After a long day, there’s nothing like coming home to a friendly face. But with long shifts, studying, and traveling from office to office or house to house, it can be hard to keep up with the needs of a creature. 

Though owning a pet can take time and care, pets are the MVPs of our hearts. Studies from across the world have shown that pet owners usually live longer than non-pet owners, and a few studies show that pet owners have a reduced risk of heart attacks and heart disease. 

Here are a few pets that will warm your heart, each one picked specifically for the lifestyle of a nurse:


Cats are independent and generally low-maintenance, though they may meow a bit if they are not fed at the same time each day. For cats that may be left alone for 24-48 hours, we recommend getting a pair of cats so they can keep one another company.

Pros: Easy to care for and independent.

Cons: Newly-adopted cats may need to be supervised to keep them from forming bad habits. (scratching furniture, ect)

Poodle mixes

Since poodles and poodle mixes boast high intelligence, they will pick up instantly on your moods and know exactly what to do. They can be fine with being alone, and are thrilled to spend time with their human owners. Their loyalty makes them the ultimate best friend. Great around children.

Pros: Smart, healthy, and emotionally flexible. Great supporters.

Cons: Big responsibility.

Birds, especially finches

A bit more lively than fish, birds can make for lovely companions. Finches can make excellent pets as their colorful feathers offer a touch of cheer to any room. Their cages do take regular cleaning, but if you’re looking for low-maintenance creatures, birds make for a great choice.

See also
Thank a Nurse with RNspire

Pros: Lively, brightly-colored, and cute.

Cons: Not many! As long as you’re okay with chirping, birds have few drawbacks.


If you know that you just can’t keep a pet, but you’d still like to feel the warmth of an animal’s heart, consider volunteering at a no-kill shelter or a boarding kennel. Also, some adoption centers offer foster programs, where you can provide a temporary home to a dog or cat before the animal is matched with its forever home. 

Pros: You’ll improve the life of an animal (and the animal will improve yours!)

Cons: It’s always bittersweet to see a pet move on to its forever home.  

Marc Laughton
Latest posts by Marc Laughton (see all)
Share This