Why Dogs are Seniors’ Best Friend

Why Dogs are Seniors’ Best Friend

Dog, cat and hamster

You’ll have a list of essential features when searching for your new apartment when you retire. Naturally, it should come with senior-friendly amenities and be accessible to everything you need. One other feature you might want to consider is a community that welcomes pets.

Generationsalf.com, an assisted living facility in Tupelo, MS, knows the value of pets to seniors, which is why they have pet-friendly apartments. Having a dog, in particular, during your retirement years could increase the quality of your life.

Dogs Can Cheer You Up

Dogs have a way of making you smile. Not only do they jump up and down and get all excited when you come home, but they can also sense when you’re feeling down. Aging tends to bring on isolation, and it can be challenging to interact at times. And dogs can offer up some form of connection, encouraging you to feel happy.

A study has shown that 36 percent of pet owners are less likely to report loneliness than those who do not live with pets.

With a dog keeping you company during the day as you walk through the park or at night as you read your favorite book by the fire, you’ll feel greater comfort.

And when you feel better, your health could improve.

Better Overall Wellbeing, Better Quality of Life

Poor health can spring from negative emotions and isolation. Research by the National Institute on Aging finds that seniors report the highest levels of wellbeing while socializing, volunteering, and exercising. Meanwhile, those who reported low levels of self-supported wellbeing had a higher risk for diseases.

Pet ownership will not only decrease isolation, but it can also encourage you to step out and exercise. Dogs need to take a walk every now and then, which will enable you to go outdoors more often and be more active. The simple act of walking your pet could help you get rid of some of those extra pounds. Have fewer doctor visits and fewer limitations to daily living by having a dog by your side.

Even merely petting your dog on a regular basis can lower stress levels, heart rate, cholesterol, and blood pressure. The act of feeding a dog, on the other hand, gives you more opportunities to move your muscles and joints.

Choosing Your Dog

Should you get just any dog? There are certain breeds that are better for certain people; their personalities match, making the pet more manageable.

For example, if you’re active and enjoy the outdoors a lot, you may want to pick a high-energy breed, like a Boxer, Belgian Malinois, or a Jack Russell Terrier. But if you prefer to relax indoors and enjoy your shows on TV, you may try a Bichon Frise, Greyhound, or a Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

The bottom line is that your breed of dog needs to match your lifestyle.

So where do you get one? Should you walk into a pet shop?

Every year, there are about 3.3 million shelter dogs waiting for your hugs. Consider visiting a local shelter, and giving an old dog a new home.

When you take care of a dog in your retirement years, it can also take care of you: companionship, opportunities for exercise, and just plain fun. What’s not to like?