New Pet Owner

Filling An Empty Nest With A Pet!

Filling An Empty Nest With A Pet!

Have you recently had a child move out of your home, leaving you with an empty nest? If so, you may be feeling a mix of emotions including anxiety, excitement, emptiness and a bit of loneliness.

As defined by The Merriam-Webster Dictionary the medical definition of empty-nest syndrome:

a feeling of prolonged sadness, loss, or emptiness that is often experienced by a parent whose children have grown up and moved away from home.

One way to change this empty feeling is to adopt a pet! Dogs and cats can provide comfort, love and fill your heart after your kids move out on their own. Pets provide unconditional love, great company and a companion that will provide you with joy and compassion for years to come.

Before you adopt a pet, you need to consider the type of lifestyle you currently live or aspire to live in the upcoming years. Having a pet may require adjustments in your schedule to make sure you have a suitable routine to feed, walk and engage with them.

Pets are a responsibility and require attention and care which varies on what species or breed you choose. Whether you are looking for a cuddly companion or an active playmate, any pet you choose should fit into your daily schedule. Pets can especially benefit the lives of more mature pet lovers. If you are considering adopting a furry friend, consider the ways pets can enrich your life!


For people who live alone or are less mobile, pets can be a great buddy and can reduce the feeling of solitude while providing a friend to talk to. For those who are more active, dogs (and cats!) provide a great way to get out and socialize in your neighborhood or community. Dog parks are another excellent way to meet with other pet owners and make new friends, both two-legged and four.


Pets can be territorial and can provide you with a sense of protection. Whether you have a guard dog or one for emotional support animal, pets can help us feel safe in our homes and on the go.

Healthy Behavior

Especially with dogs, exercise is very important. How can you say no to a wagging tail waiting for you by the door to go for a walk? Having a dog gives an excuse to put down the remote, throw on some sneakers and head outdoors with your pooch. If you are less mobile, select a cat or a type of dog that requires less activity. There are plenty of pets out there that would enjoy a short walk or a game of fetch compared to a long walk. (Yes, cats can go for walks too!) Animal shelters are also often full with senior pets that want the love and attention you could give. Senior dogs are a great choice for someone looking for a dog that may require less activity, and is usually at least partially trained.

Sense of Purpose

Many adults spend a large portion of their lives providing love and care for their children and building their career. After retirement, fur kids may be an excellent addition to one's life ‐ providing love and companionship ‐ not too unlike human children! Dogs and cats often shower their pet parents with love and sloppy kisses and are content just being around the ones they love most.

Written by Katelyn Sigman, an animal health professional since 2014, and a loving dog mom to a Coonhound, Dixie and Bloodhound, Jazzie.