10 Benefits the Elderly Receive From Owning Pets


By Ryan Wentworth

Pets provide their owners with love, friendship, and affection. Recent research has shown, though, that pets do much more. Owning a pet can significantly improve your physical and mental health.

1. Companionship

Loneliness is a major issue for elderly people, especially for people who are socially isolated. Owning a dog, cat, or other animal can reduce loneliness among people who might otherwise feel alone.

2. Exercise

Pets need to be walked or played with often, and this can increase the amount of daily exercise elderly pet owners receive. Studies have shown that older people with pets had much higher levels of physical activity than non-pet owners.

3. Social Interaction

Animals are natural people magnets, and having a dog or cat can increase social opportunities for older people. People love to talk about their pets, which often leads to new friendships.

4. Stress Reduction

Pet owners have significantly lower levels of stress than people who don't own a dog, cat, or other animal. The unconditional love and affection pets offer can help elderly people get through tough times more easily.

5. Better Mental Health

Those who study depression in elderly people report that pet ownership correlates positively with lower levels of depression. Touching or interacting with a pet raises the level of serotonin and dopamine in the brain, which can increase feelings of well-being in pet owners.

6. Lower Blood Pressure

Pets can also help increase the physical health of their owners. Studies done at New York medical schools have shown that pet owners experienced less hypertension on average than people without a pet.

7. Lower Cholesterol Levels

Medical research has also shown that pet owners, particularly elderly ones, have lower cholesterol levels than people who do not own pets.

8. Resilience

Studies have shown that pet owners of any age both have higher levels of immunity to disease and recover from major illness or surgery faster than non-pet owners.

9. Mental Stimulation

Playing with, talking to or just cuddling with a pet has been shown to increase brain activity in elderly people, which helps ward off or lessen the effects of many mental disorders.

10. Better Sense of Well-Being

The feeling of responsibility many elderly people have towards their pets, as well as the everyday companionship they provide, has been reported to make people feel more hopeful about their lives and future.

Want to return the favor to your pet for all the benefits you receive from your relationship? Visit SafeAtHomeAlert.com for information on their Pet Protection Plan, to ensure your pet is cared for in the event of an emergency.

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