Tips for aging parents, pets

A feature on Forbes.com caught my attention this morning. The title alone was enough to draw a vet’s interest, but where it was published got me even more interested. What could a business news site have to say about pets?

In How to Handle Aging Parent’s Pets, Carolyn Rosenblatt, a nurse, attorney, and author of The Boomer’s Guide to Aging Parents, offers some realistic advice for children faced with aging parents who own pets. Obviously a pet love, Rosenblatt points out the extra-special bond that older pet owners share with their pets, and most of her suggestions are aimed at keeping seniors togheter with their pets in a way that’s safe, healthy, and fair to all involved. While the article is a good read, skimmers might prefer to view 10 Tips for Aging Parents and Pets, a companion slide show to the article (to change photos, use the next and previous buttons on the upper right of the page).

As a veterinarian, it’s hard not to appreciate how important pets are to senior pet owners. As a veterinarian living in a warm place where folks come to retire, leaving kids and grandkids to shovel snow somewhere else, I see this relationship take on even more importance in the lives of many of our clients. And as a son (my dad reads this blog, so I have to be careful here…) of parents who no longer think twice about asking for senior discounts, I expect that at least a portion of our weekly phone chats to revolve around the pets living in each of our homes. The only “sibling” I have living still at home is a scruffy Cairn terrier mix, after all.

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