Pets can provide companionship, comfort for the elderly

Published Aug 27, 2017 at 9:00am

Owning a pet has its benefits, especially for elderly people.

The companionship and unconditional love that pets offer can help reduce stress as well as helping them to relax, lowering blood pressure and they also help to keep them and their minds active.

But which type of pet is the right one? This is a decision should be made carefully. There are a few things that should be considered when choosing the perfect pet.

Can another member of the family help with the pets care or possibly take in the pet if necessary?

The cost of owning a pet: Can they afford food, litter or whatever is necessary to take care of their pet, including health care?

The activity and energy level of the senior person as well as the pet: It’s not a good match if the pet is very young and active and the owner isn’t able to keep up with them or care for them properly. Some pets require more exercise than others. 

The choice of pet depends on what type of animal you like, which type of pet may fit your activity level or which one fits into your living situation. The obvious choices are dogs or cats. 

Choose a dog whose size and energy level fit your ability to take care of them safely and remember they require more attention and exercise.

Cats are also a good choice because they are independent and don’t require as much attention. They are usually happy to just keep you company and maybe curl up in your lap and purr.

Other pets to consider are birds or fish. They don’t take as much effort to care for but still offer companionship and are relaxing to watch. 

Whichever pet you choose make sure it is right for you and if possible, adopt your pet from a shelter or rescue. There are many animals waiting for homes to call their own. The Humane Society of Rome has a wonderful selection of cats and dogs waiting to meet their new families. You can meet these two at the shelter:

BellaMarie is a 7-year-old Pit Bull Terrier Mix. She has lots of love to give and will make a wonderful addition to any family. If you feel like she would be the perfect addition to your family, come meet and fall in love with her today.

Virgil a 4-year-old, male, orange tiger and white kitty looking for a home. He’s a very sweet boy who likes most everyone except for other cats. If you have a home for this boy where he can be the only cat, please come meet him soon. Virgil
has been waiting over a year to meet his special person.