Pets and seniors are a natural fit for each other because each has so much to offer. Companionship, affection, love, activity, and more, are all examples of the benefits to be had. Not all pets are appropriate for all seniors, however, so we’ve put together a list of ten great pets to consider if you are thinking about getting a pet.
Beta fish – This low maintenance pet is colorful, fun to watch, and inexpensive. They do not need a complicated fish tank set up, but rather do just fine in a normal size fish bowl. Males are especially colorful, but are prone to fighting so should never be kept in the same bowl together. Their lifespan is two to three years.
Canary – A canary is easy to keep and care for, and is also very entertaining. They are colorful, active, and responsive to people. Canaries can be kept individually, but tend to be happier when kept as a pair or a small group. Their average lifespan is ten to fifteen years.
Cat – This is of course one of the most popular household pets and come in many different colors, sizes, and breeds. They are easy to keep and don’t need a lot of exercise. Cats are great for apartments or small homes. Typical costs include spay or neuter, annual veterinarian check ups, vaccinations, food, toys, and cat litter. The average lifespan of an indoor cat is ten to fifteen years, and for an outdoor cat is three to eight years.
Dog – This is another popular household pet, coming in many different sizes, colors, temperaments, and breeds. They require a moderate amount of care as well as regular exercise; the amount of exercise necessary varies depending on the breed. Typical costs include spay or neuter, annual veterinarian check ups, vaccinations, food, toys, and for some breeds regular professional grooming. The average lifespan of a dog varies depending on the breed; smaller dogs may live as long as ten to fifteen years while a large dog may live eight to twelve years.
Gerbil – This small pet is very low maintenance. Gerbils are extremely active (especially at night) and fun to watch as they play with simple toys like a wheel or a paper towel tube. They do best when kept as a pair, but breed frequently and easily so if you don’t want regular litters of babies then be sure they’re the same gender. Typical costs include a cage and accessories, food, and bedding. Their average lifespan is two to three years.
Guinea pig – Sometimes also called a cavy, this is a wonderful pet that is quite entertaining and easy to keep. They make an array of interesting noises, and can become extremely affectionate when handled regularly. Guinea pigs are very social animals, but they can be kept singly if you spend time interacting with them each day. As with gerbils, guinea pigs breed frequently and easily so if you don’t want lots of babies then be sure to keep only a same gender pair. Typical costs include a cage and accessories, food, and bedding. Their average lifespan is three to five years.
Hamster – This small pet is also very low maintenance and easy to keep in your home. Hamsters are less active than a gerbil or guinea pig, and can become extremely tame and affectionate with regular handling. Typical costs include a cage and accessories, food, and bedding. The average lifespan of a hamster is two to three years.
Parakeet – This is perhaps the most popular of all pet birds in part because they are so colorful, entertaining, and friendly when handled regularly. They generally do best when kept in pairs, but a single bird does just fine if it receives regular attention from you. Typical costs beyond a cage and accessories include food and bedding. Their average lifespan is five to seven years.
Rabbit – Rabbits can be excellent companions when given proper care, handling, and living arrangements. Rabbits can be trained to use a litter box, making clean up relatively easy, and if handled regularly they can become quite affectionate. Typical costs include a cage and accessories, food, and bedding. Their average lifespan is seven to twelve years.
Tropical fish – While not very cuddly or affectionate, a tank of tropical fish can provide many hours of enjoyment and entertainment. A colorful mix of fish along with decorative rocks and other adornments can make a tank an excellent addition to your home. Tropical fish require regular tank cleaning and water changes, but a minimum of food. The average lifespan depends entirely on the species of fish you choose; some live a year or two while others might live three or four years.