Should Empty Nesters Get A New Pet?

By Amber Arevalos

Most people look for companionship, whether it is through human contact or animals.  Without this companionship, some may feel empty or feel as if they have no purpose.  At some point you had to care for and nurture your children, but now you find yourself with extra time on your hands.  Empty nesting can be challenging and emotional.  An option some empty nesters choose is to invest in a pet.  Is this a wise choice for you, and what may the benefits be?

Pets are a commitment.  Just like having children they need structure and a routine.  They require you to feed them, clean up after them, and most importantly, exercise.  Although they can be trained to do various things, they will require your attention no matter how old they get.  Pets are an adjustment since most children are self reliant by a certain age.  

When your children leave the nest, some of your freedom is regained.  Bringing a pet into the home will require some patience and sacrifice.  Taking vacations or outings where pets are not allowed will require sitters or some type of care for your pet may be considered.  Some types of pets, specifically dog breeds that require attentiveness, will be difficult to care for with a full time job and social life.

Not all the choices to get a pet are negative.  The benefits can be so great!   Adopting a pet can bring comfort, love, joy, excitement and purpose.  Pets are loyal and natural companions.  Pets will get you to move more and stay active since they depend on you to engage them and keep them moving.

In some cases, pets can even make it easier to gain friends.  As we get older, we become focused on our kids, and it becomes difficult to find friends.  Pets allow you to interact with other pet owners at dog parks or pet classes. 

Some types of dogs can benefit those with health concerns or risks.  There are dogs that are intuitive to specific health conditions and can help with depression and anxiety.  Empty nesters often experience depression and anxiety, so having a pet may calm and relieve symptoms. 

Cats, dogs, bunnies, lizards and other pets can all help with the feelings that come with empty nest syndrome.  Although it may seem like a burden in some cases, there are many benefits to taking in a pet.  Be prepared to care for something day and sometimes night and consider the pros and cons. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *