A pet can bring immense joy in your life, no matter your age. And for elders, pets can become a much-needed companion. Many studies have concluded that pets help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase socialization and physical activity. Different pets have different qualities and different needs. Some pets are perfect for active people while others are more suited for less active people. An ideal pet for an elder person would be one that won’t be too much of a hassle. Luckily there are all kinds of pets suitable for all kinds of people, including elderly people. Of course, the health and physical condition of the elder should be taken into account before choosing the type of pet.
A lot of senior citizens like the idea of having a dog. However, many of them won’t be able to deal with a big, active dog. That is why smaller dog breeds are recommended for elders. Small dogs don’t need too much space or long walks. Moreover, it is much easier for an elder to safely take a smaller dog for a walk. Having a dog means taking it on walks at least twice a day which provides the elder with a great opportunity for a little exercise and fresh air. Plus, if the elder is living alone he may not fancy the idea of going for walks all by himself. This way he will always have a canine companion with him. We should mention here that it is advisable to get an older dog rather than a young puppy.
Another pet option are cats. Cats can be just as friendly as dogs but without needing so much care since they are relatively independent creatures. Cats are great companions for elders who don’t have the energy to take care of a dog but still want a pet. Keep in mind that if you get a long-haired cat, it will require a little more care when it comes to the maintenance of its fur. In general, cats are a good pet choice for elders because they are more independent than dogs. It can even be said that they take care of themselves.
Fish are also a good pet option for an elderly person since they do not require too much care. Although a large aquarium may not be the best idea for senior citizens, maintaining a small bowl or aquarium is easy for most people. For example, Beta fish are some of the most beautiful aquarium fish, which are very colorful and fun to watch. The only thing to consider is to not have more than one male fish, because they are extremely aggressive towards each other. These and other small freshwater fish can be good options for pets. Keep in mind that the size of the aquarium shouldn’t be too big, so it is easy to clean and maintain. Special lighting, filters and regular feeding will be needed, but once everything is set up, fish care is minimal, especially with the use of automated feeders.
If the elder is not a big fan of cats or dogs, then there are many other furry friends to choose from, including guinea pigs. These are social creatures, so you can easily get more than one so they can play with each other. These pets are relatively easy to look after and are ideal for older people who can’t take a pet for long walks, but still want to take care of a pet. Guinea pigs need only a cage, water, food and periodic cleaning of the cage of course. Similarly, rabbits, gerbils and hamsters can be great pets for the elderly as well.
Although sometimes overlooked by those looking for a pet, birds can be a wonderful addition to the life of your elderly person. They are small and easy to take care of but will still provide company and many hours of fun. If the elder is not mobile enough to care for a larger pet, a bird can be a great alternative. They just need a big enough cage to be comfortable, food and water. This makes them one of the best pets for senior citizens.
Many health benefits of raising a pet have been scientifically proven. Having a pet can lower blood pressure levels, encourage activity and socialization, and offer a soothing sense of security. A pet can also help reduce the risk of heart disease and lower cholesterol levels. Pets also make life more rewarding and fun. Elders usually have plenty of time to devote to their pet, making them ideal pet owners – as long as you find the right one for them.