If you’ve ever owned a pet, you’ll know the joy that they can bring to you and those around you. The loyalty of a furry friend can help when you’re feeling down and can boost your wellbeing and mental health, but there can also be a few challenges when it comes to owning a pet. We explore which animals are suited best to seniors and help you to make the right decision about pet ownership in your retirement years.
How to choose the best pets for seniors
When it comes to making the right choice for the pet that’s best for you, you’ll need to consider a few things first. Finding the right pet will involve matching your lifestyle choices and identifying any issues that could arise later on. Here’s a list of questions that might be helpful during this process:
• Are there any physical limitations that may impact what type of pet you can own?
• What age pet would be the best?
• What is the purpose of the pet? eg. emotional support, companionship, exercise.
• Can you have pets where you live?
• How much does it cost to keep this pet?
• Does this pet require physical exercise?
• How much maintenance is required?
Man’s best friend is often thought of as the ultimate companion. Dogs are loyal, emotionally intelligent, fun and can sense when something is wrong with their owners. They are fantastic pet options for those people who are still mobile enough to walk and clean up any mess. Looking after a dog will also give you a little more purpose to your day and will help you to focus on things other than pain or illness. Adopting an older dog could be a great option if you’re looking for a pet with a little less energy than a puppy. Usually with older dogs, walking them around the block or down to the shops can be enough exercise, depending on the breed. Seniors who own dogs experience less loneliness and the dogs will also feel loved too!
There’s cat people and then there’s not cat people… Cats are emotionally intelligent and loyal, but they are a little less maintenance than some other pets as they don’t require exercise or constant supervision. They are just as attentive to their owners as a dog is, and they are perfect for people who may be more challenged with their mobility. If you’re a senior with a busy social schedule a cat could be the best option for you as they are great at looking after themselves and will let you know when they want something. As cats are very independent, they may not be the kind of pet you are looking for, but they are definitely lovely to cuddle with on the couch.
Like a cat, a rabbit is very low maintenance and great to cuddle with at any time of the day. Having said that, they do require a pen to live in, so you’ll need a bit of space for that. Some people do live successfully with a free range rabbit but this requires good mobility to clean up after them or catch them when needed. A life span of a rabbit is only 1-2 years.
Low cost, low maintenance, and a great pet to have in your home, no matter what your living arrangement is. Fish are super easy pets to care for – no walking, no picking up after them – all you need to do is feed them once a day! Perfect for those with limited mobility, fish are great and believe it or not, you will get to know their different personalities.
Another fantastically interactive but low maintenance pet is a bird. Upkeep will be at a minimum, and all you’ll need is a cage to keep it in. Different breeds do have varying requirements but you can choose the one that suits you best – you might even find one that will sing to you.
Visit Centennial Living’s assisted living villages in Melbourne today
Choose the right pet for you and your lifestyle at Centennial Living. We have plenty of different options for your (and your pets) living arrangements and they can be tailored to your needs. Learn more about life with Centennial Living – don’t hesitate to get in touch! Reach out to us today by calling 1300 098 000 or leaving an enquiry via our contact form.