A Perfect Plan to Help Seniors Care for Pets


Are you thinking of adding a pet to your life? Pets can provide so many positive benefits for older adults, but you may be wondering how to find and care for one that suits you. If you are a senior looking for your perfect new pet, here are six tips to keep in mind to help ensure a strong, healthy bond with your new pal. 

Find Your Perfect Pet

With so many homeless animals in need, you’re sure to find a pet that suits your lifestyle and preferences. Think about your living arrangements, activity levels, and what you’re looking for in your perfect companion. Maybe you’d like a cat to cuddle with you at night or a dog to help you feel safer at home. Make a list of what you’re looking for and then start with a search that will show you available, adoptable animals in your area. 

Set Up a Safe Home

You may need to make a few adjustments to get your home ready for your new pet. If you plan on letting your pet play in the yard, make sure it’s secured to prevent escapes. Check existing fencing for holes and make sure it isn’t easy for a dog to dig underneath. Cats can enjoy time outside as well, and a catio can be a great option for indoor cats. Back inside, check to make sure your houseplants aren’t toxic to your new pet and be sure to place cleaners and human food out of reach of curious animals. 

Select the Right Supplies

Before you bring home your new furry friend, you’ll want to pick up the appropriate supplies. Bowls, beds, and toys are essential. You may also want to grab a collar and tags with your contact information. For dogs, you’ll also need a leash that gives you comfortable control on walks, as well as some doggie bags. If you’re getting a cat, grab at least one litter box and a bag of litter. A couple of scratching posts aren’t a bad idea either, if you want to prevent damage to the carpet and furniture. 

Pick Up the Right Food and Treats

Choosing the right sustenance for your new pet is crucial to keeping them healthy. If your new pet has health concerns, such as allergies or GI issues, the right dog or cat food can help prevent problems. Be sure to take home some healthy, delicious treats and think about picking up some supplements as well. Simple additions, such as fish oil or probiotics, can help keep your new pet happy. If you don’t like to drive or have a busy schedule, think about getting your pet’s food and supplements delivered. 

Keep Your Pet Healthy

Good nutrition is a great start to ensuring the health of your new pet, but you’ll need to take other steps as well. Take your new cat or dog to a veterinarian for an initial check up and make sure all vaccinations and tests are updated. If your pet isn’t microchipped, ask your vet about getting one (this will run you $45 on average). Your vet will likely check your pet’s teeth out and talk to you about the importance of oral health. Regular brushing/cleaning of your pet’s mouth can prevent a host of serious diseases and illnesses. 

Help Your New Pal Settle In

Change can be tough for animals. Give your new friend time to adjust to a new environment and take steps to help them settle in a little faster. Set up a cozy spot for your pal to relax, such as a crate or cat tree. Shelter animals tend to sleep a lot when they first get to a new home. This is also a good time to take note of any problem behavior, such as chewing or accidents in the house. Use positive reinforcements to help curb these issues, and be patient with your new pet. 

Pets bring so much joy, security, and comfort to the lives of seniors. All they ask for in return is loving care, so make sure you’re equipped to provide for their needs. Best of luck in finding and caring for your brand new best friend! 

Photo Credit: Unsplash