Choosing Pet For The Elderly


Although it is common for seniors to feel lonely, it is possible to cheer them up with a pet companion. While human connection is important, having pets as friends and companions can bring great comfort to the aged.

Learn more about how to help the elderly feel less lonely

Benefits of having a pet


There are many benefits to having a pet for elderly individuals. Here are some reasons why the elderly should consider adopting pets:

  • Companionship and mental health support: As people age, they may become lonely or isolated. Having a pet can provide companionship and help reduce loneliness and depression.
  • Improving physical health: Owning a pet can also provide opportunities for daily exercise. For example, walking a dog can help increase outdoor time and improve cardiovascular health.
  • Increasing social gatherings & interaction: Having a pet can also provide opportunities for increased social interaction. For example, taking a dog for a walk can lead to meeting new people and making new friends. The elderly can also join local pet clubs.
  • Sense of purpose: Caring for a pet can provide a sense of purpose and responsibility, which can be especially important for older individuals who may no longer be working or have other responsibilities.

Choosing the best pet for elderly people


Many animals are suitable for seniors to adopt as pets, such as dogs and cats or other domestic companions like birds, fish, or hamsters. However, before deciding on one, the elderly need to understand the requirements to keep a pet well and the distinct benefits of each species.

Here are some of the most popular pets for elderly people.

  • Dog: Dogs are loyal and passionate, perfect pets for elderly people. Walking your dog is a great opportunity to get outside and keep yourself active.
  • Cat: Age never stops a cat person to stop loving cats. A cat can be a great companion just like a dog but with lower maintenance. They are independent and don’t require as much attention
  • Bird: Birds can also be considered low-maintenance pets for elderly people who prefer small-size animals. Depending on which type of bird you get, the bird can be noisy
  • Fish: Fish are some of the most low-maintenance pets out there, making them a great choice for less mobile seniors or individuals with dementia who may not be as reliable at providing daily care for an animal.
  • Other pets: Rabbits, gerbils and hamsters are also low-maintenance pets for the elderly.

Read more about the pros and cons of each type of pet.

Things to consider before having a pet

When choosing a pet for an elderly relative, be sure to consider:

Physical limitations

If you have problems with mobility, small pets that often get under your feet might lead to falling. Moreover, pets like dogs can demand more freedom outdoors, which causes inconvenience if you cannot walk with them daily.

Allergies or health concerns

Some seniors may have allergies or health concerns that make it difficult to care for a pet.

Age of the pet

Sometimes having a mature pet is more suitable for the elderly than young and untrained pets. The mature pets have more discipline and calmer towards the owners, which reduces the chance of hurting the elderly by accident.


Each pet can provide different benefits for the elderly. You should identify the needs and wants of the seniors to decide which pets are suitable.

Caring for the pet

Even highly independent pets like cats and birds still need a certain level of care. You have to feed them, clean and meet their other needs to keep your pets well and happy.

Cognitive or memory impairment

Seniors with cognitive or memory impairment may not be able to care for a pet properly, which can lead to neglect or harm to the animal. Although pets prove to have a positive impact on dementia patients, the elderly might need an extra hand to care for the pets.

Help at home services – How we can help

Visiting Angels West London understands the difficulty for the elderly to take care of both themselves and their pets. It is why our carers can help you walk the dogs, shop for the pet essentials, feed them and many more while maintaining a high level of care for you.

We provide tailor-made home care services such as complex care, personal care, live-in, companionship, hospital discharge support, or simply help at home.

Read more about our home care services.

Contact us:

Phone: 0203 143 8878