How to Choose Pets for Your Elders

For seniors living alone, loneliness can be terrible. The benefits of having a pet have been proven, but not all pets meet a set of requirements. For this reason, we tell you about pets for the elderly in today’s article.

Benefits of Pets for Seniors

If you love animals, having a pet is perfect for the elderly. Yes, it’s true that having a pet at home involves a certain amount of work and, in addition, more responsibilities. But it has been shown that it also offers us benefits, especially for the elderly.

Animals need a certain routine, so they require the retired person to organize themselves to meet the animal’s needs: walking, feeding, basic care, cleaning the cage, etc. Pets help establish a routine and, in the case of dogs, they help with physical activity and interaction with people.

By having a pet, you are interacting with it and filling an important void if you live alone. A pet will not be able to help us solve our personal problems, but it does help improve some of the discomforts of everyday life.

Here are the benefits that a pet can bring us:

  • physical contact
  • mental stimulation
  • Reminiscence
  • Social facilitator
  • Affection without judgment
  • games and laughter

Therapy with animals in nursing homes has been shown in some cases to: reduce depression, reduce medication use, reduce feelings of loneliness, reduce stress, improve physical health and increase appetite.

How Do You Choose a Pet for a Person Over 60?

The person’s condition must be considered in order to choose a pet that is appropriate for them. A wrong choice can have disastrous repercussions because it would imply more problems for the person and it would be necessary to find another family ready to welcome the animal in case the cohabitation is not the one desired.

A veterinarian can help us to choose the ideal type of animal for each person. If we want a dog, we can also count on dog trainers. These people can advise us on the right breed of dog, they also have the knowledge to detect the character of a dog and see which one is the most calm.

Obviously, it is important to take into account the mobility of the person, it is not the same thing to have to take care of a bird than a dog. Also, it is important to know if the person has allergies.

Top Pets for Seniors


The dog is definitely the first pet you thought of for this list of possibilities. The truth is that this animal has many qualities that make it the best company for seniors who live alone. But there are many aspects that we have to consider before we decide on him.

The first thing we must keep in mind is that a dog is the pet that requires the most attention and is suitable for active seniors. If the person who should have one is very busy, has mobility problems or does not have much energy, cohabitation can be terrible.

It is important to keep in mind that each dog has its own personality and that even if the neighbor’s dog is calm, it does not mean that all of them are. When choosing a dog, it should have a personality that matches its owner. A veterinarian or dog trainer can help you identify a dog that meets certain requirements.

Therefore, if you decide on this animal, put your mind to it before you bring one home. It would be very unfair if it ended up being abandoned because of the fact that it involves a lot of work and dedication.

The possibility of adopting an abandoned dog is interesting, but we also give you a list of dog breeds that are best suited for an adult:

  • Poodle
  • Labrador Retriever
  • Bichon Frize
  • West highland terrier
  • Golden retriever


Dog or cat? Felines, unlike dogs, do not need as much attention and are much more independent. However, it is important to remember that each cat has its own character, so some are more docile than others.

The person who takes care of a cat must have a certain mobility to be able to clean the litter box and feed it. Cats don’t need to go out for walks, so they can be good company for elderly people who prefer to stay at home or who don’t have the mobility to go out often.

A cat requires attention for about half an hour a day. Small cats, however, are more likely to require more attention and play time until they become adults.


Birds are easy to care for and do not require much attention. It is necessary for the person to be able to take care of cleaning the cage periodically and giving the birds food and water.

It is important to be well informed about the needs of each species of bird. Some birds need to be with other birds of their species, as they are social and need interaction.

Birds can be seen in nursing homes as they keep them company and people enjoy hearing them sing.


Having an aquarium at home brings relaxation, it has been proven to reduce stress and lower the heart rate. The only problem is that it takes a lot of dedication.

If you have a lot of free time and want to take up a hobby, an aquarium will keep you entertained. It takes a lot of effort to get the perfect conditions for the fish to be in an optimal habitat for them.

Normally, fish that are placed in small aquariums without filters end up dying in a short time. Find out how to create an aquarium.

A rabbit as a pet for an elderly person

If the senior has room to spare, a rabbit can keep him or her company. These animals live in a cage, but they need to exercise a few hours a day. If you have space and a safe place for them, they can be a good pet.

Learn about the breeds that exist and the needs of each before making your choice.

To improve a person’s quality of life, we must also consider their mental health. There are many benefits to adopting a pet, as long as the person’s abilities and lifestyle are taken into consideration.

So which pet are you going to adopt for your elders? Let us know in the comments below.

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