Pets are the ultimate combination of companionship, loyalty, and loads of fun wrapped into one. Most elders dream of having pets but put it off for some reason or the other. We’re here to tell you that contrary to popular belief, retirement is the perfect time to take the plunge and get a pet! Interestingly, they also contribute in a multitude of other ways. And there are always eldercare services in Chennai to help you along the way. 

Before you make the brave decision, let’s get some answers first. Some common questions include: What kind of pets to bring home? What kind of commitment do they require? Will they be suitable for elders at home? Well, we are here to make it easy for you to choose a pet that is best suited for elders. 

The bright side

Pets are known to have a positive impact on our health. And for the love we show, we sure do receive tenfold. 

Here are three reasons why elders should have pets:

  • They boost mental health: Having pets at home is like therapy. Their companionship can prevent depression by increasing oxytocin and dopamine levels which are our happy hormones.
  • They are amazing guides: There are dogs that are specifically trained to guide and help seniors. They can guide them when walking, fetch things for them if movement is restricted and can be a great guard dog for those living independently.
  • They keep you fit: Tending to a pet’s needs such as feeding or walking them can increase the physical activity of elders. And people with pets have healthier hearts and a good immune system.
Know which pet best suits you

Pets can be a great addition to elders’ lives but one should consider a few things before bringing a pet home:

  • Allergies: Not all pets are allergenic. Choosing pets that do not induce or aggravate allergies can fulfill any elder’s dream of having pets. 
  • Care levels: Different pets require different levels of maintenance. Based on the physical ability of seniors, it is important to decide which will suit them. They can also avail help from elder care services to assist them in taking care of essentials like food. And they can also have dog walkers assist in walking pets. 
  • Knowledge building: You don’t need to have prior experience of having pets. But you must gain enough knowledge about caring for them. Knowledge about food, bathing, visits to the vet, etc., is crucial. Now there are also online pet food delivery services available to deliver pet food to your doorstep. 
Suitable pets for seniors

Here are a few suggestions of pets that are hand-picked based on their level of maintenance, their traits, temperament, and personality. 

Budgerigar/Budgies: Budgies are cute, little, delightful birds that form strong bonds with their owners. All they require is a big cage with toys and birdseed. Budgies love to socialize and seek attention. They can also mimic human speech and mirror our tone. Elders can have a fun time talking to budgies. 

Shih Tzu: Shih Tzus are small in size but super active. They require moderate maintenance including brushing their coat, walking, and playtime. They are very affectionate and outgoing. These little lap dogs will follow you everywhere!

Poodle: Poodles are perfect for elders because they are easy to train and extremely intelligent. They come in three different sizes. They are very friendly and make for great companions. They require a fair bit of maintenance like brushing their coat, walking, and playtime. These beauties love socializing and do not like to be left alone. 

Goldfish: In addition to their grace, these clever creatures can be trained to swim through hoops and push balls. They also have personalities and temperaments making them fun to be around. All they need is enough room to swim around and a proper feeding schedule, making them super low maintenance. Elders can find the perfect pass time in training a goldfish.

Russian Blue: These mighty, dusky, blue cats are low maintenance. They need brushing twice a week and prefer quiet households making them great companions for elders. Blues are comparatively less allergenic as they produce lesser amounts of Fed d 1 (protein), the compound that causes allergic reactions in humans. 

Poligar hound/Rajapalayam: Rajas are healthy, low maintenance dogs. They are known for their loyalty and bond strongly with the family members. They like to please their owners and are also known to be good hunters. 

A few other notable mentions are British shorthair (cat), Birman (cat), Pug, finches (birds), Greyhound. 

A little bit of homework before bringing pets into an elder’s home will help you make the right choice. Elders living alone, might find it difficult to take care of themselves, their home, and their pets. That’s why Eldercare services and Home care services in Chennai are perfect to help them with all their needs.