Everycare Logo


Call Us

01962 842548

Follow us :

Many studies have found that animal assisted interactions with those with dementia improves their self-esteem and confidence.

It’s common for people with dementia to find it useful to have routine in their lives. Dogs also thrive on having predictable routine, so will emphasise the routine, so this will give familiarity and sense of security.

It can also give support and comfort giving a person a companion, and a connection to love when maybe they have lost understanding for the people in their lives. If someone with dementia has trouble communicating, a pet helps them stay engaged and involved and animals communicate non verbally in a way a human encounter can’t match.

Visits from a dog can be an exciting part of a person’s day. Animals create laughter and love and this is important for someone with dementia. As well as having a pet to stroke and communicate to a dog brings comfort. A dog provides great sensory stimulation from stroking and patting and provides activities for someone with dementia when playing with a dog.

It’s not necessary to go out and buy a dog and give it a home, this is not always practical and takes a lot of commitment from others to walk, groom, feed and clear up after it, not to mention cost. However, borrowing a dog or asking a neighbour to come around with the dog will give quality time and distraction and will give you a change to see how the react with such an animal.

There are many people with ‘therapy’ dogs that come around to do visits, they spend time in your home with your loved one and their dog, the dog spends time sitting on floor or on their lap and they get to interact with each other or you can get your own therapy dog – there is often a waiting list for these dogs as they have to be trained so getting on a waiting list asap is important. Therapy dogs give confidence with social interactions and with being outside their home

Health and safety have to be factored in – if your person is frail or unsteady on their feet then is it a good idea to get a dog that could unintentionally get under their feet and cause a fall.

Not all people with dementia like dogs, or are allergic, so it’s worth keeping this is mind also, there is always the option of purchasing a cuddly ‘fake’ pet, some studies have shown a fake pet can bring many of the same calming effects as a real pet, many people with dementia get comfort from teddies and even dolls.

Featured image by Freepik