The Best Pets for Seniors
Pets can be wonderful companions. They can make you smile when you are sad, they can keep you occupied for hours and you would always have someone around so you wouldn’t feel alone. Pets are also a great pastime, whether you are playing with them or just attending to their needs.
Seniors should consider having pets. Most seniors who live alone have very little to do or be busy with through the day or night. This lack of activity and involvement in anything can take a toll on any senior. It is essential that seniors occupy themselves in something that would make them happy. What better way than to have a pet. However, given the age and the obvious limitations of seniors, one shouldn’t opt for any pet randomly. You should think, weigh the pros and cons, talk to your family or friends and then make an informed decision.
Let us explore the four most common pets for seniors and pick out an ideal one.
Dogs & Seniors
Dogs are friendly, warm and affectionate. They like to be with people. They are also quite compassionate depending on the choice of breed. These attributes make them ideal for a senior. Dogs are also protective and can raise an alarm should an intruder or trespasser threaten your property or your safety. Dogs can be very loyal and can spend all day and night with seniors. Dogs need exercise and that would keep seniors physically active.
On the flipside, some dogs require a lot of exercise which may not be possible for seniors. Some breeds are not ideal from the behavioral perspective. Seniors should choose older dogs that are calmer and wouldn’t be very demanding. The breed has to be wisely chosen depending on the age and physical condition of a senior. Affordability is also a factor since some breeds can cost a small fortune.
Cats & Seniors
Cats are more independent than dogs and they would not be as demanding in regards to exercise or games. This works in favor of seniors. Cats don’t make much noise as compared to some dog breeds that can bring the house down with their barking. However, cat litter is a pesky issue and cats also shed a lot which would not be ideal for most seniors. Cats can be just as friendly as dogs and they can also be very affectionate if they start liking the person they are with.
Birds & Seniors
Birds are much more affordable to have than dogs and cats. Dogs are costly and cats are expensive too. The cost of purchasing a bird pales in comparison. Birds need just a cage in comparison with the list of requisites of dogs and cats. The food or the pellets for birds also don’t cost much. Some species of birds can speak hundreds of words, sing songs and even mimic the people around. They can be great fun to be around with. There are no major challenges of having a bird as a pet for seniors but they would have to be caged all the time. Allowing them to fly around will lead to litter everywhere and then controlling the bird will become toilsome. Some birds are very loud and seniors should avoid such species.
Fish & Seniors
Fishes are a great pet as well. They have their own little space and they don’t need any attending to. Barring the occasional cleaning of the fish bowl or the aquarium, there is not much that you have to do. The aquarium can cost a bit of money for the energy it consumes but then buying fishes and food for them wouldn’t cost even remotely what dogs and cats demand. Fishes don’t require exercise or any supervision of the seniors so one can just have some fun staring at them, checking out their moves and one would have company.
Unlike cats and dogs, one cannot play with fishes. They would be in a world of their own. There is no physical contact and certainly no caressing, warm nudges and purrs. Fishes in a bowl or aquarium are in a world of their own.
Choosing a Pet
It is important to choose a pet that is affordable. The pet should not be too demanding for the health of the senior. Some seniors are very active and can take their dogs on long walks. Some seniors would rather have fishes or birds and pets and sit next to their aquariums or cages. From veterinary costs to shots, feeds to housing needs, every expense pertaining to having the pet must be ascertained and compared before choosing a pet. Seniors must not get too excited or carried away and they should never be lead to have a certain pet by their friends or family. That kind of move will backfire sooner than later.