Should You Get a Pet in Your Senior Years?

They say that dogs are man’s best friend, but whatever kind of domestic animal you choose as your friend, they can bring wonderful benefits and joy to your life. If you’re in your senior years, you may be debating whether or not to get a pet. There may be downsides such as not being able to walk your dog often enough due to mobility issues, or not having enough yard space due to downsizing. But owning a pet in your senior years has so many great benefits, too.

The benefits of owning a pet

Loneliness can become a problem in our senior years, which can lead to a decline in both mental and physical health. If you own a pet, then you have constant companionship, not to mention the unconditional love that dogs, in particular, can bring. Owning a dog also gives you a reason to get out of the house regularly and get the benefits of some light exercise and fresh air.

Evidence also shows that owning a dog has real benefits to our physical health, lowering stress and reducing blood pressure, which is good for our heart health. Owning a pet also makes you responsible for someone other than yourself, giving you a sense of purpose and routine. This can be important for seniors who are trying to figure out how to spend their days after retiring.

Things to consider

But getting a pet isn’t a decision you should make lightly. There are certain things to consider to make sure that you are capable of properly looking after a pet and giving it the life it deserves, as well as ensuring that it’s the best thing for you.

If you’ve decided to get a dog, then think about the size of the dog and how much exercise it will need. Smaller dogs may be better suited to seniors so that they don’t have to worry about lacking strength if the dog pulls on its lead or needs carrying. Extremely energetic breeds like huskies and dalmatians should probably be avoided, since they will need walking and exercising multiple times a day.

You could consider adopting a senior dog, which can be a really rewarding thing to do, giving them an amazing and loving last few years of their lives. It’s also a practical option since senior dogs are likely to need less exercise.

If you do have low mobility or little space in your home and yard, then consider other pet options, such as cats, birds, rabbits, and various other smaller animals. Cats, especially, can be a good option because they are more independent than dogs, yet they can still be loving.

Is a pet right for your senior years? It could be one of the best things you do for both your mental and physical health. Get more support and advice for staying healthy and getting the care you need in your senior years from Brookstone Terrace of Woodruff.