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Seniors’ Guide to Finding the Perfect Pet

senior holding pet

Pets make the best companions for seniors living alone. But they can require a lot of responsibility. You need to feed them, give them water, give them baths, play with them, and most importantly spend most of your time caring for them and showing them affection. Different animals require varying levels of care. Which pet should you choose? We have compiled a list of pets perfect for seniors of every activity level.

The Active Senior

If you are a senior who loves to exercise and stay active, you want a pet that can keep up with you.

Dogs

Dogs are interactive animals that love to play with their owners and require daily walks. Taking walks benefits both you and your pet - it’s a win-win situation! Walking and exercising on a regular basis can increase your bone and muscle strength.

Let’s break down your pet search even further and talk about dog breeds. Here’s a list of the top three dog species you might consider purchasing:

  1. Maltese: These cute dogs are a pleasure to own. They are small, but not as tiny as a Chihuahua. They are calm and collected dogs; so don’t worry about your neighbors complaining and barking dogs. If you want a dog that hardly sheds, a Maltese is the perfect dog for you.

     

    cute maltese puppies in basket

     

  2. Yorkshire Terrier: If you want a small dog that loves walks, a Yorkie will serve you well. These small creatures are adorable and fun to spend time with. These dogs don’t shed a lot of hair, so your couch will be hair-free when your senior friends come to visit.

     

    yorkie with bow

     

  3. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel: This little dog is an ideal companion. Cavaliers are loving creatures that will follow you everywhere you go. If you are a senior aging in place, this dog is the ultimate pet. They are friendly, so your grandchildren will love to come and visit.
cute cavalier with tounge out

 

Although dogs are fun to have, always keep yourself and your pet safe. Sometimes having a small pet can be dangerous, particularly when they get excited and try to wind themselves around your legs. We recommend the smaller breeds of dogs that have calmer personalities.  

The Calm and Collected Senior

Not all of us are dog people. Some of us love having pets but enjoy having fewer responsibilities. If you are a senior who would prefer to stay at home instead of going outside to walk your dog, consider purchasing one of the pets on this list:

Cats

Some might say dogs are “too hard to take care of”. Cats are one of the few pets that are low-maintenance. They like to maintain their independence but also love to cuddle up with their owners. Here are the top three cat breeds that are perfect for seniors:

  1. American Shorthair: These medium-sized cats are laid-back and quiet. They are willing to cuddle with you long enough to get some belly rubs in, but they won’t crave too much of your attention. They prefer to keep to themselves, so it’s not too much of hassle to care for them.

     

    american shorthair cat

     

  2. Burmese: If you want a cat that is more lively and energetic, you should try a Burmese. These cats are intelligent and a little sneaky. They love to play around and love people who play with them.

     

    burmese kitty

     

  3. Munchkin: This adorable cat breed is perfect for those seniors who want a small indoor pet. Because they are not too big, they won’t be climbing around on your counters. They are loving and playful when it comes to interacting with people.

     

    munchin kitten

 

Fish

Want a pet that is fur-less? A fish may be perfect for you.

The simple action of watching fish swim around has been shown to relieve stress. Fish tanks do require maintenance, but if you choose the right species you can limit the amount you have to do.

  1. Bettas: The Betta fish is the only fish that does not require a heater or filter in their fish bowl. For this breed of fish, there is no need to buy a large fish tank; a small bowl will suffice. It is recommended to limit only one male Betta fish per fish tank, being as they might not get along with other male Bettas. They do, however, get along with any other smaller-sized fishes.

     

    colorful betta fish

     

  2. Tetras: Some of the most popular beginner-pet-fish out there are the Tetras. These colorful looking fish are highly active, so they will be swimming all over the tank. Because they are small in size, buy a few different colored Tetras to have a colorful tank!

     

    beautiful tetra fish

     

  3. Guppies: To keep a tank bright and vibrant, Guppies are a good choice. These beautiful fish have flamboyant fins that make them stand out. The male fish have bigger and brighter fins. The Guppies are productive breeders, so if you don’t want a full tank, stick with two male fish instead of one of each gender.

     

    colorful guppy fish

The Happy Senior

Seniors who own pets tend to live their lives stress-free, with a companion of their choice by their side. Pets are entertaining, fun to play with, and great companions. For those seniors aging in place, a pet is a must! Live your golden years joyfully with a new best friend by your side. 

Comments

4:35 PM on May 27, 2016 Alice Nierenberg
Would suggest you not name specific pure bred dogs and cats for people to adopt when there are so many mixed breeds being put down all over the world that would be excellent choices
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