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Easy Care Pets for People with Limited Mobility

pugs are easy pets to look after compared to other dogs

If you have limited mobility it doesn’t mean you can’t have an active pet to keep you company. There are many easy pets to look after who will fit your lifestyle. You might not want to get a Border Collie puppy or a high-maintenance animal, but don’t write off the company of a pet just yet.

In fact, having a pet could be full of wayyyy more benefits than drawbacks. Research shows there are plenty of physical benefits of owning a pet, as well as advantages for our mental and emotional wellbeing (see some in our Love Your Pet Day research).

So, here are some easy pets to look after that might suit someone with limited mobility.

Should you have a pet if your mobility is limited?

Yes, absolutely! Pets are for pretty much everyone. As long as you’re able to spend time caring for and loving an animal, you could be a perfect pet parent. But as we said above, you won’t necessarily want a high maintenance pet or something with a lot of energy.

Doing your research before you adopt or buy a pet will give you a much better chance of ending up with a companion that’s a good match for your lifestyle.

After all, you want to provide them a loving forever home. So knowing what to expect and having some knowledge around which pets are easier to care for can go a long way towards finding a match made in heaven. All pets are different, of course, but being prepared is crucial here.

Questions to ask yourself on easy-to-care-for pets

When you’re thinking about easy pets to care for that could potentially fit your circumstances, here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • What’s your level of mobility? The right choice mightn’t always be what you think. For instance, if you use a wheelchair but are very active, you might need a different pet to someone who can walk around but struggles with chronic pain or fatigue and tires out easily. 
  • How much space do you have? If you’ve a big garden, swimming pool, or other area then your pet may be able to exercise without you walking them. And enough exercise certainly makes for easy pets to look after!
  • What’s your overall health like? Are you often at treatments or appointments? Do you have days or periods where you’re unable to get out of bed? Knowing if your pet will need to spend time alone is important.
  • Are your circumstances likely to change in future? Will your illnesses or disabilities change in any way? Are you considering moving soon, getting married, having kids, or making other family changes? Of course, not all changes are planned. But if you’re looking for an easy pet to look after and know your situation might change, it’s best to plan with this in mind.
  • What’s your ideal pet relationship? Cats and fish are both great pets, but suit different people. Is your idea of easy mostly fending for themselves, without needing daily attention or cuddling? Or does it mean a cat or dog who’ll cuddle on the couch without needing hours of stimulation a day?

Then you’ll need to look at finances. Can you pay for food, toys, medical bills, etc? Some pets are much more costly than others, e.g. a dog with a special diet costs a lot more than a healthy rabbit.

cat and dog together. Cats can be easy pets to look after as they are independent

Can dogs be easy pets to look after?

Many people assume dogs can’t be easy pets to look after. And it’s true they are, in many ways, more effort than a lot of other animals. Some can be lots of work. But if you choose carefully, limited mobility shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying the companionship of a dog.

Consider breed

Not all dogs will fit breed stereotypes, but the breed of dog is a good first step. Some breeds are naturally more high maintenance than others. For instance, high-energy dogs such as Border Collies, Huskies, and Labradors aren’t usually considered easy pets to care for.

Consider grooming

As with breed, the same goes for dogs with major grooming needs like a Poodle. But there are other dogs who are easy to groom, who don’t have high exercise needs, and who generally have easygoing temperaments. These include Pugs, Bassets, Bulldogs, and Dachshunds

Consider life stage

On top of that, it’s important to consider the life stage of the dog. Puppies are often full of energy and mischief so need constant supervision as well as plenty of play time and, of course, time and effort spend on training. Once they’re a few years older, having got through toilet training and the puppy teething stage, they tend to become a lot more relaxed.

Don’t knock age

If the idea of puppy zoomies and 2am wakeup calls doesn’t sound like your idea of an easy pet, why not consider an older dog for adoption? There are plenty of them in shelters, unfortunately. One of the benefits is that you’ll know exactly what you’re getting because they’re already all grown up. And of course, adopting means a mature dog will be blessed with a forever home.

It’s a win-win really. All the benefits of a dog, with none of the stresses of a puppy. You’ll just jump straight to the “easy pets to look after” stage.

Are cats easy pets to look after?

If you’re dead set on a furry and cuddly friend, a cat could be a good alternative to a dog. Cats are generally lower maintenance than dogs and more independent; you don’t have to supervise them as much.

And if your mobility is limited, it’s good to know you don’t need to walk your cats. Although some of them do enjoy it – if you’d like to teach your cat to walk on a leash, you could go on an occasional stroll.

Most cats can get in and out of a cat flap or open window so you don’t need to let them in and out all the time. This also means you can confidently leave them at home for a few hours while you go to appointments without you needing to feel guilty. But you shouldn’t leave them at home for days on end.

Not sure how much alone time is safe? Read our advice on how long is too long to leave a cat home alone. 

And though dogs (and puppies, especially) might tear into your shoes or furniture, cats are less likely to cause damage. They might leave some damage in terms of scratches to your furnishings. But that’s about the worst of it!

guinea pigs are easy pets to look after

Other low maintenance pets

Cats and dogs are the most common pets in Australia, but you don’t have to limit yourself to what everyone else has. As long as you enjoy your pet and care for them properly, it really doesn’t matter what they are. You might love to have a bird, rat, rabbit, snake, or who knows – even a horse. 

Read more about the lowest maintenance pets for apartments if cats and dogs just don’t float your boat. 

Insurance for your pets

Once you have your dream pet, it’s a good idea to think about insurance. Accidents and illnesses happen, even to easy pets with the most attentive and caring owners. A pet insurance policy can offer you great protection and peace of mind, and we offer it for dogs and cats at this stage.

In fact, if you sign up with PD Insurance online you’ll score one or more months of pet insurance for FREE. Why wait?

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