At Sarasota Bay Club, a luxury retirement community in Sarasota, Florida, we love that many members of our community have pets and we welcome them here. And while most pet owners are the first ones to tell you their pets do great things for their health and well-being, it isn't just a matter of opinion. In this post, we want to share with you some of the documented health benefits of having pets according to an article from U.S. News and World Report by Philip Moeller.
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Here are the top 5 reasons why having pets is good for our health:
You Have a Friend in Me
A pet provides you with amazing companionship. Plus, a pet, especially a dog, is going to form their schedule around yours. And Moeller points out they never are off-the-clock, they are always there when you need them. Companionship is a health benefit because when people are isolated for too long, negative thoughts can begin to rise. Having a pet is great for your mental health and keeping depression away.
Having a pet provides people with routine without being overly taxing. Of course if you want to take your dog for walks everyday, that is a perfect routine for both you and the dog. But just the routine of getting up, letting out, and feeding a pet every morning and evening is good for us. According to an article from Bustle, routine is good for mental health, allows people to accomplish more, puts you in charge of your day instead of just letting the day happen to you, and helps you sleep better.
Let's Go for a Walk
Staying active is an essential part of growing older, if possible. The more active you are able to be, the better shape your mind and body will stay in for longer. Having a dog provides an easy way for you to get into a routine of walking every day. Once your dog gets used to their daily walk, they won't quickly let you forget it.
There is just something infectious about the carefree life of a pet that seems to rub off on their owners. According to the article from U.S. News, seniors with pets have less stress than seniors that don't have pets. This could be a result of the regular exercise, routine, companionship, or all of the above. According to an article from Animal Planet, animal assisted therapy is used frequently among the elderly because of their ability to reduce stress and provide companionship.
Let's Make a Friend
Of course, your pet is your friend. But dogs especially help you make new friends because they force you to be out and about. Taking your dog on a walk you are bound to stop and chat with someone who wants to pet your pup. Going to the dog park is a great way to make a new friend as well since you'll be around others who love their dogs too. You may find you have more in common than just your love for canines if you strike up a conversation. Social interactions are important for mental health as well.
Clearly, having a pet—especially a dog if you have the ability to be active—has many health benefits for seniors. Dogs are good for your physical health because they keep you moving and get you in a routine. Pets are also good for your mental health, providing companionship, helping chase away negative thoughts and adding to your purpose, while reducing your stress.