Fido has many excellent qualities aside from his adorable canine features. Dogs and other household pets can reduce stress, lower cholesterol and provide numerous other health benefits. According to a study published in the American Heart Association Journals, senior citizens who own pets had significantly lower blood pressure compared to seniors with no pets. Living in a pet-friendly community, such as Emeritus assisted living apartments, can allow you to enjoy your golden years with a furry comrade, while reaping the many health benefits a loving pet offers.
Provide Companionship and Social Interaction
More than 68 percent of American households own a pet, according to a 2005 survey by the American Pet Products Manufacturing Association. Pets enrich our lives, acting as a buffer against loneliness and provide social interaction that they may not normally receive. Pets also provide responsibility, routine and stability.
Reduce Stress Levels
Pets can help reduce stress better than our human companions. According to a study performed by the State University of New York at Buffalo, 240 married couples whom also owned a cat or dog had lower heart rates and blood pressure compared to couples without pets. Pets have also been known to help patients with certain conditions stay calm. Lynette Hart, Ph.D. and associate professor at the University of California, states that seniors with Alzheimer’s often have fewer anxious outbursts if there’s a pet in the home.
Decrease Medical Conditions
Seniors who own a pet are less likely to suffer from depression and high blood pressure caused by stressful situations. Pet owners also have lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, indicators of heart disease. Playing with a pet releases serotonin and dopamine into the body, which help to calm and relax the body and mind.
The American Heart Association recently released a study that found pet owners, especially dog owners, have a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. The study also found pet ownership was also linked to lower risk of obesity and stress.
Encourage Outdoor Activity
A recent study by the American Heart Association found that dog owners walked more and were 54 percent more likely to get enough physical activity than those without pets. Pets provide seniors with a clear sense of purpose, unconditional love and attention. Spending time outdoors is an excellent form of exercise, and with your fluffy companion by your side, you’ll enjoy getting fit. Pets also promote socialization, allowing you to meet new people also interested in animals. Dogs are a popular source of conversations with passersby for seniors. From playing a game of fetch in the park to taking a casual morning stroll around your neighborhood, dogs provide a comforting presence wherever the great outdoors takes you. Experience fewer health problems and feel generally better when you make the decision to adopt a pet.