Is it cruel to buy a new, young pet in old age?

Have you thought about buying a pet lately?

Pets make wonderful companions, especially in your later years.

When your children move out of home they can become a new, cute and cuddly focus in your life. It’s the same with the loss of loved one. Be it through a relationship breakdown or a death, pets can fill a tiny part of a broken part of your heart.

It’s often a suggestion we’ll give to our own parents as they face older age, to give them something to occupy their minds. After all, a pet can bring so much joy. Science even says having a pet is good for your mental health.

Thought does need to come into play when deciding on a pet, though.


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Starts at 60 is tackling one big issue for society every day. This is a chance to say what you think, debate the key questions that impact us all, and share your knowledge gained over many years of life;


This is what any person buying a pet needs to think about before making that big decision. Are you able to care for it the way it needs to be? Financial and physical ability comes to play here.

Big dogs are just like a teenager and can eat you out of house and home, not to mention their needs for regular exercise and a bath every now and again. Even smaller pets need care and attention, and giving your sweet Persian cat it’s regular grooming can be a difficult task in the best of times.

What happens if you need to move house. Having a pet can certainly limit your options, especially when it comes to retirement villages and unit complexes. 

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And while we don’t like to think about it, what will happen to your beloved pet after your’ve gone? Will your family willing take on the care, or will they end up at the last place you’d want … the pound.

Do you buy an older or younger pet? 

With a younger pet they can certainly bring a new youthfulness into your life. They are fun to play with, and you can teach them all the tricks, and they are adorably cute! They can also be a lot of work.

Would it be a better idea to instead look at rehoming an older pet? Adult pets are often overlooked for their adorable younger mates, but older animals do have their benefits. They are often more placid and quiet in nature, and can be happy to cuddle on the couch with their new owner. They are already toilet trained too (and house trained) so there’s no need for puppy school or teaching them trick.  You also have the satisfaction of knowing you are saving a life, if you get one from the pound. 

That’s not to say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.

What do you think? Would you encourage your elderly parents to get a new, young pet? Would you hope they’d get an older pet rather than a kitten or pup, adorable as they are?