7 Pets for Seniors that Aren't Cats or Dogs

By Alyssa Ball

Everyone can benefit from owning a pet, especially seniors who may be looking for ways to fill their days with activities. We tend to think  of dogs or cats for house pets, but for seniors, these aren't always the best choice. They usually need space and can get hyper and require lots of attention. However, there are so many benefits associated with owning a pet. Pets help reduce stress levels, encourage healthy bonds, and are even heart healthy. Learn about alternative pet options for seniors!


Fish require minimal space, compared to most pets. At minimum, fish need a small tank and maybe a few toys. They are fun to watch, and with a good filtration system, they are easy to take care of. Seniors will enjoy watching them swim around the tank. 

Guinea Pigs

A guinea pig is a cheerful ball of fur, jumping for joy and squealing with delight when you bring it treats. And while other pet rodents are nocturnal, guinea pigs take many short naps, so they're usually up and awake during the day. They do love daily handling and cuddling, out-of-cage playtime, and socializing. Cage bedding is shredded paper and should be cleaned twice a week. Guinea pigs eat hay and fresh vegetables and require fresh water every day.


Parrots are very social animals that can learn hundreds of words and phrases. They make great companions for seniors who want a more unusual pet that is still easy to care for. Some parrots or other birds can even mimic noises, making them a fun companion for seniors who feel lonely. 

Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons are friendly and docile creatures, despite the name. They are social animals and usually adapt very well to their caretakers. They typically enjoy being handled more than other lizard species. If you are looking for a reptile, bearded dragons are a great choice for seniors.

Gecko Lizards

Gecko lizards are smaller than bearded dragons and only need a small tank to live in, making them a great space saver for seniors who don't have a lot of room. They require minimal care and most get used to their owners handling them.

Mice and Rats

We don't always consider mice and rats to be pet material, but they actually make great pets. Mice and rats are curious and social. They will play with one another and keep you entertained for hours. They also don't require a lot of space to run around.


Gerbils are also very social animals and can learn to enjoy being with their owner. They are fun to watch and interact with. They only require minimal space—perfect for a senior who may have a smaller home or apartment. 

Are you or a loved one considering a new pet? If you need additional assistance with pet duties or any other senior need, please don't hesitate to reach out. At Caring Senior Service we are always ready to help seniors and their families by providing professional advice and services. As you consider ways to give support to your aging parents or relatives, consider including us in your plans. Contact a care team near you today!

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Tags: Seniors and Pets