Low maintenance pets for seniors

by the Editor, SeniorInsider | Jun 02, 2011

Pets are great for seniors in a variety of ways, and pet therapy is a recognized way of helping seniors with a myriad of different problems, ranging from the physical to the emotional.  In this article, we will look at some great low maintenance pets for seniors.  While our options will be a bit more involved than ant farms, these wonderful pets present a great option for seniors or anyone who is looking to bring fun and companionship into their lives.  You are sure to find a pet option that works for you and allows you to take advantage of all the health benefits that pet ownership has to offer.

Older Dogs are Great Options for Pet Therapy


When it comes to finding low maintenance pets for seniors, an excellent pick can be older dogs that are looking for a new home.  Families that can no longer afford them often give up older dogs for adoption.  Additionally, other elderly individuals give up many older dogs that would be great for pet therapy.  An older dog doesn't require the same level of active play and attention that a younger dog requires, and yet can still make for an exceptional companion.  

If you have a disability, you may want to consider therapy dogs. These dogs are trained to help those who are disabled.  They can do a variety of useful tasks, such as turn on the lights or even call 911 on a special phone.

Birds for Pet Therapy


Pet therapy can take a variety of forms, including birds.  Birds can be very low maintenance and yet offer a good deal of companionship for seniors or anyone of any age.  People are consistently surprised by just how trainable birds are and how easy their general care can be.  Moreover, birds can live for many years, with some species living for decades.

Cats and Seniors


Cats, of course, can be great companions, especially for seniors who have trouble venturing far from the house.  In general, cats are easier to care for than dogs.  Plus, their antics can be very entertaining to watch.  Keep in mind that you might want to choose breeds of cats that require less grooming and are less likely to shed.

Hamsters for Pet Therapy


Now when you think of pet therapy, you might not instantly think of hamsters.  But there is no doubt about it that hamsters can be very low maintenance.  Clearly, a hamster isn't "ant farm easy," but these furry and cuddly little guys most certainly can offer some easy companionship and fun times!

Small Dog Breeds


Small dog breeds may have more than their fair share of energy and enthusiasm, but because of their size, they stand out as a good pet therapy option for the elderly.  You may have already noticed that many elderly individuals opt for a smaller breed of dog during their golden years and with good reason.  

A smaller dog has many practical benefits, such as being easier to walk. Further, there is little risk of accidentally being pulled to the ground while walking a 10-pound ball of energy.  All of these factors combines to make a small dog breed a good option.  Plus, you not only get a loyal friend, but you will likely always have a little barker to notify you when someone is at your door.

Finding the Right Low Maintenance Pet Option for You


The main goal is to find a pet that is right for you or your loved one.  Even if you are considering living in a senior citizen facility, there are many out there that readily accept pets.  There are lots of wonderful pet options out there.  Why not consider adopting a dog or cat in your area that needs a home?  You'll be glad that you did.

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