Pets help us all, but they can be especially life-changing for seniors.
One of the most obvious benefits of pet parenting is the increased activity involved. Research data shows that senior pooch parents walk an average 22 minutes more each day than elderly folks without dogs.
Seniors with pets also describe a newfound sense of purpose. Their pet’s reliance on them gives them a reason to face every new day.
Most of all, pets provide unconditional love and companionship to seniors who might otherwise feel completely alone—particularly after losing a spouse, other relatives or dear friends.
No wonder then that having a pet is associated with a lower risk of heart attack, more social interaction in folks with dementia and less depression and anxiety in seniors. Sure, there are challenges, but it’s tough to ignore the upsides.