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Are you ever too old for a new pet?

Created date

December 25th, 2012

I ve never had a pet. My children never had pets, though I had friends who brought their dogs over to play with them. For me, I ve always been so much on the go that I knew it wouldn t be fair to the animal to leave it alone for long stretches. But I do understand the value of pets. The question is, are you ever too old for a new companion animal? There are several factors in arriving at an answer. The first is whether or not you ve ever had a pet before and what that experience was like. But if you ve never had one, then perhaps now is not the time to take on this responsibility, because, while pets provide love and company, their care can be expensive.

No substitute for human interaction

I certainly don t recommend getting a pet to use as a social crutch. If there are nearby activities you could be taking part in but haven t, then that s what you should focus on. Human contact is more important for you than animal contact. For example, if after getting a pet you say to yourself, I can t go to the senior center because I have to walk the dog in two hours, then I would tell you not to get that dog in the first place. Certainly, many people lead very active lives and their pet is part of that, but if you re the type to use your pet as an excuse to limit your social activities, that s the wrong reason to have a pet. If you re worried your pet might outlive you a legitimate concern then check with family members to see if they will take in your pet if it becomes necessary. I think this concern is worth thinking about, but it also shouldn t stop you from having a pet that would bring you a lot of pleasure. If you re hesitating, maybe you could borrow a friend s pet so see how you d like the experience. There s no one right answer to this question only what s right for you.