Pets for Seniors- Which Breed Is For You?


Loneliness can affect anyone at any age, but unfortunately it can be especially tough for senior citizens. Often seniors struggle with the transition from working full time to finding themselves with a large amount free time during retirement. I think one of the best things a person can do to combat boredom or loneliness is to adopt a pet. Pets can provide profound joy and companionship, and I think anyone could use a little more of that in their life.

Of course, you needs to put a lot of research and thought into adopting an animal because it is a very big responsibility. When it comes to dogs, some seniors have to consider whether they will be able to provide a dog with enough exercise and mental stimulation. I would caution anyone thinking of adopting a working breed like Border Collies, Huskies or Australian Cattle dogs etc. because they will require a tremendous amount of exercise, and that if they don’t receive this they can become depressed. Often it is the breed that matters rather than the size; a Great Dane, one of the largest dogs requires much less exercise than a Jack Russell Terrier, one of the smallest.

With literally hundreds of breeds to choose from, an older adult should be able to find a breed to suit their particular needs. In terms of small dogs it’s hard to beat a West Highland Terrier or French Bulldog. There are also larger breeds like a Lab or a Poodle that would make ideal companions. If you or a family member is allergic to pet hair, there are also hypo-allergenic breeds. The local animal rescue is also a wonderful place to adopt from, although I would caution seniors against adopting a dog that may have been abused because they can often display aggression and other behaviors that can be difficult to deal with.  Here is a great article if you want to learn more about specific breeds that are ideal for seniors.

I didn’t mean for this to become exclusively a dog article, because cats also make wonderful pets and can be a better option for people who are less mobile. It doesn’t really matter what the pet is, cat, dog, pot-bellied pig, but rather just having a companion and someone who’s excited to see you can make all the difference when it comes to happiness. They also can motivate us to be more active and healthy, while giving us so much love and joy. Interestingly a study by the Australian Medical Journal cites evidence that owning a pet can lower blood pressure significantly, It goes to show scientifically what many pet owners already suspected, that a wagging tail or purring cat is actually good for your health.

Article submitted by Senior Directory- A Senior Resource Guidesenior directory logo


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