The Best Pets for Seniors

The Best Pets for Seniors

The benefits of owning a pet, especially as you age, are endless. But it’s important to remember that different pets have different qualities and therefore require varying degrees of commitment, energy and resources. Some pets are the perfect choice for active individuals, while others are better for people who may not have as much energy to expel and have smaller living environments. In this guide, we go through the best pets for seniors.


Many elderly people would like to get a dog but are aware that they are unable to care for such an active animal. That’s why small dogs make excellent companions for seniors.

Small dogs need less exercise and less space than large dogs and can be accommodated into an apartment lifestyle. As long as you can walk your dog frequently and provide them with some basic care, you will have a happy canine friend for life. Additionally, their small size means that it is easy to pick them up and take them on walks.

It’s good to keep in mind that while all dogs need grooming, certain breeds require more care than others. If you don’t mind a visit to the professional groomer every month or two, then long-haired breeds are a wonderful option for you. However, if you’re looking for minimal fuss, then it’s best to opt for a breed with minimal grooming needs.


Cats are a great option for seniors, especially those who spend a lot of time at home. Cats are happy to stay indoors and enjoy spending long hours curled up in a warm lap. If you feel like you simply wouldn’t be able to keep up with a dog’s needs, adopting a cat is a much better choice.

Most adult cats require only 20 to 30 minutes of playtime per day, and interactive play does not require you to be mobile. You can simply use a kitty fishing pole or laser toy to entertain your cat while you’re sitting in your favourite chair.

Before welcoming this little furry friend into your home, make sure you have a chat to the animal shelter or breeder about the type of personality you’d like your feline friend to have (especially if you’re adopting an adult cat!). Talk to the staff and ask for a calm, easygoing, adult lap cat with minimal medical requirements.


Birds, particularly parakeets, make for excellent pets for seniors. They are easy to maintain and clean while providing fantastic companionship. In retirement homes where dogs or cats are not permitted, adopting a bird is a wonderful alternative. Although talkative, parakeets don’t shout or scream like other parrot species. They are friendly and affectionate birds who like interacting with people.


Fish make awesome pets for seniors who have moved into assisted living or retirement homes. Fish are clean and quiet and provide hours of entertainment. Some special lighting, filters, and regular feeding will be required, but once everything is set up, the care of a fish is minimal, especially with the use of automated feeders.

There are many benefits of owning a pet, especially as we age. They can provide companionship when we feel lonely, or a wonderful source of comfort when we feel down.  Just make sure you choose the right pet for your lifestyle and personality and you’re certain to have a friend for life.


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