lab......she really couldn't handle him, even though he was so old. When she had to have him PTS she had to call the vet so he could send a tech to lift the dog into the car. Well...she could have called any one of us, but she "didn't want to inconvenience anybody" :rolleyes: . At any rate, a large dog, even a well-behaved elderly dog, is probably too much for most older people.

Anyway, now she has cats. Just ferals/strays that showed up at her place. She called me, I came and took them to the vet to be fixed and vaccinated, and now they come and go as they please. She has a litter box in the house, and uses crystal litter because it's lighter so she can lift the bag. But there really are a lot of considerations with older people having a pet. Most can't do it alone.
 
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