Plenty of hard-working, young adults – and many children – love the prospect of having a pet around the house. In fact, compared to children who never had a pet, children were better off (in general) if they grew up with a pet in the house (according to psychologytoday.com).
Another great idea, however, is pets for aging adults. But why? According to numerous publications, it has been researched and found to be true.
Lower stress levels, increased fitness, and a general feeling of happiness can be just a few of the benefits enjoyed by pet owners (or “pet parents”). Courtesy of their beloved pet, older adults can enjoy the following:
- Decreased triglyceride and cholesterol levels
- Lower blood pressure
- Increased socialization opportunities
- Decreased feeling of loneliness
All that is well and good. But it does beg the question, “What kind of a pet is best for an older loved one?” Let’s look at the top five choices.
“Man’s Best Friend”
Don’t let that age-old dog reference fool you, they can be the best friend for women just as well as for men. For your loved one, a dog could be the perfect choice. For one, dogs help people focus on something other than lost friends, weaknesses, pain, and more. It offers the opportunity to “live in the moment”.
For many older adults, cats may be preferred over dogs. Little to no training is necessary, walks aren’t a particular problem, and they generally tend to be more independent than their canine counterparts. Many still love to snuggle and make ideal companions.
Most rabbits are always ready for attention and, for the most part, look after themselves. How long personal interaction goes is up to the owner because rabbits usually live in their pens. Remember, however, that this is a short-term friendship. A two-year lifespan is pretty common.
Once again, upkeep is relatively minimal, and a bird will spend most of its time in its cage. Some people like to let it fly around the house on occasion, but it’s not a necessity. Varying levels of care are necessary for different breeds, so get to know the bird you’re considering before any purchase. Some are also more likely to have lovely singing voices, talk (when trained), and more.
Saltwater tanks are a lot of work, so if you go with fish, you want freshwater types. Even for those with mobility issues, it’s easy to care for a fish. They require minimal upkeep, and, after initial purchase and set-up, you don’t have to spend much on them where care is concerned.
If You Go with a Dog Which One Is Best?
Particularly if someone is getting on in years a bit, and they choose to live with a dog, here are the top 10 choices for canine companionship:
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel
- Miniature Schnauzer
- French Bulldog
- Pembroke Welsh Corgi
- Shih Tzu
Country Club At Woodland Hills Offers Socialization Opportunities and More
Naturally, however, not every older adult should own a pet. Some people have their own care needs, so pet ownership may be out of the question. To provide the opportunity for exercise, socialization, any needed care, three daily meals, and more, there are specially staffed and designed community living opportunities.
Discover the numerous benefits at Country Club At Woodland Hills, a resident-focused community designed with “the good life” and your well-being in mind.
Contact us today if you have questions or if you would like to schedule a tour.