Best Pets for Seniors- Who Will be the New Companion?
Everyone needs an animal companion every once in a while. What would Shaggy be without Scooby-doo? What would Mickey Mouse be without Pluto? We all need a four, two, or no-legged friends to spend time with. Pets are especially beneficial to elderly adults who many feel depressed or lonely. But not all pets are ideal for seniors. Below, we’ve listed the five best pets for seniors.
5 Best Pets for Seniors
The companionship of a dog can become even more important as your senior reaches his or her golden years. With approximately 45% of all households in the U.S. owning a dog, more than likely your loved one has had or already does own a four-legged friend.
But, when it comes to elderly adults, it’s important to know which type of dog to get for your senior. A high-energy dog might be too overwhelming for your senior if they’re lacking mobility. Bigger dogs can also become a hazard because they can knock down and injure your loved one if they become too excited. Below are a few recommendations of dog breeds for your senior.
- Pugs: These guys are probably the most charming and relaxed dogs you’ll ever encounter! They’re very much house dogs and do well around all kinds of people and all kinds of dogs!
- Golden Retriever: We couldn’t leave out this popular friend! Golden Retrievers are an incredibly loving breed with lots of energy and friendly traits. These dogs do tend to get big, so if you’re concerned about size, take some time to contemplate if this buddy is right for your family.
- Corgi: The best way to describe this breed is gentle and intelligent! They can learn lots of tricks and will gladly show you what’ve they got to offer.
- Beagle: Want an independent and small dog? Then a beagle might be exactly what your senior is looking for. Beagles are fun and outgoing but will take care of themselves pretty well.
- Shih Tzus: Now we can’t lie, these puppies are some of the cutest buddies ever! Sometimes you’ll need to brush them out, but all dogs need to be brushed anyways! Shih Tzus make the perfect companions for our seniors.
- Poodle: These smart dogs come in all different sizes, but they accommodate to all living situations! With how easy they are to train; they’ll make everyone’s life easier and bring a smile to your face.
- Cocker Spaniel: This small and adorable dog is an amazing option for seniors! They don’t require a lot of exercise so that means less walks are necessary. Not to mention, these guys are super loving to first time dog owners!
- Pomeranian: Looking for the fluffiest dog out there? Pomeranians are about to become your new best friend. This tiny, furry pup makes life ten times better. They have lots of energy, so they might wear you out. But hey! At least you got your exercise in!
If you’re looking for a very low-maintenance pet for seniors, then consider a cat for your loved one. A cat can be a great furry companion that will keep your loved one company throughout the years. Many choose cats over dogs simply because they are easier to take care of. Getting up in the middle of the night to let a dog out is replaced by scooping a litter box. Loud barks are replaced by the purrs of a whiskered friend curled up in your lap. This feline companion can decrease senior isolation and depression and allow your loved one to nurture something.
Birds are also considered some one of the best pets for seniors. Parakeets and Canaries are two of the most popular birds for seniors to own. In fact, many nursing homes and other senior care communities house a variety of birds for their residents. The chatter of the birds can be lively and can brighten the mood of their owners.
As one of the best pets for seniors, birds can also help to create a routine for your senior. Routines can help your senior stay focused in other areas of their life. For example, if they feed their pet bird every day before they take their medication, this routine may help them to remember when to take their medicine.
Although it doesn’t seem exactly warm and cuddly, a pet fish can still provide companionship for your senior. Taking care of a fish will allow your senior to take care of something without dealing with the adding stress of a dog or cat. A recent study even found that owning a fish could decrease a senior’s blood pressure. This scaly friend can provide the comfort that your loved one needs.
5. Guinea Pigs
Ever considered a little rodent as a best for your senior? We know, it sounds weird to us too! But guinea pigs are cute and might just be one of the bests pet for seniors. These little guys don’t need to be walked, which is helpful for your loved one if they can’t handle long strides. Most people put guinea pigs in cages, so you don’t have to worry about them running around the house and getting caught under your loved one’s feet and becoming a potential trip hazard like dogs and cat. But you can of course let them loose for a little bit! Just make sure your loved one keeps an eye out for their guinea pig when they aren’t in their cage. The biggest downside to owning a guinea pig is cleaning the cage; however, it can be a pretty fast process! And if you still aren’t sure about guinea pigs, maybe consider gerbils or a bunny! All of these small, furry pets are a joy to have.
So, Who’s Your Best Friend?
So, there you have it. That is our list of the best pets for seniors! Which of the above choices do you think is right for your loved one? Is it man’s best friend or Tom the feline cat? Will your loved one enjoy the sound of birds chirping in the morning as an alarm? Or maybe they would prefer a Nemo look-a-like swimming side by side with Dory and his other fish friends! Or, maybe it’s Bugsy the guinea pig from the movie, Bedtime Stories! No matter the pet you and your loved one pick, each pet is sure to make a difference in your loved one’s live! Let us know if we missed other great pets for seniors in the comments below!