They say that dogs are man’s best friend but arguably this can be applied to any pet animal! Have you been considering getting a pet animal? Perhaps a cat or even a rabbit? Maybe you help pet sit your friends’ animals and find them unbelievably adorable. Apart from being cute, pets can help you and your loved ones feel healthy and connected. This is especially true for older adults who may be experiencing feelings of isolation and depression. Pets are great for a number of reasons: they give us something to look forward to and keep us physically and socially active. Learn more about how they can benefit you and consider adopting these furry companions.
Purpose in Life
Many adults who have retired have reported having a lack of purpose in their life. It is inevitable, in fact, that when you stop working a large chunk of your day is freed up. Pets require attention and regular schedules. Thus, your loved ones may benefit from having pets to groom, feed, and take care of on a daily basis. Such a routine provides a blueprint for the day and makes one feel like they are still needed. After all, a pet will always want love and affection.
More Optimistic Outlook
Numerous studies have shown that animals reduce one’s stress and manage anxiety levels. In fact, serotonin, or the hormone of happiness, is released when we are petting an animal. Thus, if you feel as though you are unable to take care of a pet full time, even being around one is enough to feel loved. We also feel more satisfied after taking care of our pets and this can contribute to a more positive outlook and stave off depression.
Increase Physical Activity
If your loved ones are experiencing mobility issues, pets may be a good way for them to get up and start walking. Of course, this largely depends on the kind of animal that you are bringing into your home. Dogs will likely require walks every day while cats are more sedate. Physical activity has several health benefits which include exposure to Vitamin D and maintaining a healthy heart and muscles.
Sometimes, living in a rural area might mean that you are far away from other homes and people. This can cause a lot of anxiety for those who are living alone. Animals like dogs can provide the needed companionship for living alone or stepping out at night. By no longer feeling defenseless, one’s peace of mind and quality of life drastically improve.
It is true that as you grow older, you lose friends, and it can be daunting to make new ones. Having pets immediately opens you up to a world of like-minded people who share your love for animals. It can be easy to come together in a community to share tips on being a good pet owner or simply let the animals play together! This can help you get out of your shell and make a connection with someone you would not have otherwise spoken to!