As we get older, sometimes our homes and even sometimes our lives becomes empty. Loneliness kicks in and boredom becomes our immediate world. Everyone grows up and moves on – however, one of the best ways for older folks to constantly have a “companion”, stay active and maybe unbore their lives is to get a pet – of course, asides the usual engagement in social activities.
For most, a large dog is out of the question, but there are certain pet breeds that are ideal for companionship without being high maintenance. Other animals can be just as much fun and easy to take care of. This is our list of the top ten pets to keep older folks company.
1. Mutt/Mixed Breed
The truth is that, for the most part, mutts, dogs that are mixed breeds, tend to be healthier and easy to care for. As with every other pet on this list, finding a mutt at a shelter can be the best way to make a new friend. Most older folks will remember the movie dog Benji. His real name was Higgins and he was a shelter dog that went on to be one of the most famous dogs in the film and TV history.
Those little pocket-sized dogs are a favorite for older folks. They are very affectionate and willing to snuggle, but they are full of energy when something exciting is happening, like the mailman arriving. Typically healthy dogs, they might need extra sweaters and blankets in colder regions as they tend to get chilly quickly.
3. Cocker Spaniel
These little dogs are sweet and fun. Typically not as bouncy and energetic as a chihuahua, cockers are great dogs for folks with grandkids. They love to get out and run and play. Originally bred as hunting dogs, they still have a love for the outdoors and are wonderful to sit by the fire with. Cockers can be a concern for people with dog allergies, but if you don’t they are a perfect midsize dog for later years.
There are poodles in all sizes, from ones that will fit in your purse to ones that you can almost saddle up and ride. The classic standard poodle is a perfect middle-sized companion. They tend to be great for people with allergies because they don’t create dander and they are lots of fun to play with. Most poodles are laid-back and only back when there is a real threat, making them great for people who don’t like a loud dog.
5. French Bulldog
Some folks look at the list above and see a lot of frilly dogs with bows in their hair and smelling of perfume. For them, there is the French Bulldog. Weighing in at 18 to 30 pounds, these are medium-sized bullies who are great for taking for a walk or sitting around the house. There are great with grandkids and lots of fun for playing games in the yards. Check the internet for a great purebred rescue for bulldogs (or any of the breeds listed).
Most cats are great but there are a couple of breeds that are especially suited for older folks.
They look like roasted marshmallows and are very sweet. They tend to be skittish as a breed, so expect that you might have a secret companion that won’t come out when others are around.
7. American Shorthair
Tiger-striped, these are great cats. They are adventurous and are perfect as indoor-outdoor cats. They tend to be very affectionate, especially when you teach them to love being with you simply by being affectionate to them.
Other Types Of Pets
The animal kingdom is full of possibilities, aside from cats and dogs. Here are a few.
Cute little birds that love to make noise, they are great stimulus. They are loyal to their owners and can sometimes be territorial.
Parrots are larger and smarter. Although they might require more maintenance than a parakeet, but you can teach a parrot to speak and nothing is funnier than having the grand-kids come over and the parrot tells them to, “Eat your carrots,” for you.
Not much in the way of conversation but, fish are a wonderful quiet pet for folks who aren’t very mobile or don’t have access to the outdoors. They are a huge variety of colors and styles, all of them quietly swimming and very relaxing to watch. They’re great for your blood pressure as well.
While this might seem like an odd choice, I can tell you for sure that a turtle is a great companion. They like to walk in the grass or swim in water. Best of all, they are slow enough that even the slowest moving older person can catch them.