woman enjoying one of the best companion pets for seniors, a cat, on the couch

The Best Companion Pets for Seniors

For people of all ages, pets truly can feel like family members. We include them in family photos, celebrate their birthdays, and take them on adventures. For many older adults, retirement is the perfect time to introduce a new furry, feathered, or finned companion to your home. And at Copeland Tower Living, you’ll find a vibrant independent living lifestyle that’s perfect for you and your pet.

What are the benefits of pets for seniors?

There’s a considerable body of evidence of the social, emotional, and health benefits of pet ownership. But for older adults, these benefits can be particularly significant. Here are a few of our favorite ways that pets can improve the lives of seniors:

  • Combat loneliness: As we age, it’s common to experience feelings of loneliness and isolation. Pets can provide a constant source of companionship and affection, helping you feel connected and in good company. 
  • Boost mental health: Pets have been shown to positively impact  mental health. Spending time with a pet can reduce stress and anxiety, and even lower blood pressure.
  • Encourage exercise: Depending on the type of pet you choose, owning a furry friend can be a great motivator to get up and moving. Dogs need regular exercise, like taking walks or playing fetch at a dog park, which can be a great way for older adults to stay active.
  • Provide a sense of purpose: For many older adults, caring for a pet can provide a sense of purpose and responsibility, which can be particularly meaningful for those who may have lost a spouse or are no longer working.
  • Increase socialization: Pets can be great icebreakers, making it easier to connect with others. You might find other residents in your community who have a similar pet and begin a new friendship. 

Without a doubt, pets can be a wonderful addition to an older adult’s life, providing companionship, health benefits, and a sense of purpose. 

What are some of the best pets for seniors?

When it comes to choosing a pet, there are a few things to keep in mind. You’ll likely want to choose a relatively low-maintenance pet that doesn’t require much physical exertion to care for. Here are a few of our favorite options to consider: 

  1. Cats: Cats are a popular choice for older adults because they’re relatively low-maintenance. They don’t require daily walks or a lot of space to roam, and they can be perfectly content curling up on your lap for hours on end.
  2. Small dogs: While larger dogs may be too much for some older adults to handle, small dogs can be a great option. Dog breeds like Chihuahuas, Pugs, Shih Tzus, and Yorkshire Terriers are known for their low-maintenance needs and affectionate personalities.
  3. Birds: Birds can be great companions for seniors looking for a pet that doesn’t require a lot of physical interaction or maintenance, plus they can provide hours of entertainment with their playful antics.
  4. Fish: Fish can be a good option for  those who want a pet that requires even less maintenance. Setting up an aquarium can be a fun and relaxing hobby, and watching the fish swim around can be soothing.
  5. Reptiles: While it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, reptiles like a turtle or a lizard can be great companion pets for seniors. These pets are relatively low-maintenance and can be fascinating to watch.

Ultimately, the best pet for an older adult will depend on their preferences and needs. It’s important to consider factors like lifestyle, living space, and personal health when choosing a pet.

How should a senior choose a pet?

Bringing a new pet into your life is a big step, and you should assess your lifestyle and needs during your decision-making process. Here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Consider your living situation: Do you live in a small apartment? Do you have a backyard? Make sure you choose a pet that is appropriate for your living space.
  • Think about your activity level: Different pets require different levels of activity. If you’re unable to go for long walks or engage in other physical activities, you may want to consider a more low-maintenance pet, like a cat or a fish.
  • Consider your budget: Pets can be expensive, so it’s essential to consider your budget before bringing one into your home. Make sure you can afford the cost of food, veterinary care, and any other supplies your pet may need.
  • Research different breeds: If you’re considering getting a dog or cat, it’s important to research different breeds to find one that fits your lifestyle. Some breeds are more high-energy than others, while some may be more prone to health issues.
  • Spend time with animals: Before making a final decision, try spending some time with animals to see which ones you connect with. Visit a local animal shelter or volunteer to pet-sit for a friend, and get a feel for life as a pet owner. 

Taking the time to consider your options carefully can help ensure that you and your new pet will be happy together for years to come.

Copeland Tower Living: Perfect for You and Your Pet

Come discover independent living the Copeland Way, and bring your furry friend with you! Tour our pet-friendly apartments and learn more about enjoying a vibrant and engaging retirement lifestyle alongside other active older adults. Call us today at 504-507-1181 and start living your best life at Copeland Tower Living. 


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