Pets are a wonderful addition to our lives in so many ways. They bring us genuine happiness, help us connect with others, reduce stress and encourage us to stay active. This is especially true for older adults who may be looking for companionship or a little extra joy in their day-to-day life! If you’re looking for a new furry best friend, it’s important to understand your options and choose an animal that fits your lifestyle. Below, we explain the amazing health benefits owning a pet can offer, and which are the best pets for seniors!
Incredible Health Benefits of Pets
Pet ownership is a special type of bond between humans and their animals, providing companionship and unconditional love. But did you know that owning pets can actually contribute to your physical, social and emotional well-being?
Some of the amazing health benefits of pets for seniors include but are not limited to:
- Reducing stress
- Boosting connections with others
- Feeling loved
- Enjoying life
- Sense of purpose
- Encouraging physical activity
5 Best Pets for Seniors
Now that we know the benefits of owning a pet, how do you choose the best pet for you? If you’re an older adult, you want to be sure that whatever animal you adopt fits your needs, matches your lifestyle, and can be comfortable in your living situation. Some of the best pets for seniors include:
Dogs are a human’s best friend for good reason – they are protective, playful, loving and adoring companions! They will keep you entertained for hours on end, encourage you to get outside, stay active, and you are sure never to feel alone with a loyal pup by your side.
That all said, they of course require some work. Dogs need attention, to be bathed, walked, fed, and receive regular veterinary care to keep them healthy and happy. If you think you may be ready for a dog, consider all the various breeds to find the best fit for your lifestyle! Many seniors opt for smaller dogs that perhaps don’t shed, require less exercise, or are easily adaptable to their surroundings. Some of the best breeds for seniors can include:
- Bichon Frises
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniels
- English Bulldogs
- French Bulldogs
- Boston Terriers
- Miniature Schnauzers
- Poodles (or Poodle Mixes)
- Yorkshire Terriers
Cats are a wonderful option for those who may want a cozy, cuddly and entertaining companion without as much hands-on effort as dogs require. Not only are they very independent, they have unique and hilarious personalities that will bring you endless joy. Because cats can live for many years, you are sure to find a lifelong friend if you adopt one!
3. Guinea Pigs or Rabbits
You don’t have to be a dog or cat person to adopt a furry pal! Guinea pigs or rabbits are spunky, and endlessly entertaining. They are also some of the easiest pets to own – both rabbits and Guinea pigs take up very little space, don’t need regular exercise, and can live for many years. All you have to do is feed them, clean their hutch, and give them plenty of love!
4. Freshwater Fish
Fish are beautiful and so calming to watch. While it’s true they aren’t cuddly like other pets, fish can be surprisingly affectionate and even offer therapeutic benefits. They also require a lot less work than other animals, making them ideal for seniors who aren’t looking for a lot of responsibility. As long as you make sure you have a good water filter and stocked fish tank, daily feedings and monthly cleanings are all that is required for these pets!
Birds can make for fantastic pets, offering companionship and therapeutic comfort with relatively low maintenance. The type of bird you choose will depend on what you are looking for in a pet – for example, canaries are quieter and generally prefer to stay in their cages while parrots are often louder and enjoy physical contact with their owners. You will love the cheery chattering they bring to your life! It should be noted that some bird species tend to live a long time (anywhere from 20 to 60 years depending on the breed!) So be sure to ask this question when you adopt a pet bird and make arrangements if needed for their care.
Cumberland Crossing by OceanView
At Cumberland Crossing, we welcome pets as extended family! We truly believe that animals enrich the lives of our residents, which is why we are a pet-friendly retirement community. With two spacious and customizable cottages to choose from, there is plenty of room to comfortably enjoy your beloved pet! To learn more about our active senior living community (and our pet policy!) contact us at Cumberland Crossing today.