There's Something about a Pet

Whether it’s a dog, cat, bird, rabbit, or fish… there’s just something special about owning a pet. A pet can make a person feel less stressed and more relaxed… as well as loved. And that’s not all they can do for us. There’s evidence that owning a pet can also be good for our health.

Medical studies have shown that seniors who own pets often have lower levels of cholesterol and blood pressure. Some pet owners respond better to medical treatment and may even experience fewer heart attacks. There are many reasons why pets contribute to good health. Pets keep their masters active and engaged, and they also serve as a good buffer against social isolation.

Of course, there are plenty of factors to consider when deciding to become a pet owner. You must make sure you live in a place that can accommodate your pet and that you are physically capable of caring for the animal. Some senior housing communities do not allow dogs or cats but do welcome small pets like birds or fish.

Before you rush out and find yourself a pet, think carefully about how an animal will fit into your lifestyle. Make sure you are making the right decision for yourself and the pet. Talk with your doctor about your health status and whether a pet would fit safely into your life.

A few of the benefits pets can bring to our lives…

  • Pets gift us with constant companionship. As we get older, life can sometimes feel lonelier than we’d like when we don’t always have the same level of social interaction we experienced in youth. A pet is a loved one who is always there for us. In fact, their worlds basically revolve around us.

  • Pets provide us with structure. There’s a routine to caring for a pet that brings structure to life. There are many benefits to having routines that include daily responsibilities and activities. Predictability is comforting and can makes life less stressful.

  • Pets give us purpose. They need us. But caring for a pet isn’t just about taking care of their needs. Caring for them is rewarding and comforting for us. Caring for another living being is about doing something worthwhile and nurturing that’s needed and appreciated.

  • Pets are good for our health and well-being. Studies have shown that having a pet has a positive impact on both the body and mind. It can help support a healthy heart, reduce stress and anxiety, and increase strength and endurance through physical activity. It can help calm anxiety, fight depression, and improve self-esteem.

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