20 Comments

  1. I enjoyed this well written and very informative article on good reasons to get a pet at older age. The benefits outweigh any negatives by far, and caring for a pet gives you a feeling of being needed. It’s good that you mentioned about providing support for your pet if you die first. I’m sure many senior pet owners fail to think about this. Yes, balance issues could be a problem with some seniors, and moving food bowls and toys out of the way could certainly help avoid accidents. Thank you for sharing:)

  2. Wow! What a great article. You’ve demonstrated how much you love the seniors by the degree of thought you put into their welfare. Personally, I have no problem with pets, I just don’t like cleaning after them. What advice would you give to one like myself who feels their responsibility is being doubled? Remember some elders need almost similar attention…

    Francis

    • Hi Francis, thank you. Ever since I remember, I had my way with older people particularly, and for many years now, my work is also connected to them and their families.
      As for your question, is it the hair you are annoyed by? If it is, I suggest you first choose carefully the breed which sheds less (as they all shed somewhat) Then try brushing your pet a few times a week, as this will considerably lessen the hairs in the air and on the floor, as they will end up on the brush. Also, today’s vacuum cleaner production is focused on effective hair removal.
      As for doing their business, most dogs, if properly trained, will do it outside, on your walk. Disposal bags are an easy way to scoop it up from the lawn in front of your neighbour and dispose to the nearest bin.
      Hope this helps.
      All the best,
      Kerryanne

  3. Clark

    I’m absolutely for getting a pet, or pets, at whatever age. I saw a clip once where a golden retriever was playing with a few rabbits and I think my blood pressure was at the optimal level for the duration of that video.

    Focusing on simple things like the sunset, or the sound of rain, or pets (I believe), can give one a deep sense of peace. I’m all for it!

    • You are obviously a pet lover and, from the tone of your comment, I’d say you are a happy, well-balanced person.
      Actually, there are studies showing that watching cute animal videos can lift your mood and help build your resilience to stress, even increase your productivity, through freeing your mind of stressing thoughts, so, yes, simple things bring great peace.
      Thank you for sharing your experience!

  4. Hey,

    It’s so funny that I came across this article because I was just back home with my parents visiting last weekend, and we were discussing pets. Now that we have moved out and the Grandchildren are getting older, I mentioned to my parents about getting a pet to keep them occupied. They were up and down about the idea.

    But, now that I have came across this article, I believe this will help them make up their mind. So, I have forwarded it on to them and I have encouraged them to comment and get in touch if they have any questions, if that is OK?

    Thank you for sharing and keep up the great work.

    All the best,

    Tom

    • It certainly is OK-that’s what this site is for-to help as much as possible to seniors with their issues and questions, so I’m looking forward to hear from them.
      And, if I may suggest-give them some space and time to make up their mind-you sure do want the best for them suggesting a pet, but, at the end of the day, they are going to be the ones to take care of it, when and if they feel comfortable with the idea of having one.
      All the best to you and your parents
      Karryanne

  5. Great article and so timing. I’m trying to convince my mom to get a pet, as she is such a carrying person, and a bit depressed lately. We’ve been talking about getting a pet for her, and this article will definitely help us, help her make a decision.
    Thank you so much.

    • I’m happy if this came right on time for you! I hope your Mom will find it helpful and find a lot of joy in a pet’s company, if she decides to have one! Thank you Tanya for visiting.

  6. James

    Hey Kerryanne this is an awesome article! You’ve listed some really good points in here. I’ve been trying to convince my grandpa to get a dog but he’s being a bit stubborn about it haha. I’m planning on showing him this article to try to sway him. Fingers crossed it will work!

    • Fingers crossed James, however, if your Grandpa is “stubborn” about getting a pet, it might be for a reason. It might be that it simply isn’t his cup of tea, so be careful and try to talk with him about his feelings on the matter.
      Thank you for your comment and good luck to both you and your Grandpa in that conversation.

  7. Pablo

    Hi Kerryanne, what a lovely article.
    For me, these 7 good reasons to get a pet at older age are so important to share.
    It is insightful and thoughtful for our seniors. I will share with mine and some others I know; it will be a breath of fresh air among the number of irrelevant things to read nowadays.
    Thank you for putting this together!

  8. Hi Kerryanne,

    I have four dogs and three cats, and it is a big responsibility but at the same time I could not imagine my life without them, and they give me so much love. I love them so much. They also make me laugh sometimes, especially my three-year-old Pit Bull who is just a giant puppy, one of his nicknames is Mr. Mischief. 😉
    I would not recommend a Pit Bull (or any other strong breed) for an elderly person, of course, although I do love them, they are so sweet and playful. It was just an example. 🙂
    One of my cats is super loving and when it is feeding time he stands on my fridge (cats eat there, so the dogs can’t steal their food) and he nudges his head against mine, giving so much love. So, I absolutely agree that a pet will give a senior much love. They are like a member of the family.
    If a pet dies, it is always heartbreaking, and since I worked in animal rescue for over 20 years I have seen a fair share of deaths and it is painful every time. But see it like this: when you lose a pet, do not say that you won’t ever have a pet again because you can’t go through the pain of his loss one more time. Instead, be grateful that you were able to give your animal a loving home (especially if it was a rescue). You gave that animal a home, a place of safety, and you can open your home for another animal in honor of the one you lost, to save another lost soul that needs a home. In the end, the animal you adopt may end up saving you.

    • What an absolutely beautiful, fabulous comment you wrote Christine, thank you!
      It must be tough and great at the same time with so many pets around you.
      We have only one rescued dog at the moment, she is a highlight in our lives and I have no doubts at all about who rescued whom here <3

  9. Hi Kerryanne, I miss one con to a pet: you might be allergic. I am extremely allergic to cat hair and some dog hair . (Also to my own hair, by the way, that’s why I always have it so short, LOL)
    If I weren’t allergic I would probably still not have a pet, because I like to travel.
    Yet, as usual, your article covers all the ins and outs of the subject. And I know from my own research on loneliness that having a pet is extremly helpfull. Not just for the elderly. My son has pets and I notice the good influence that has on my grandkids. 🙂

    • Thank you Hannie! I saw a photo of you from your younger days with a short hair and concluded this is the style you like. I’m sorry to hear it’s not completely your choice. I can only imagine the inconvenience going with such an allergy.
      You are right, it really is missing. I might have included it, but then I thought, chances are that someone in their 50s,60s 70+s would have already known about being allergic and wouldn’t be considering having a pet at all. Thank you for adding it here, though, now it seems to be complete 🙂

  10. I have a mother in her 60’s and a father who just hit 70 today, separated, and both remarried. They both have pets I never thought they would have. We were not allowed to have an indoor pet as children and here they both are with pets inside. My mother loves her cat. Her cat is her companion and gives her a reason to live after being drug-free almost a year now. My father has a cat and a dog inside, and he was the least likely one I thought I would ever see with an indoor pet, but he has been very dedicated to them as well. I really think these pets give my parents a reason to keep moving considering I do not live close anymore and they do not get to see their grandchildren very often. I think a pet for a senior is an excellent idea with the right fit.

    • How interesting that opinions of what is right and what isn’t change over decades, isn’t it?
      It might be that when you were a child, a pet was viewed as yet another responsibility in a busy life, but now, when everything slowed down a bit, a pet is viewed as a source of companionship, an attachment and a relationship which is essential at older age. Even the responsibility that comes with a pet is supporting a well-being of a senior.
      Thank you for sharing your experience with us, and a very happy 70th birthday to your father!

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