My Dad spends a lot of time alone and he constantly wants me to come visit. I’ve been thinking about getting him a pet – do you think this is a good idea?

Having a pet can offer a sense of well-being, encouragement and even a reason for living.  Being responsible for another life often gives new meaning to the lives of those who are living alone or who have experienced a loss.  Caring for and providing a loving home to an animal companion will also encourage your father to remain active and stay healthy.  However, I strongly suggest that you don’t surprise your father with a pet.  Instead, discuss the idea with him and see if he’s open to it, go pet shopping together so you can help him consider the costs, responsibilities and his lifestyle when making the decision!  For more information about adopting a pet, visit the Humane Society of the United States at: www.hsus.org or call (202) 452-1100.

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