Planning for retirement can include preparing for pets in your life. Once you’re free from a daily work schedule, your lifestyle and priorities may change. You may want to bring a new pet into your life. Before adopting a new pet, there are many factors to consider. At Mobile Vet M.D., Dr. Mary Kwacz wants to help you choose the best companion pet for your retirement years.
How To Decide the Best Pet for Your Retirement Years
In early retirement, you’ll be getting used to having more choices about how to spend your time. Maybe you’ll want to spend more time with the pets you have. Perhaps you’ll want to bring a new pet into your life. Free time is only one factor to consider in choosing to care for pets. Other things to think about before adopting or purchasing a pet are:
- Space & environment
- Health & mobility
Pets can be expensive. Food, toys, litter and bedding, pest preventive medicines, emergency veterinary visits, kennel costs while you’re away, and regular wellness checkups can put a strain on a limited budget. If you’re looking for a companion pet that doesn’t cost a lot to care for, consider these options:
- Birds—Yes, you have to change their cage papers and keep them occupied with toys, but many little birds can brighten your day and can be quite lovable.
- Cats—Cats are pretty good at taking care of themselves. You may want to choose a short-hair breed for less grooming.
- Dogs—Smaller dogs that don’t need much grooming or lots of exercise may be the perfect choice for your companion pet.
- Fish—Many fish are low-cost and low-maintenance.
- Guinea pigs, a hamster, and other rodents—Ask Dr. Kwacz to help you choose the best small mammal for your space and lifestyle.
And if you’re not looking for a cuddle from your pet, try an exotic such as a hermit crab or a snake.
Space & Environment
If you are interested in a nontraditional pet (cat or dog), the home cage you provide must meet the requirements of your pet. A hamster likes to live a solitary life, but a gerbil would like a roommate. Does your pet want to be placed in a sunny spot, or does it prefer shade? Environment is important for the wellbeing of your new pet.
If you plan to travel for extended periods or take frequent short trips during retirement, be sure to have a backup caregiver for your low-maintenance pets. If your pet will require a kennel stay, be sure those costs are factored into your budget.
Health & Mobility
As we age, health issues can interfere with pet care and our ability to move about for long periods may change. Companion pets can be vital to our own emotional health and wellbeing, so choose pets that won’t require too much maintenance.
Mobile Vet M.D. Makes Pet Care Accessible for You!
Many seniors cannot drive to and from veterinary appointments, but their pets still need vet attention to keep them healthy. Leave the driving to Mobile Vet M.D.! Call (732) 387-7977 to make an appointment or use our convenient online appointment request form. We are here to help you keep your pets happy and healthy throughout their lives.