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Jason Kennedy

The Best Companion for An Aging Adult

Sometimes, you may feel that your elderly parents or friend might need some companionship. Pets can be the best companions while jogging outdoors or even while watching a TV show. In fact, your father can consider regular exercising if he keeps a dog. That’s because he will have to take his dog outdoors everyday. Similarly, your mother will feel more focused if she has a pet in her house. Undoubtedly, pets make our lives less stressful and enjoyable. These animal companions are ideal for all older adults who want to stay active without even worrying much. In addition, pets will help them feel loved, less lonely, and even strong.

Elderly woman sitting on a park bench holding her cane and her pet dog

A number of experts often claim that human beings need a companion in their everyday lives. This is because humans feel social in presence of a pet in their home. Many studies show that human beings feel more excited and happy when they have a pet. In short, pets work just as those stress busters in our lives. Scientifically, this term is called anthropomorphizing. That means we often end up considering our pets as tiny humans who need care, food, and love just like us. That makes our relationships with our pets very friendly.

What type of pet might best suit your needs? Here is a list of different types of small animals that might be of interest to seniors, their life span, and the characteristics of each:

Type Of PetLife SpanCost Of OwnershipCharacteristics
Dog8 to 20 YearsFood would be estimated at $20.00 per monthSmaller dogs are oftentimes cuddly and easy to care for
Cat12 to 21 YearsFood and litter would cost approximately $22.00 per monthPerhaps the easiest to care for as they don't have to be walked or exercised. Offer lots of love and are truly cuddly animals (most of the time).
Hamster2 to 4 YearsMonthly cost of ownership is minimal likely under $10.00 per monthYou can play with these small creatures but not sure how much "love" you will receive from them
Rabbit5 to 10 YearsUnder $12.00 per monthMost people don't realize that rabbits needs lots of exercise. Further, they do tend to chew wires and can be quite destructive if they want to be. There are also issues with cleaning up after them that might not make them an ideal pet choice for a senior citizen.
ParrotUp to 75 Years (Sort of like us)$15.00 per month on averageHighly intelligent pets that can of course "talk" to their owners and mimic their sounds. They can be loud at times and their cages do need to be cleaned.
FishUp to 3 Years$5.00 per monthFish require no exercise and the only work involves the cleaning of their tank water and little else. Might be a good choice for a senior as they require minimal time, work and care

Without a doubt, a pet improve the mood of a person. You will see some positive changes in the environment and mood when you bring in a cat or a dog. Usually, aging adults suffer from depression and anxiety. With a pet, there will not be such a situation. Surveys claim that pet owners stay more happy and interactive than non-pet owners. It has also been medically proven that pets increase the levels of feel-good hormone in human bodies. That’s because playing with pets improves the level of serotonin hormone, which is a mood controller.

Married couple holding a cat

Although there are a number of options when you look for a pet, you should always consider a dog or a cat when you are choosing for an aging adult. However, you should ensure that the person is interested in bringing in a pet to his home. As both cats and dogs don’t stay in groups, they can easily blend in your environment unlike other pets. You can visit some pet breeders and find out various options of buying a pet for an aging adult.

Old married couple sitting on couch with their dog on their lapFind out the preference of the individual for whom you are buying the pet for. Based on their preference and need, you can buy a dog or cat for that person. While buying a puppy, choose a breed that best suits the person’s need. Similarly, you can buy a kitten by choosing the right one for your elderly parents or any aging adult in your acquaintance group. Pets do need some care and grooming. If you are buying a puppy or a cat, they will need some basic trainings as well. However, you always have the option to buy a trained dog or cat if you don’t want to go through the hassle of training.

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