From time to time in life, many of us ask ourselves, “should I get a pet?” In the era of Coronavirus, when seniors are asked to self-isolate for longer periods of time than the rest of the population, it could be the perfect time to get a pet. Pets help with all kinds of issues we may have, such as loneliness, lack of appetite, exercise, and the need to find purpose in life.
Owning and caring for a pet as an elder or at our youngest age teaches us about responsibility, commitment, sensitivity, life and death, patience and the ability to give to others. It doesn’t matter if it’s a cat, dog, horse, bird, lizard, or any other living breathing creature you set your fancy on, they all have one great denominator: they teach us love.
But owning a pet is more than just buying a soft bed, some kibble, and getting a few shots for your new companion. It’s a lifestyle, a commitment to something that will be there for you unconditionally, ask nothing of you except affection, and give you devotion for its entire life.
Articles to Help You Answer “Should I Get a Pet?”
There are lots of things to think about when considering getting a pet. The first step is to get online and google those things you need to know. Here at Last Third Best Third, we did a little research for you so you can get the information you seek right from here. See the articles below for some great answers to that existential question, “Should I get a pet?”
What Would My New Pet Need?
Wicklow People advises that if you are thinking about getting a new pet, read this article first. The article encourages you to:
- Do your research on the particular types of animals you may be interested in. For example, what’s involved in owning them? Are they prone to certain illnesses? What kind of shots do they need? Do they need special food?
- Have the proper “housing” and other necessities ready for your new pet.
- Find a good veterinarian and plan an initial visit before you bring your new pet home.
- Consider pet insurance and ask your vet about available policies.
Seniors and Pets
One of the biggest considerations when asking if we should get a pet is whether we can take care of our pet as we age. This wonderful article from AgingInPlace.org has all kinds of information on seniors and pets. The article highlights:
- Dogs versus cats; large versus small
- 6 reasons seniors should get a pet
- Do you want a baby, an adult, or an older pet?
- Pet therapy and service animals
- The costs of owning a pet
- Risks and falls
Costs of a New Pet
This article at Young Adult Money reviews the things you should consider before getting a pet, including the costs, both expected and unexpected, that we need to prepare for before bringing home our new family member.
Alternatives to Pet Ownership
Not quite ready to take the pet plunge? Intuit Mint Life has 4 fantastic alternatives to pet ownership for you to consider. We’ll let you visit their website to see what those alternatives are, but here at LTBT we’ll add one more: if you’re on Facebook or NextDoor, ask your local friends if anyone would be willing to let you walk their dog once or twice a week, sit for their pet if they’re going away for the weekend, or let their pet overnight with you once in a while. Lots of people may be very happy to share their pride and joy with you.
Some might say that a pet is a waste of time and energy and money, and while all of those things are used in a great quantity, pets return to us an enormous wealth of fulfillment in our hearts, mind, and soul.
So before you buy that new gadget that will organize your email and appointments, or a new motorcycle to carry you to new places, or that outdoor patio set so you can impress your guests with the new entertainment area at home, consider giving your life the best gift of all, knowing that you gave and received love to something that made your life and theirs the best life ever.