Matecun, Thomas & Olsen - October 2019

Things to Know Before Getting a Pet Considering Kitty

Solution on Pg. 4

In the daily lives of seniors, pets often go beyond being much-needed companions. Whether it’s a cat or a dog or something a little different, they help seniors feel safer, and they reduce that feeling of being lonely. Many pets also have a positive impact on the health of seniors by lowering blood pressure and providing a calming presence. Simply put, pets are wonderful to have around! The challenge comes with finding the right one. For many seniors, it’s generally a good idea to find a pet that’s not high- energy or high-maintenance. You don’t want a companion running around or needing constant attention while exhausting you day in and day out. These are things that have the potential to be trouble for both the pet and the person. It’s best to look for a pet that fits right in with your lifestyle, whether you’re an active senior or have limited mobility. Many pets are low maintenance and don’t require a lot of activity. Some of the best choices include small dogs, cats, and birds. Anyone considering a small dog will appreciate their intelligence and loyalty. Some small dog breeds are more active and energetic than others, but in the right environment, it shouldn’t be a problem. Of course, there are plenty of lap dogs that are low energy, such as basset hounds, Boston terriers, bulldogs, pugs, and Shih Tzus. Cats, on the other hand, tend to be more relaxed than dogs. Your typical house cat won’t usually require much maintenance outside of daily feeding, litter box cleaning, and the occasional cuddle. Cats tend to be ideal for those wanting a pet to “hang around,” rather than a more active companion — though there are breeds that are active and attentive, like the Abyssinian or Siamese. If you’d rather not deal with the responsibility of a dog or cat, consider a bird. Birds, such as canaries, parakeets, and zebra finches, are relatively simple to care for, requiring minimal cleanup and are easy to feed and water. Some birds tend to be a bit more talkative than others, so be sure to choose a bird that isn’t going to end up being an annoyance.

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In the search for the “just right” pet, be sure to consider visiting a shelter. Many pets up for adoption have established personalities, so seniors can spend time with different animals to see if they’ll be a good fit or not. After all, you don’t want to get home and find out Fido is too energetic! Take the time to find the right one. Your new companion may be around a while, so it’s best to find the home where your furry friend will get all the love it deserves!

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