Best Senior Pets for When You Can’t have a Cat or Dog


best senior pets birds

Animal-loving residents of Lourdes Noreen McKeen are lucky. The West Palm Beach facility gladly welcomes folks who live with furry, four-legged friends.

But not every senior living facility allows residents to keep dogs and cats, and not every senior is up to the walking demands of a dog or litterbox cleanup of a cat.

That doesn’t mean they have to forego the many benefits of animal companionship.

The pets listed below may not be the most huggable, but they’re easy to care for and adorable (in most cases).

Their very presence will add undeniable life to your surroundings and, as an added bonus, young visitors in particular will enjoy getting to know these roommates.

Best Senior Pets

Fish: According to the American Veterinary Medical Foundation, fish are the third most popular pets in the United States, trailing only top-ranked cats and second-place dogs. There’s a reason so many doctors’ offices and hospitals maintain large aquariums in their waiting rooms. Watching colorful fish swim back and forth is undeniably relaxing.

pets for seniors fish

Birds: Birds are a great choice for the downsizer or first-time pet owner. But choose your feathered friend wisely. As PetMD points out, many bird species are expensive, and their intelligence makes them high-maintenance. Three good birds for the beginner are finches (be sure to purchase them in pairs), canaries and parakeets (also known as budgies).

Rodents: Hamsters, guinea pigs and gerbils are an entertaining addition to any home, no matter the age of its residents. Furnish their cage with a wheel, Habitrail, bridge or ball, and watch your new friends play. Better than reality TV!

Geckos: Leopard geckos boast many traits that make them a suitable small pet. They’re docile and don’t require as much space as their larger lizard brothers. Once they become acquainted with their owners, they don’t mind being handled gently. And although their cute faces may make it hard to resist, just don’t kiss them.

Hermit crabs: Another perfect terrarium pet, hermit crabs are more social, active, curious and even vocal than their name might suggest. They need companions to keep them happy, a proper enclosure to keep them healthy (there are exacting standards to follow) and two kinds of water to keep them properly hydrated. But they’ll reward you for years with their antics.

senior pets hermit crab

Senior Living

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