We all love our furry (and sometimes scaly or feathery) friends. No matter which animal is your pet of choice, a beloved pet can offer more than just companionship. In fact, pet therapy has become an increasingly popular way to treat anxiety, depression, and memory diseases like dementia—an especially beneficial form of therapy for seniors. However, with so many different pets to choose from, which is the right choice for you or your senior loved one?
Great Therapy Animal Options for Seniors
Here are four of the best therapy animals for seniors:
- Dogs – Also known as “Man’s Best Friend,” dogs are most commonly associated with pet therapy. One reason why dogs make an excellent choice for a senior therapy animal is that they are faithful and loyal creatures that tend to love unconditionally. However, some breeds are more suitable for pet therapy than others. Reliable dog breeds that you may want to consider include Maltese, Golden Retriever, and Boston Terrier.
- Cats – The dogs vs. cats debate has been an ongoing battle for years. The good news for cat lovers is that cats are just as suitable to be therapy pets as dogs. Dogs typically require a large amount of attention and training, whereas cats need much less training and spend a considerable amount of time tending to themselves. As long as you can provide them with their basic needs, cats can be a great choice if you are looking for a more low-maintenance therapy pet.
- Fish – While dogs will cuddle whenever they can and cats will cuddle only when they want to, fish don’t require cuddles at all. If you are looking for a pet that you don’t have to pet, then look no further than a pet fish. Staring at an aquarium can be an incredibly relaxing experience, and the daily care that fish require is rather minimal. Just keep in mind that maintaining a fish tank can be a considerable undertaking and is critical to ensuring that your pet fish has a happy life.
- Birds – While this may seem like a strange choice, birds actually make very wonderful therapy pets. Not only are birds beautiful, but they are also surprisingly affectionate as most love gentle head scratches. While their songs can sound pleasant or loud depending on the listener, birds are an especially great choice for seniors who are looking for smaller pets that take up little space.
Find Companionship at Central Florida’s Premier Assisted Living Community
At the end of the day, the main purpose of a therapy animal is to provide companionship, and no matter how old you are, socializing will always be an important aspect of your life. As Central Florida’s premier assisted living community, Encore at Avalon Park understands the need for social interaction. That is why we offer our residents plenty of opportunities to socialize through recreational games and activities. Our senior residents also enjoy delicious meals and comfortable accommodations that truly capture the essence of home. If you’re looking for a premium senior living for yourself or the beloved senior in your life, don’t settle for anything less than the best.