It’s no secret that your dog gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling. Pets make us happy and are so much fun to play with and cuddle, but did you know they also offer surprising benefits for our physical and mental health?
For the elderly, staying healthy can sometimes be precarious. From depression to heart disease, the list of common health conditions for seniors is lengthy to say the least. However, owning a pet has been proven to help seniors not only cope with illness, but lead a more meaningful, healthy life.
Here are just some of the many health benefits seniors can experience through pet ownership:
To start, senior dog owners may be at lower risk of heart disease thanks to their pups. In fact, just petting a dog has been found to help lower blood pressure. Dog owners are also more likely to recover from heart attacks than those without dogs.
Your pup may also be the secret to longevity. Studies have found that for seniors living alone, dog owners are 33% more likely to live longer.
Dogs need regular exercise and love to go on walks. Seniors dog owners typically have a lower BMI and are less prone to obesity. Additionally, they also see the doctor less often and are more willing to exercise if their pooch is tagging (wagging) along.
Of course, a pet isn’t for everyone. If you’re interested in getting a pet for a senior you know, keep these things in mind before running to the pet store:
- Some pets need daily exercise.
- Pets come with significant financial responsibilities.
- Some senior living communities have no-pet policies.