There have been many articles written recently about pet therapy and how it offers plenty of benefits for older adults. The sense of purpose and companionship that pets bring can really help to improve a person’s quality of life. This is especially important for older adults who are aging in place without close friends and relatives. If you have always considered having your own furry pets during retirement, here is what you need to know.
Benefits of Furry Pets for Retirees
There is a number of health and wellness benefits that older adults with pets stand to offer which include the following:
- Experience unconditional love
- Enjoy daily life
- Achieves a sense of purpose
- Combat depression
- Stay active to lower stress and blood pressure while promoting a healthier heart
- Socialize more
- Enjoy companionship
A recent article published by Forbes Magazine cites that 62% of older adults aged 65 years and above have dogs, 55% have cats, and 10% have fish, birds, turtles, and other small mammals. Older adults who live alone have also reported that they better cope with loss when they have their pets around.
Challenges of Pet Ownership
Owning a pet is a huge responsibility. Many people often associate pet ownership with rescuing an animal, taking them out for walks, and just enjoying its company. However, without prior experience and knowledge in caring for a pet, things could go awry and in turn cause harm to the pet. Below are some factors that you can consider before becoming a pet owner:
- Research: Always do some research on the type of pet that you have the means to take care of. Some pets have different temperaments that you need to know of to ensure they are suitable for your age, housing, and energy.
- Type of Pet: A low-maintenance pet is highly recommended for older adults as they require less training and work. This is ideal to ensure that you have the amount of energy needed to care for your pet every single day.
- Finding a Pet: There are many platforms that allow you to get a pet. Determine whether you are looking to buy or adopt and inquire with the nearby pet stores, breeders, and shelters accordingly.
- Housing Restrictions: Depending on where you are residing, find out if you can indeed have a pet. Some apartment complexes may not allow pets so it is better to be safe before you go on and get a pet.
- Physical Limitations: If you are facing any physical limitations, you may not be able to keep up with the daily care of dogs, cats, and similar animals. They need to be walked, cleaned, and entertained. You can consider getting fishes or turtles instead that do not require as much effort.
- Commitment: Always remember that having a pet is a full-time commitment. You need to factor in the expenses for its food, healthcare, supplies, and others. If you have enough financial resources to spare, then you are indeed good to go with the pet ownership plan.