Choosing Pets As Companionsn For Seniors

Tips on Choosing Pets as Companions for Seniors

Points To Consider Before Choosing Pets for Homes

Some considerations before selecting pet animals ought to be discussed with seniors. Especially if there is limited mobility, like seniors in a wheelchair or bedridden, the domestic animals must also be cared for by the nurse who looks after the senior person. This is in extreme cases, but some other points to consider are:

  • Does the senior need an exuberant pet or a quiet one?
  • The size of the pet that will fit the home of the senior.
  • The variety of pet animals according to the physical condition of the senior.
  • How much time can be dedicated to your companion?
  • Toleration level of the senior towards damage caused by the pets.
  • Physical capability towards caring for the pet. 
  • An alternative person to care for tame animals in case of emergency.
  • Financial ability to support exotic pets.
  • The reason for needing a pet dog or pet cat. Whether companionship or just protection

What Are Different Types Of Pets Suitable For Seniors?

Various kinds of animals may be considered for the elderly. Some options to consider are listed as follows.

1. Dogs


Dogs are some of the most loving companions for humans, and they can unconditionally be very protective and faithful to their master. But a dog does require some physical maintenance like being walked, washed regularly, and medically tended to. The type of dog, whether small or large, can be chosen based on the convenience and need of the senior parent.

2. Cats


Cats are clean animals that do not need much physical maintenance. Except for the time they shed their fur, which needs to be removed from the home, they are pretty low maintenance. Even though they are lovely creatures, they are not as faithful as dogs and can be good companions depending on each cat. 

3. Birds


They are great companions and quite low maintenance, too, as they do not need much food. They are fine companions, especially parrots if one knows how to care for them and teach them to communicate verbally. Some birds can even live up to 60 years and can survive on nothing but fruits, seeds, and vegetables. 

4. Fish


Even though fish cannot be physically handled and cuddled with, they make colourfully good home companions. Watching the fish in the aquarium can be very soothing to the elderly. Feeding the fish can be a satisfying experience, too, to see them grow and flourish. Cleaning the fish tank is a task for capable seniors only.

5. Rabbits


They can be as cuddly as dogs and cats and do make good companions. Rabbits are lovely and great companions when handled rightly. Indoor rabbits normally live for about ten years, with some going above that time period. 

6. Pet robots

Pet robots

They are actually robots that have lifelike bodies. Stuffed animals, such as dogs, cats, dolls, etc., may be adopted as pet animals. They may be played with, cuddled, and have an almost real-life appearance. With an interactive feature, they make perfect companions for seniors with dementia or those who are unable to clean and feed the animals. 

Benefits of Having Pets for seniors

Regardless of the types of companions chosen, whether cats, dogs, birds, fish, rabbits, horses, guinea pigs, small reptiles, etc., every pet has a reason to be adopted. Caring for another being is enough for seniors who are lonely and hate being so. Some benefits of having pets are listed below:

  • Relieving stress: Having somebody to talk to can help voice opinions and thoughts for seniors who usually live independently.
  • Companionship: Four-legged friends are great companions.
  • Motivation for exercise: Taking them out for a walk can be physically exciting.
  • Routine maintenance: Keeping to a fixed routine because there is a pet to care for in the house benefits seniors who otherwise get lazy and do not want to move about much. 
  • Making friends: Having a dog can be a way of making new friends, as taking the dog out for walks leads to a chance to meet new people. 
  • Protection: Having a dog of any size, whether big or small, can be a form of protection for seniors too. 
  • Activity building: Caring for pet animals means going out and getting food supplies for them. Exotic tame animals require knowing what activities they like, and keeping them occupied helps seniors learn new activities. Also, vets and pets go hand in hand. Tame animals have to be taken to the vet for medical treatment. 
  • Loving boost: Seniors need to be loved and treasured as they are excellent buddies who can always be with them. 

Types of Pet Dogs to Consider

Some dog breeds to tame are listed as follows.

  • Cocker Spaniel
  • Boston Terrier
  • Bulldog
  • Labrador retriever
  • Shih Tzu
  • Pembroke Welsh Corgi
  • Small Schnauzer
  • King Charles Spaniel

Types of Pet Cats to Consider

Some types of pet cats are listed below.

  • Bengal cats
  • American Shorthair
  • Siamese cats
  • Persian cats
  • Sphynx cats
  • Ragdoll cats
  • Scottish fold cats 
  • Maine Coon cats

Types of Pet Birds to Consider 

Knowing the type of bird before bringing them home is essential. Some birds are boisterous and can be challenging to maintain. Some bird types to consider are listed as follows.

  • Lovebirds 
  • Canaries
  • Cockatoos 
  • Macaws
  • Finches

Although birds are great companions and need to be cared for too, clipping their nails, cleaning their cages, petting them, etc., are some of the chores that need to be done for birds as a pet. 

Types of Pet Fishes to Consider 

The different varieties of fish to be kept as a pet include:

  • Danios
  • Swordtails
  • Guppy fish (male and female)
  • Cardinal tetras
  • Neon Tetras
  • Corydoras
  • Mollies

It is easier to take care of freshwater fish than saltwater fish. Some fish like goldfish must be maintained at a particular pH and need a lot of care and only seniors who are capable of caring for the fish and tending to their feed, oxygen levels, pH levels, cleaning tanks, etc. should consider that option.


Elderly parents need more care and support than ever before. Better heart health, improved mental conditions, being physically active, socially active, and personal security are some benefits of caring for a pet at home. Regardless of the variety of pet animals, it is important to care for them according to their age. Younger pet animals need more care, and seniors who are incapable must not be given charge of younger pet animals. 

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Where can pet animals be bought from?

Pet animals are available at animal shelters, and breeders, and can even be bought online. 

Who are the best pets for older people?

Cats are ideal for those over 70 years of age, as they need the least care. 

Which are some good pets for seniors?

Pets like dogs, cats, birds, fish, rabbits, etc., are some good pets for seniors. 

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