Pets can supply endless entertainment, loyal companionship, comfort, and in some cases, security for seniors.
The benefits of pet ownership are clear. According to a study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in partnership with the WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition, having a pet can bring tremendous health benefits. Spending time with your pets can lead to decreased stress, lower blood pressure, improved mood, and reduced feelings of loneliness.
If you are a senior and you're thinking about acquiring a pet, it's essential to know that some pets make better companions than others. Below are five pet ideas that are excellent options for pet-loving seniors.
Dogs are fascinating creatures. While some breeds may not be ideal for seniors, others can be great buddies. You should look for breeds that are low-maintenance and small enough to handle since you don't want your dog to walk you rather than the other way around. Your best option is to get an adult dog from an animal shelter. You will not have to deal with all the hard work that involves a puppy, and you will be sure to have a better understanding and expectation of the dogs' personality.
Dogs are good choices for those who enjoy daily walks and playtime and are willing to invest time in training. Very active seniors might do well with energetic dogs, while others may prefer a lapdog.
Some dog breeds for seniors to consider are Shih Tzus, Pugs, Chihuahuas, Cavalier King Charles spaniels, and Pembroke Welsh corgis. These are all manageable in size and relatively low maintenance.
Cats are excellent pets for many seniors because they don't take up much space, are easy to care for and inexpensive to feed, and can be loving companions. Cats can also be independent and have a mind of their own, so their personalities show through.
Domestic shorthair cats, commonly referred to as house cats, are popular breeds, and there are many other breeds from which to choose.
Russian Blue cats are docile companions that get along well with people and other pets. They are also low-maintenance.
Persian cats are beautiful, gentle, and sweet, and they get along well with other pets, but they aren't crazy about grandchildren who come to visit.
Freshwater fish are the most common pets to own. Fish are fun and low-maintenance, and it can be relaxing to watch them.
There are many types of fish that are excellent choices for seniors. Bettas, angelfish, neon tetras, and guppies are very popular and a great place to start. Dwarf pufferfish are also fun options since they are so entertaining. Check with your pet store to make sure the fish you are choosing will do well together, because some types of fish can be aggressive or make a meal of the other fish, and you may not want to mix them. Be warned that keeping the tank clean does take up much of your time and energy.
4. Wild Birds
Birds can be lively, chatty companions, and who wouldn't enjoy their beautiful music? Wild birds don't take up any space, so they are well-suited to apartment living.
Provide a bird feeder near a window or on a balcony and refresh the food and water daily. There is nothing nicer than making friends with the local wild birds in your area. They make for great entertainment all year long, and all you need to do is show them your love. Birds make good choices for seniors.
5. Robotic Pets
The time to enjoy a low maintenance interactive pet is closer than we could ever imagine. Artificial Intelligent pets for children has proven to be extremely fun and allowing our elderly family and friends to enjoy the same, makes all the sense in the world.
What's more, these 'pets' vary from being super realistic and require no maintenance, to high tech shiny little robots waiting for your command. When senior citizens have no alternative but to relocate into a retirement home (often without being allowed to take their beloved pets with them), can now have the option of having a realistic little robot for company.
If you are a senior who is deciding on which type of pet to get, many options will provide you with companionship, entertainment, and a unique bond that can improve your quality of life.
by Joseph Jones
Author's Bio: Joseph Jones has been writing senior care and ageing-related articles for years. He got his start while writing for a personal blog before he was offered to work at California Mobility in 2018 as the Content Marketing Manager, creating highly informative guides and health awareness articles for ageing adults. He's currently contributing to a variety of blogs in the senior health industry in hopes to spread information about taking care of seniors and what to expect in the ageing process.
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