Surprisingly, fish are the third favorite choice for pet owners. According to the APPA survey, 14.7% of pet owners said they have either a freshwater or saltwater fish. They are a great choice of pet for seniors as they are relaxing to watch and easy to care for. They are also a low-maintenance pet, requiring only a bowl or tank. Fish only need food and to have a good tank cleaning now and then. The biggest expense of fish is the equipment for their living space.
Here is a list of the top low-maintenance fish:
- Betta – Also called Japanese or Siamese fighting fish are beautiful and small and have flowing tails. Since they are a clean fish, they don’t need to have their water changed as often as other fish.
- Dwarf puffer fish – Tiny and inexpensive, and similar to Bettas, Dwarf puffer fish enjoy keeping an eye on their owners.
- Goldfish – Goldfish are the most common choice of pet fish, with the fancy-tailed varieties deemed the most appealing. They may need more water maintenance due to being a little more messy than other fish.
- Guppy – Since these fish love company, it’s important to have an environment large enough so you can have a few of them. They come in a variety of colors.
- Molly – Molly’s are easy-to-keep. This fish is a live bearer so it’s possible that any molly you adopt is female and pregnant, so don’t be surprised if you have several fish before you know it.
- Tetra – Consisting of many subspecies of colorful fish. They should be kept in groups, about five of six per species.
Compared to dogs, birds are generally low-maintenance and don’t necessarily need to be taken out of a cage. They are a great option for seniors with mobility issues. Birds’ singing, twittering, and talking can also be a therapeutic comfort to senior who are otherwise alone.
It’s important to keep in mind that birds can live a long time, so seniors who are thinking about adopting a bird should also plan for the pet’s future without them.
- Canary – Considered to be a calming bird, with softer songs and less vocalization from the females compared to the males. Canaries are active, friendly and social. They can also be kept in their cages permanently.
- Cockatiel – Medium sized, whistling, singing birds. They can learn to mimic sounds they hear around the house.
- Lovebird – Since they chatter quietly, they are a great choice for those who have apartment neighbors. They can be intelligent and personable, but also nippy and opinionated.
- Parakeet – They have tiny voices but can be taught words and basic tricks. Active, intelligent, social, and can be affectionate toward their humans, requiring more out-of-cage attention.
- Zebra finch – Quiet birds, while also being sociable and active. They should not be allowed out of their cages and prefer being kept in flocks of two to four.
Robotic pets that have the appearance and behave similarly to their live counterparts are wonderful for seniors with dementia as they can be a source of comfort without any maintenance at all. Robotic pets can cuddle and interact with seniors the way a live pet can.Sources: