Best Pets For the Elderly: Finding Your Perfect Companion

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Senior citizens and pets.

Best Pets for Senior Citizens

Pets bring joy to everyone’s lives, regardless of one’s age. Pets for seniors,in particular, can provide not only companionship but also immense love and support.

For those in their golden years, having a furry (or scaly) companion around can boost their mental as well as physical health. However, age can affect one’s ability to care for a pet. Senior citizens thus have to take several things into consideration to find the right pet for them.

So, what are some of the best pets for seniors? Let’s find out.

Factors Senior Citizens Must Consider When Getting a Pet

Not every type of pet is right for every elderly person. Here are a few things to consider when choosing pets for seniors.


While large, cuddly dogs seem adorable, they’re not the safest choice for seniors. On the other hand, a small dog or cat often makes wonderful pets for seniors. They’re easier to handle and take up less space in a senior’s home. For example, breeds like Corgis and Toy Poodles are among the best small dogs for seniors.

If you want to go the unconventional route, other small animals like guinea pigs or gerbils are also adorable choices for companions.

Energy Level

How much exercise will your pet need? Will they need to be regularly let out to play? These are crucial factors to consider because pets with high energy levels can be exhausting and not a good long-term choice for senior citizens.

Ideally, an adult pet that’s already trained and well-behaved is the best choice for seniors.

Grooming Needs

Pets that don’t require a lot of grooming are usually the most suitablepets for seniors. Both cats and fish, for example, are very low maintenance and quite easy to care for. They’re the perfect choice for adults with mobility concerns while being delightful pets.

Health Concerns

Many senior citizens have health issues that tend to worsen with time. So, getting a pet that also suffers from poor health or needs a lot of care may not be the best idea. Some dog breeds, for example, suffer from various health issues as they age. And veterinary costs can also build up over time. So, if you’re on a limited budget, stick to pets that are known to be generally healthy.

Best Companion Pets for Seniors

The best pets for seniors are those that provide companionship and require minimal care. Among the most popular pets for seniors include dogs, cats, birds, and fish.


Cats are quickly becoming the most sought-after pets for seniors. They are independent animals, provide companionship, and can be trained to perform simple tasks.

And contrary to popular opinion, cats can be quite affectionate and loving. They’re also generally low-maintenance pets that do not require a lot of space or exercise.


Birds make ideal pets for seniors because they are relatively low-maintenance and can provide hours of enjoyment with their singing and quirky behaviors.

Birds come in a wide variety of sizes, colors, and personalities. Make sure you choose one that is compatible with your lifestyle and personality. For example, if you love your peace and quiet, avoid getting noisy birds like Macaws.


Fishes are another popular choice for seniors because they are relaxing to watch and do not require much care. You can set up a fish tank anywhere in your house, including in small spaces such as apartment balconies.

While you may not get any cuddles, fish provide endless hours of relaxing pastime. Just make sure your aquarium is the right size for your fish to move around in. Freshwater fish like Betta fish or Neon Tetra is a good choice for beginners.


Did you know that 69 million households across the US own at least one dog? Dogs continue to be the most popular pets in the US as well as the world.

Dogs provide companionship, love, and affection. They also help to keep seniors active, which is important for maintaining their health. Additionally, they can be trained to perform various tasks, such as fetching medications or assisting with mobility.

Although there are also some important factors to consider, such as your activity level and whether you live alone, with family, or have a nurse. There are also health considerations to keep in mind. Some seniors may require a low-maintenance breed that doesn’t require a lot of exercise, while others might do well with a more active breed that can help them stay physically fit.

Many seniors also worry about not being able to detect health issues in their dogs. But did you know that your dog’s tongue color is a telltale sign of its health? Keep an eye out for any tongue discoloration, and you’ll be able to get your pup the necessary treatment in time!

That being said, what are the best dogs for seniors? Here are some recommendations:

Best Small Breed Dogs for Seniors

Small dogs are, without a doubt, the best companion dogs for seniors. They are often easy to care for and don’t require a lot of exercises.

Some small breeds that make good companions for seniors include the Pomeranian, Toy Poodle, Maltese, Philadelphia Terrier, Bichon Frise, and Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. They also make some of the best lap dogs for seniors.

Best Medium-Sized Dogs for Seniors

Medium-sized dogs can also be great companions for seniors. They are often less high-maintenance than small dogs, making them the best dog pets for seniors.

Beagles, Boxers, Yorkshire Terriers, Cocker Spaniels, and Boston Terriers are among the best dogs for seniors.

Best Guard Dogs for Seniors

Guard dogs are alert, intelligent, and very loyal. They’re also trained to be protective of their humans. For senior citizens living alone or even with someone, guard dogs make great pets as they offer a sense of security and protection.

Some of the best guard dog breeds for seniors include Rottweilers, Dobermans, and German Shepherds. These are well-tempered dogs that can be trained to alert their owners of any suspicious behavior.


Seniors have a lot of love to give, and there’s nothing better than having a pet that reciprocates their love and affection. Pets not only provide companionship but can also be excellent stress busters and may even help improve your life span. Just be sure to do your research, or you may even consult your doctor to find the perfect pet for you.

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