If you are a senior, or you have a senior in your life, and you are thinking about adopting a pet, you may have some questions. You may be wondering what kind of pet is right for you and what kind of pet is the most popular for seniors. Or, you may be wondering what kind of pet is the most affordable. But, the truth is that there are a lot of things that dictate what makes a good pet for seniors. So what makes the best pet for a senior?
Depending on a senior’s personal situation, he or she may benefit more from a certain kind of pet more so than another. An expert that specializes in in-home care for seniors pointed out seniors that are thinking about getting a pet should consider a lot of things; such as their living situation, their financial situation, and their physical capabilities. With that being said, here are some popular pet choices amongst seniors.
The Best Pets for Aging Adults
Choosing a pet is an exciting time for people, so it’s important that you choose the one that is best for you. Here are the best pets for aging adults:
Why Choose a Dog?
Dogs are perhaps the most popular pet choice for people of all ages but can be particularly beneficial for seniors. Not only are dogs fun to own, but they also are great companions for the older generation, especially for seniors that may have lost a significant other or do not live near family members.
Some other outstanding benefits that dogs have for seniors include:
- Keeping seniors active by forcing them to get up and walk around
- Giving seniors a reason to get up in the morning
- Allowing the older generation to stay social
If you are a senior that is considering adopting a dog, it’s also important that you choose a breed that is right for you. If you have a hard time moving around, perhaps you suffer from joint or muscle pain, consider getting a small dog that doesn’t require too much physical activity. Likewise, if you are a senior that lives alone and may not be as strong or as fast as you used to be, make sure to choose a dog breed that will not overpower you or be hard to walk/care for.
Are Cats Good Pets for Seniors?
Cats are an outstanding option for seniors that want a pet but may not be physically able to take care of a dog, or they are on a tight budget. They are inexpensive and extremely low maintenance, making them a great option for aging adults. Cats don’t need to be walked or entertained as much as dogs, and they also don’t need to be taken outside to go to the bathroom which may be challenging or unsafe for some seniors.
Almost all cat breeds are good options for seniors, but the most popular breeds for seniors are:
- Birman cat.
- Ragdoll cat.
- British Shorthair.
- Russian Blue.
- Domestic shorthair or longhair.
- Persian cat.
- Scottish Fold.
These cats are friendly, low maintenance, and affectionate; all great qualities for pets that belong to seniors.
Should Seniors Get Birds as Pets?
Birds are another great option when it comes to low maintenance pets for seniors. Birds require almost no maintenance besides the weekly cage cleaning and daily feeding. If you are a senior and you have limited mobility and are at home most of the time, birds are one of the best pet options that you can go with. It’s common for seniors, especially those that live alone, to want the company of a pet; however, what does one do if he or she can’t walk well or has an illness that prevents he or she from providing the right kind of care for a cat or dog? Birds may be the answer.
Similarly, seniors may live in condos, apartments, or nursing facilities, where the space is limited for most pets; making birds another good choice as they take up almost no space at all.
Small Animals for Seniors
Other pet options that are great for seniors are small animals, such as:
Small animals are easy to care for, and will also provide seniors with something to do and look forward to every day. Additionally, they are very affordable to take care of as they only require food and a cage/tank; most small animals don’t have to go to the vet. Small animals definitely have the potential to be the best pet for a senior.
Find the Pet That is Right For You
As you search for the pet that is right for you, keep this small guide in mind in order to choose the pet that is best for you and your lifestyle. Make sure to also do the proper amount of research before buying a pet to ensure that that kind is right for you.
About the Author
Kelsey Simpson enjoys writing about things that can help others. She lives in South Jersey and is the proud companion to two German Shepherds and spends her free time volunteering in dog shelters.