Whether they answer to Fido or Fluffy, pets aren’t just companions, they become true members of our family. But unlike some relatives, our pets are natural stress-busters who help keep us young at heart by keeping us fully engaged in life. At Home Care Assistance Columbus, we find that clients who live alone and have pets feel less lonely. Below are some excellent benefits to owning a pet:
- Daily exercise. Taking your dog for a daily walk means you get a daily walk, too.
- Establish a schedule. Feed the cat. Walk the dog. Clean the litter box. Pets require daily care and older adults who own pets develop a day-to-day routine to care for them.
- Banish loneliness. You might be single, but you’re never alone if you’re a pet owner.
- Become a better neighbor. When you’re out and about with your pet, you get to know your neighbors and your neighborhood better, both of which lead to a greater attachment to your community.
- Laughter. Pets are like furry comedians; they keep us laughing and bring joy to our lives.
- Lower blood pressure. Therapy animals are used in hospital and nursing home settings to help lower blood pressure and stress.
- Fight depression. A University of Kentucky study presented in 1987 found that pet owners had greater levels of overall happiness than non-pet owners.
- Enhance your self image. Your pet looks to you for his shelter, his food, his very security. You are vitally important to your pet, and that knowledge can increase your self-esteem.
- Spoil ’em rotten. No grandkids? No problem! You can dote on your pet instead. You won’t be the only one at the dog park with a brag book about your fur baby!
- Hit the books. Take a trip to the local library or bookstore and read all about your new friend. Lifelong learning keeps the mind sharp.
- Stay out of the waiting room. According to an article about the Pet Partners Program in Seattle, seniors with pets had fewer visits to their doctor than their non-pet owning counterparts.
Get love, love, love, just like the Van Morisson song says. Being loved, wanted, and needed not only feels great, it keeps us engaged in the present and looking forward to the future.
Woof woof. Meow.