Caregivers in New Canaan CT
Having a pet is a wonderful way to enhance your caregiver journey with your aging loved ones. Interacting with an animal on a regular basis wards off feelings of depression, anxiety, stress, isolation, and loneliness, while lowering blood pressure, boosting emotional health, and creating a sense of involvement and importance. While most people immediately think of dogs and cats when it comes to pets, the benefits are not necessarily limited just to these animals. Any animal that your parents enjoy can give them a boost in their health, wellbeing, and quality of life. February is Adopt a Rescued Rabbit Month, an amazing opportunity for you and your aging loved ones to give an abandoned animal a second chance at a good life while also offering your seniors the health benefits of spending time with an animal.
As with any other animal, welcoming a rabbit into your caregiver journey with your loved ones requires preparation and planning to ensure that the animal stays as healthy, safe, and comfortable as possible while also ensuring the most benefit from their new relationship. Use these tips to encourage your parents to start a new pet relationship during Adopt a Rescue Rabbit Month:
• Pick the right rabbit. When choosing your parents’ new rabbit it is important to keep in mind that rabbits are highly social and create strong bonds with others. Make sure that you pay attention at the shelter or store to whether the rabbit your parents have their eye on is bonded to another. If it is, the best thing to do for the health of that rabbit is to either choose another one that does not have a bond, or adopt both of the bonded rabbits. Also pay attention to the breed you are choosing. Some breeds are relatively tiny at only 3 to 5 pounds while others can get up to 20 pounds.
• Establish an indoor living arrangement. Wild rabbits may love to be outside, but if you have a pet rabbit, he needs to live inside. Rabbits do not tolerate major shifts in weather well and can have a heart attack at the sight of a predatory animal, which could be as simple as a neighborhood dog or a squirrel, so make sure that your parents’ home has enough space to accommodate a large cage and that there is space for the rabbit to get some out-of-cage exercise on a daily basis.
• Cuddle correctly. Rabbits are very fragile animals so it is important that your loved ones understand how to hold their new furry friend properly. Never attempt to pick up a rabbit that looks anxious or that is struggling. A rabbit that is trying to get out of someone’s hands can easily break its own back in its struggle, which is untreatable. A rabbit should be lifted both under its hindquarters and under its front legs to provide ample support.
• Create comfort. Avoid cages that have wire bottoms as these can be very uncomfortable and even painful for their feet and legs. If your cage has such a bottom, cover it with rubber or corrugated cardboard and newspaper strips, but be prepared to replace these regularly.
If you or an aging loved one are considering help for family caregivers in New Canaan, CT or the surrounding areas, please contact SYNERGY HomeCare of Stamford, CT at 203-661-6969.