Hobbies for Seniors: Weighing The Pros and Cons of Pet Ownership

Elderly women with dog

For thousands of years, humans have enjoyed the benefits that come from owning a pet. Not to be forgotten though is the fact that pet ownership can be a heavy responsibility for owners of any age, including seniors. So if you are considering getting a pet, here are a few of the pro’s and cons to weigh before you bring home your new friend.


  • They can help you ward off both boredom and loneliness. While pets cannot completely replace human companionship, their presence in the home can definitely fill a void.
  • Being needed is a great feeling. Caring for a being that depends on you for basically everything can really improve your self-worth and give you something to look forward to each day.
  • If you get a dog that needs you to walk it, this will keep you from living a sedentary lifestyle. The increased activity comes with physical, emotional, and mental benefits.


  • Caring for a pet comes with a price tag. Even a goldfish requires food. Other animals might require regular visits to the vet as well as potential emergency treatment. This could cause a financial burden and more stress.
  • Your health might prevent you from caring for your pet properly. On the days you aren’t feeling your best, the duties will still await you. Can you push yourself to do the job or will your pet possibly suffer?
  • Cats and dogs create a fall risk for seniors. They walk, run, and sit, in unpredictable places and this will present a new hazard in addition to others you already face.

These pro’s and cons are just a sample of what seniors should consider in deciding whether to get a pet or not. And while the cons merit serious consideration, they don’t necessarily mean a pet is out of the question. Many seniors are able to own pets with the help of family, friends, or caregivers. Why not do some more research and discuss it with a family member or trusted friend?