My grandparents had been married for 70 years when my grandmother sadly passed away, leaving my grandfather alone in the home that they had shared, and he was 93 years old. Given that my grandfather didn’t live close to us, we were all a bit worried about him being on his own, so I thought a pet might be a great idea for him. I went to see the guys at the All Creatures Veterinary Center to get some tips on what I should buy, and in the end I decided that a budgie would be best, and he loved it!

If you have a similar situation, here is why a bird makes for a great pet for a pensioner.


Unlike dogs, there really isn’t much caring that you need to do for a bird, beyond cleaning its cage out and giving it some food and water. This was a big factor in my decision because my grandfather wasn’t too agile at 93, which meant that a dog would have just been too taxing, and a cat didn’t strike me as a good idea. The bird however, is super simple to clean out and look after, you don’t need to take it for walks and you don’t have to play with it.


I loved that the birds make noises, even if they don’t talk, this was another key factor in my decision to get a bird rather than a dog or cat. Each morning my grandfather would head downstairs and have a little chat with the bird, and it gave him a little bit of purpose, instead of being on his own in the home it felt as though he had a little roommate.


Birds really do provide entertainment for you, they will fly around the room, they can also make little noises and perhaps speak actual words. This was one of the biggest reasons that I got the bird, because I really wanted a pet which would put a smile on my grandfather’s face and which would help cure his loneliness a little. This is exactly what happened and to be honest the bird was absolutely hilarious, doing all kinds of funny stuff, even landing on his bald head!

This was the main reason that I decided on getting a budgie for my grandfather and I would say that this is about the right sized bird to buy, a parrot will take a lot more looking after. I did consider a dog but because they need to be walked and looked after a lot more, I knew that my grandfather wouldn’t be up for it, so a bird made more sense. I would say that depending on the mobility of the person that you are buying for, that the decision should come down to a bird or a dog. I can tell you though, that the bird went down an absolute treat.