For older adults, owning a pet has plenty of benefits. It can help lessen stress, lower blood pressure, improve social interaction and encourage physical activity.
Pets can reduce depression, lessen loneliness and provide other intangibles. So if you are considering getting one, then you are in for delightful relationship. If you’re asking which pet is ideal for an older adult such as yourself, we’ve collected some basic information about popular pets. Read and later on decide which one you’d like to have.
While small lap dogs can adjust to living totally inside, most pet owners find dogs hard to manage without a garden. But if you have a fine spot for a dog to use as a toilet, and can exercise it one two to three times daily by taking it for a walk, a dog like a Chihuahua, Fox Terrier or a Poodle may be for you.
If man’s best friend isn’t right for you, you may find that a cat might be a better alternative. Rag Doll and Persian cats are more serene than others and usually do just fine living in an enclosed environment.
Cats are clean animals and will often use a litter tray. You can buy a ‘hooded’ litter tray with a cover that looks like a hutch. The hood also reduces the odour of the excreta. Also purchase a scratching post and some good cat toys, including a Kong Ball, to ensure you have a contented kitty.
The elderly usually gravitate towards birds as pets. Cockatiels, Love Birds, Budgies and Canaries and any of the other small parrots will fit the bill for older adults. Cockatiels and Green Parrot Budgies can be good conversationalists as well.
Just remember that birds are meant to fly and they can’t be kept cooped up in a cage all the time. Offer them freedom every once in a while but do keep the doors and windows closed lest you want your companion to fly away.
The fluid motion of a school of marine or tropical fish is very soothing. Once you get the hang of maintaining an aquarium, it’s pretty easy going from there. Just bear in mind to keep the water clean and be as creative as you can be in choosing plants, rocks and of course, your fishes.
Fish, however, are not cuddly creatures and will not respond to any verbal commands such as “sit” or “stay” so plan accordingly.
Mice and Rats
Mice and rats may not be as popular as the other ones mentioned above but rats are easy to keep and maintain and inexpensive to purchase. Their living space is cheap too. A rat’s enclosure must be kept clean, as it will smell if neglected.