We’ve all heard it … dog is a man’s best friend. Studies have proven that having a pet is one of the healthiest investments you can make to your long-term health and happiness and it will definitely enrich your life.
Pets provide health benefits that extend far into the body and mind, such as lowering blood pressure, heart rate and anxiety levels as well as providing unconditional love and affection, which is great for your overall emotional and social well-being.
For most, pets are seen as a lot of work; however it is that work, that maintenance – walking, feeding, grooming, fresh water, playing and petting, that actually works to lower the heart rate, decrease anxiety and stress levels in pet owners. Even just getting up to open the door for a dog to be let in or out, or changing the water for the kitty, require some cardiovascular exercise, and increase joint flexibility and keep joints limber and agile. Consistent minor exercise like this, especially in the elderly, ensures healthier bodies for pet owners.
Many of the benefits of having a pet are less tangible. Pets allow for physical contact and offer consistent companionship, as well as unconditional love. Pets also offer protection socially from feelings of isolation for people who don’t have as much opportunity to interact with other people.
Pets provide elderly people with the need to perform daily functions and stick to regular routines such as actually getting up every day, buying groceries and going outside of their homes. For many having someone that depends on them for their needs is just the thing they need to stay healthy and happy.