There are many benefits to having a pet, especially for older adults. Having a pet can reduce feelings of loneliness and depression, combat anxiety, reduces blood pressure, increase activeness and so much more. There are many different kinds of animals and different breeds so it’s important to research which would be the best for you.
Choosing a pet
Cats and dogs are the two most common pets in any home. Although cats and dogs both provide similar benefits, one may be a better fit than the other for multiple reasons. Dogs generally require more attention and exercise whereas cats are normally less energetic and don’t require time outdoors.
You want to be sure you will be able to fully care for your pet once you have chosen one. Here are a few things to think about when choosing a pet:
This is important because you want to be able to care for your animal for a its lifespan. If you find yourself moving into an assisted living facility that does not allow pets or your pet outlives you, that can cause problems for the care of the animal. Depending on the breed, the lifespan of dogs can range from 10-14 years and cats 10-16 years according to petmd.com. You should consider alternate care for your pet once you become unable.
Age of animal
Knowing whether you are capable and comfortable with training and tending to a young animal or not is also important. Puppies and kittens require a lot of attention and guidance for the first year or two. Kittens mature faster, while dogs stay in puppy stages for longer. Adult animals require little to no training, less attention and less accidents making them easier for elderly adults to keep up with.
Temperament and personality
Just like humans, your furry friend will have a personality of its own. When choosing an animal or breed it is important the temperament is right for you. For seniors, a dog that doesn’t require much exercise or a cat that doesn’t take up much space and lounges around on your lap all day might be the right choice.
It is important to keep these factors in mind when considering a pet. To ensure a smooth and stress-free transition with your new companion. It is also important to know some assisted living facilities are pet friendly and some are not so be sure to check with your facility before deciding to own a pet.