The Senior Health Benefits of Owning a Pet
Did you know that research has shown that older adults who have pets tend to have better health? Yes, it is true. Pets can help seniors live happier, healthier lives and can make life a lot more fun in the process. If you have been considering a pet, then take a look at some of the great benefits of pet ownership that can help any senior enjoy a better quality of life well into their golden years.
- Dogs can help you stay healthy. Studies show that regularly walking your dog can lead to a lower overall body mass index and help you enjoy better cardiovascular health. If you want to stay healthier, consider adding a canine companion to your home.
- Pets can reduce stress and lower the risk of depression. Simply having a pet in the home can help offer these great health benefits, whether it is a cat, dog or any other type of animal.
- Seniors who own pets like cats and dogs or even bunnies and hamsters have shown to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol, less risk of loneliness or depression and a better chance of long-term survival following a heart attack. There have been studies on all of these benefits and it is clear that animals can help seniors with their health in so many ways.
- Cats provide great companionship for seniors who can’t keep up with more active dogs. Cats can help lower the chances of depression or loneliness and are great companions and love to be cared for.
- Dogs and cats can help seniors maintain a routine. A set routine is very important for seniors, especially those who have trouble sleeping or who are struggling with early dementia. Having to feed, clean up after and play with animals can help seniors get on a routine and stay on a routine.
- Birds are great pets for seniors and come with a number of therapeutic benefits. They can help with stress, they can give seniors a daily routine and they provide companionship. Plus, they offer all of this with less care than a dog or cat.
If you are considering a pet and are looking for an animal in need, consider going to your local shelter. There are many senior pets out there who would love a senior human to spend the rest of their lives with!
- Kimberly Langdon M.D. is a retired, board-certified obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She graduated from The Ohio State University College of Medicine earning Honors in many rotations. She then completed her OB/GYN residency program at The Ohio State University Medical Center, earning first-place for her senior research project and placed in the 98th percentile on the national exam for OB/GYN residents in the U.S..
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