A dog is man’s best friend, but I believe the saying can be true for all pets. Pets can help the elderly enjoy their lives, stay healthy and help them to live longer. They offer a range of benefits, from companionship to physical and mental health improvements. Pet owners are more active, are able to cope well with stress, and have lower blood pressure. Dogs provide the greatest physical benefits, but all types of pets, including cats, kittens, guinea pigs, hamsters, fish and birds, benefit seniors.
The majority of new elderly pet owners reported that their health had improved in as little as three to nine months! According to a study, published by the American Geriatrics Society, independently living seniors who own pets tend to be more physically fit and have better mental well-being over those who don’t. Taking care of your pet is one of the simplest ways to keep yourself physically and mentally active, as most pets depend on you to feed, groom and walk them.
Companionship and unconditional love from pets benefit the elderly immensely. Those with pets are less likely to suffer from depression and are more likely to have a positive outlook on life. Pets can also reduce one’s anxiety and stress levels, as well as decrease surgical healing times. This is possible because the simple act of stroking/petting a pet releases endorphins into the brain, calming the nervous system, and therefore lowering your heart rate and improving blood circulation. Simply looking at your pet can bring a sense of happiness and fulfillment.
Many seniors find pets beneficial to their daily lives because they help them to be motivated and active in their social lives. Walking your pet will allow you time outside of your home and a chance to socially connect with other pet owners. A pet also gives the elderly a sense of security and companionship, especially if they live alone and/or don’t have family and friends nearby.
Seniors and pets have a lot to offer to each other, but owning a pet carries a lot of responsibilities that many seniors cannot take on in their daily lives. SeniorCare.net is a website that features 46 articles to help seniors and their families make informed decisions on deciding if owning a pet is right for them, the best breeds for seniors and other pet care tips.
Pets are great support system for all ages. Love is the most important health tonic we have and pets are one of nature’s best sources of love and companionship.