Pets for Seniors: Cats, Other Animals, and Caring for Your Pet
Throughout this series, we’ve outlined some of the great benefits of having pets in your home, as well as some considerations you should take when picking out a pet, such as a dog.
We’ve already mentioned a few things to consider when picking out a dog, but since dogs aren’t for everyone, we thought we would take a look at a few other pets that also make a great addition to any home. Take a look below:
Cats are very loving animals who also make great companions and usually require a little less responsibility on the part of the owner. In the end, however, it is important that you pick a pet that matches your personality and lifestyle. Below, we’ve outlined a few pros and cons of owning a cat:
- Require less space
- Can be left at home for longer periods at a time
- Use a litter box, require less outside time
- Smaller in size
- Most, but not all, are calm (inquire about their personality when picking one out)
- Require clean and fresh litter boxes (must be cleaned often)
- If not declawed, can scratch furniture and knock things over if not properly trained or given enough attention
- Cats also tend to get underfoot, which may be an issue for an aging loved one who is prone to falling.
*Like dogs, it is recommended for seniors to pick out an adult cat as opposed to a kitten, in order to avoid being overwhelmed by training them.
Below are a few other animals to consider as pets:
Birds. Intelligent and extremely social, birds are great pets, though they do require a lot more attention than most animals. Birds do take up less space and can usually be confined to one area, though it is suggested to get more than one as they do live in groups and should have a fairly large enough cage where they can fly around easily.
Rabbits. Gentle and quite creatures, rabbits are easy to handle, though they do require daily care in order to feel comfortable with their owners.
Fish. Although not necessarily a kind of pet you can hold or interact with, caring for fish can be a great and exotic hobby for those who still want the responsibility of a pet, without the extra fuss. The only downside to owning fish is the cost of their tank (buying, cleaning, etc) and their relatively short lifespan.
Caring for your pet
Here are a few things to consider when caring for your pet:
Schedule regular check ups. Schedule regular check ups with a vet to ensure that they maintain proper health.
Professional grooming. Certain breeds of cats and dogs require grooming. Avoid any stress by taking them to a groomer, often located at your local pet store or nearby.
Professional training. Should you choose to get a puppy or kitten, consider getting them professionally trained in order to prevent any bad habits from forming.
Dog walking services. These days, there are plenty of dog walking services for those who are unable to get out of the house as often as they’d like. This is especially useful in the winter time when sidewalks are slick. Contact your local humane society or veterinary clinic to find services near you, or consider asking a family member to help.
Pets can do wonders for seniors often enhancing their lives by fighting off loneliness, and adding value to their lives through responsibility and companionship.
If you or an aging loved one is considering owning a pet, take the time to pick out the right one the right companion can make all the difference. As always, if you have any questions or concerns about the information we’ve outlined throughout this series, please feel free to give us a call. We’re always here to help!
Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living “currently serving Omaha, Eastern Nebraska and Western Iowa “provides seniors and their families a complete understanding of geriatric care options and helps families maneuver through the challenges of the system. Call us at 402-331-2273.
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“Physicians’ Choice Private Duty Assisted Living solves the challenges families face in caring for aging parents, with a focus on strategies that keep them in their homes. To learn more about our solutions, visit http://www.private-duty.pchhc.com.”