• We're currently experiencing technical issues with our newsletter software, so our Dementia Talking Point monthly updates have been put on hold for now. We hope to restart the newsletter soon.

    Find out more >here<.

Dog – good idea or not?

Emmy

Registered User
Apr 11, 2008
7
Horsham, West Sussex
Get a dog!

I look after my husband who has early -onset dementia he will be 59 next month and was diagnosed five years ago. He is in the later stages so you can guess my work is cut out as he is still at home. I had a cat, it died and I got two cats they are four years old noe. I went on to get a dog and then another dog. They are three and one year old. They are fantastic pets. Chris went out for walks with the dogs until about 18months ago and I get out every day. Having a dog keeps you sane and in contact with other people. Because while they might feel uncomfortable with us in our situation a dog breaks the ice and makes a talking point and a way into a conversation. I meet many people out with a dog who are or have been carers and we all love our pets. The dogs sit with Chris and put their heads on his knee or shoulder this is good contact. Dogs are a must in my view when there is so much to feel sad about dogs take away some of the pain.
 

Amy

Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
3,454
Hiya I notice that his thred was started last year...but Stewart, if you are reading along....what did you decide.
My parents had a small dog, and I must admit that when most of mums reactions had gone, she did occasionally react appropriately to her dog, and stroke her and try and talk to her....there was still a bond.
Helen
 

jc141265

Registered User
Sep 16, 2005
836
45
Australia
Dogs can be wonderful therapy

If you like dogs and can handle the initial hard work, then I would say go for it.
Your wife may not always benefit from having a dog around, Dad lost interest in dogs as his disease progressed, but I have to say that my dogs were a godsend.
I never was a small dog person, but for therapy value I would recommend a small dog as they seem to be much more involved with their owners on a mental/emotional level. I cannot tell you the relief it was to come home and cry my eyes out and have my puppies sit there and look concerned about me...the rest of the world has trouble and in uncomfortable in the presence of sadness but little dogs will look at you with concern in their eyes, they will happily put up with you hugging them when you are crying and will often then do something silly like bring you a ball for you to throw with them, that always made me suddenly be able to laugh again.
Love my dogs!!!!!
 

jean@beatyjean.

Registered User
May 29, 2008
4
Anglesea in Wales
Hi .We have 4 rescue dogs that we had before my husband was diagnosed with Alzheimers. He is only in the early stages but having dogs to look after gives him a sense of responsibility and he enjoys walking them in the mornings.
I have to check that he gives them the right food etc as they all have different amounts, but he does pretty well.
I think that generally speaking they have a beneficial effect on him at the moment. As regards the future, well, we shall have to wait and see. Jean