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How Pet Ownership Can Make Seniors Live Long and Healthy

Added on December 15, 2017 by Lucy_Wyndham

How Pet Ownership Can Make Seniors Live Long and Healthy | elderly_couple_with_dog

People love their pets. According to the American Pet Product Association, 68% of U.S. families own a pet, which are about 85 million households in America. As a result, pet owners spend approximately $40 billion a year in pet care and supplies alone. This might seem a bit overwhelming but when you consider the benefits, it will instantly seem like a smart investment for years to come.

One of the best ways to help seniors live comfortably is to carry on life as usual in their own homes. According to studies from the University of Missouri Health, senior adults benefit from the bonds they share with their pet companions. This study only adds to the long-standing evidence that shows how beneficial animals can be to the human health. Here's how pet ownership can make seniors live long and healthy.

Fight Depression

One major sign of depression is the feeling of having a "life with no value."  Pets are proven to help reduce signs of depression and loneliness.  Perhaps it is the unconditional love your pet gives is what strengthens the mood.

Strengthens the Heart

Studies from Harvard University reveal that people who have dogs live longer than those who do not. The assumption has been that pets, especially dogs cause their owners to be more active in their health. Being a pet owner may reduce your risk of heart-related illnesses, such as heart disease. Not only because dog owners take them on walks but also due to frequent stroking – which is found to help lower blood pressure and calm the nerves.

Encourage Fitness and Exercise

Pet owners are reported to exercising more often than others. In fact, dog owners understand the habits of daily walks, which is an underrated exercise that can cut the risk for diseases like obesity and diabetes.

Improve Stress Management and Sleep

While some doctors advise owners to ban co-sleeping with pets, other studies show that it can be beneficial, as pets provide owners with a sense of calm and safety. Subsequently, snuggling with your fur-baby can enhance sleep. Many senior pet owners believe in the sense of security they have with their canine family members. When you have a pet, having them around helps seniors sleep better and feel more relaxed. Even after a bad day at work, taking your dog out for a walk can be, all you need to restore calmness and get better sleep.

Another major benefit seniors can thrive from is socialization. When you combine all the health benefits together, it not only improves your wellness and quality of life but also the happiness you share with your pet.

Photo by Nathália Bariani on Unsplash

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