Home > Leisure and Pleasure > Looking After a Pet in Retirement

Looking After a Pet in Retirement

By: Jeff Durham - Updated: 5 Sep 2017 | comments*Discuss
Pets For Elderly Keeping Pets Retirement

Whilst looking after a pet is an added daily responsibility in life having a pet provides us with a great deal of pleasure and love and retired or elderly people, in particular, can often feel even closer to their pets than the average person. If you’ve recently retired and depending on the type of pet you keep, you might find that you’re able to spend much more time with your pet which can help to fill up the time in your daily schedule whilst for elderly people, a pet can even mean maintaining a strong will to live and enjoy life to the full.

Benefits of Keeping a Pet for the Elderly

There are many reasons why having a pet when you’re elderly is good for you. Pets can help to reduce stress and can lower your blood pressure and heart rate. They can keep you more active than you might have been otherwise and they can alleviate feelings of loneliness and depression.

For those who live alone especially, pets can be a social lifeline. Even though your pet cannot talk back, many elderly people take great comfort in holding ‘conversations’ with their pets and, if you have a dog, for example, and you are able to get out and about, you’ll often find that you’ll end up striking up conversations with other dog owners on your daily walks which will help you to maintain some kind of social circle and enables you to stay in touch with the world around you as a result.In addition, in having to care, feed and, in some cases, exercise your pet, you are also more likely to take more care of yourself too and your pet will provide you with mental stimulation as well as physical exercise in, say, the case of a dog.

Pets are especially therapeutic in the case of those who live alone in terms of helping a person to get over the loss of a loved one. Most pets crave love and need caring for and they will often give you that back tenfold in return so they can help to reduce and, in some cases, eliminate feelings of isolation. In the case of a dog especially, they can also add to your feelings of personal security.

Things to Consider

So far in this article, it would be difficult to make a case for why every person should not run out today to their nearest pet shop and ‘bag’ themselves a loving pet. However, there are certain things that you should take into consideration before getting a pet.

Firstly, you should consider whether or not your health might have any impact upon your ability to look after your pet. For example, if you’re likely to be attending hospital appointments regularly, you need to consider the type of pet you want and whether or not it’s conducive to you being away from the house on a daily basis. For example, a dog takes more looking after than, say, a goldfish. However, all pets need to be cared for and fed so you need to be certain that you are around the majority of the time to be able to look after your pet properly and that you’re able to make the necessary provisions for your pet to be cared for if you’re not going to be at home for any length of time. You’ll also need to consider whether or not you’re in a fit enough state of health to look after your pet. For example, you may feel that you want something more than, say, a budgerigar or a goldfish and that you’d prefer a dog or a cat. If so, a cat will be a far wiser choice if you’re unable to get out and about much as dogs need regular daily exercise.

You also need to feel reasonably confident that you will be living in your home for some time to come. If you could be faced with moving into residential care in the not too distant future, you’re also going to have to make plans to re-house your pet which, in addition to not always being able to find somebody to take your pet on, separation from your pet can often cause great emotional distress too.

You may also need to consider if you suffer from an allergic reaction to any pets. Many people have allergies towards cats or dogs so that’s something to be considered before you bring a pet into your home.

Cost, too, is also a factor. Your budget might prevent you from choosing a pet which costs more money to feed. Then, in the case of dogs, cats and rabbits, for example, there may be additional costs to incur such as vets bills, neutering and spaying etc.Therefore, there are many pros and cons to keeping a pet and many things which you’ll have to take into consideration first. However, if you have thought things through and decided to go ahead, a pet can provide a source of much love, pleasure and joy in later life and can make your later years even more enjoyable and worthwhile.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
I live 4 miles north of Scarborough, North Yorkshire and have two parrots.Following s recent change in circumstances, I need to make arrangements to feed and clean the birds in the event of an emergency or even for very short planned breaks - I have longer term boarding arranged, but they are not local. It would entail 30-45 minutes on a morning to feed and clean and 5 minutes on an evening just to check they are ok, cover them and close curtains. If you think you might be able to help, please add a comment and I will get back to you. Lesley
LesleyM - 5-Sep-17 @ 5:11 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Jazzjb46
    Re: Winter Fuel Payments for Pensioners Living Abroad
    I think it's disgusting that those that left the UK were still recieving payments of any kind.....…
    29 July 2020
  • Robinjr2
    Re: Learning for Free in Retirement
    Saw the interest in free courses online: search YouTube! Especially since lockdown there's a course on almost anything in…
    29 July 2020
  • Robinjr2
    Re: Learning for Free in Retirement
    U3a is nationwide and offers all kinds of educational and social activities at low cost: my art class is 50p per week, and…
    29 July 2020
  • Sue
    Re: Clubs to Join in Retirement
    I joined the U3A in Barnsley when I moved there after my husband died - best thing I ever did! I made new friends and got involved…
    24 July 2020
  • Steve
    Re: Clubs to Join in Retirement
    I am recently retired and looking for new friends. The present circumstances we find ourselves in with covid-19 doesn’t help. I…
    19 July 2020
  • Lady V
    Re: Clubs to Join in Retirement
    Widow young outlook ,73yrs old looking for company to share meals out or drinks Keen rugby league fan love holidays when can go…
    17 July 2020
  • Lady V
    Re: Clubs to Join in Retirement
    Widow young outlook ,73yrs old looking for company to share meals out or drinks Keen rugby league fan love holidays when can go again
    17 July 2020
  • Betty
    Re: Travel Concessions for Over 60s
    I am 71 semi retired very active would like to meet women companions about 60s-70s for travel home and abroad I live in…
    15 July 2020
  • Tony
    Re: Clubs to Join in Retirement
    HI I'm a 61 yo single male new to the Waterlooville area. Moved just prior to lockdown, so have been a bit of a prisoner, as now…
    2 July 2020
  • Katie.
    Re: Clubs to Join in Retirement
    Hi everyone Can’t find the replies section, do people ever reply. Thanks. Katie from Liverpool
    25 June 2020