Just because you're retired doesn’t mean you have to give up your favorite hobbies. If you aren’t into yoga or gardening but you love animals, including a furry friend in your hobbies can be fun and rewarding.
If you own a pet, you can incorporate them into fun activities that you can share together to make new memories. Animals, whether you own one or you're considering adoption, can be fun companions for retirees. Some studies have also shown that active adult community residents who own pets are more social, active, and happy.
Here are eight hobbies that animal lovers can do during their retirement:
1. Pet Volunteer Programs
Retirees who already have a pet can volunteer to take them to hospitals, nursing homes, and clinics to visit sick patients who need some cheering up. Pet owners can register their pets to participate in local programs that offer these services. You're pet just had to pass a training program to get certified. Then, you can witness your pooch bring smiles and comfort to those in need.
2. Foster Care
Local shelters and non-profit organizations offer programs where people can become foster parents to animals on a temporary basis. All foster parents have to do is offer their time, home, and energy to a pet in need. Fostering an animal helps prevent overcrowding in shelters and prepares them for the adoption process.
3. Zoo or Wildlife Park Volunteer
Retirees can also spend their time volunteering at their local zoo or wildlife park. Volunteers can help animal caretakers by preparing food, cleaning exhibits, and feeding the animals. Retirees may also assist zoo or wildlife park employees in educational demonstrations and programs about specific animal exhibits.
4. Dog Walking
Dog walking is a great hobby that can also make you a few dollars in your spare time. Whether you decide to charge a fee is up to you, but animal lovers can offer to walk dogs a few times a week for their neighbors, friends, or family. Spending a few hours a day with a dog or other pet can boost your mood and give you something fun to do. You can also volunteer as a dog walker at local shelters.
Animal lovers who enjoy some quiet time in nature can fish as a hobby. Fishing is a relaxing pastime for most people, and it provides an opportunity to spend time in the fresh air and sunshine. Catch-and-release fishing is permitted in many local lakes and ponds so you won't have to travel far to find a prime spot. Also, fishing can be done alone or with a friend.
6. Bird Watching
Bird watching is a popular hobby for retirees and animal lovers alike. You can spend your time outdoors while appreciating the natural beauty of your surroundings. With a good pair of binoculars and a bird book, retirees can go on nature hikes alone or in groups to look for different species of birds. Bird watching can also help retirees strengthen their eyesight and attention skills.
7. Dog Competitions
If you love dog shows and you're confident in your well-trained pet, then you may enjoy dog show competitions. This hobby can be fun for both you and your pet. Whether you decide to enter your dog to compete in a dog show or you just watch others from the sidelines, it’s a great way to spend time surrounded by dogs of all breeds and sizes.
Retirees who love animals and photography can combine these two hobbies. You can put your camera to use by taking beautiful pictures of your pets or other animals you see outdoors. You can also explore your crafty and creative side by printing and framing the pictures you take (which make great gifts for family and friends).