The Positive Effects Pets have on Seniors

senior couple at home with their dog
From emotional support to physical exercise opportunities, pets can provide a number of benefits for seniors. This article goes over some of the most predominant ones, making the case for seniors to have pets in their lives.

Pets Provide Exercise Opportunities

Taking care of a pet offers many chances for exercise, which is a vital component to senior care. Walking a dog is a great, low-impact physical activity allowing seniors enjoy the benefits of exercise and the beautiful scenery Colorado Springs has to offer. This opportunity isn’t limited to dogs, either. Wyatt Myers of Everyday Health points out that with proper training, equipment, and preparation, cats can be walked on a leash too.

Pets Boost Seniors’ Mood and Reduce Loneliness

Another reason seniors and pets are a great combination is animals are natural mood boosters. For example, A Place for Mom (an elderly care resource) posits that pets “significantly reduce stress levels when performing difficult tasks.” Just thinking about one’s pet can lower stress.

Pets also help to fight off one issue many seniors face: loneliness. While services like in-home care can help prevent loneliness, pets also help reduce feeling alone.

Another important component of fighting loneliness, regardless of age, is socializing with other people. Pets even lend a helping paw here.  They are automatic conversation starters, whether a person is making use of senior home care or another living arrangement.

Pets Provide Emotional Support

It’s not uncommon to hear of pets providing emotional support for seniors. Professional counselors can classify a pet as an emotional support animal, but even without that designation, pets go a long way to keeping seniors’ state of mind positive. According to the mental health website HelpGuide, studies have indicated a person’s serotonin and dopamine levels may rise after playing with a dog or cat. Those chemicals produce a calming and relaxing effect.

Pets Provide Concrete Physical Health Benefits
Pets help the body as well as the mind. According to research compiled by Pets for the Elderly, numerous studies confirm pets can have positive effects on the physical health of their owners. Researchers in one study found that pets can reduce blood pressure and depressed moods. They can also cut down on how often seniors need to visit the doctor, meaning less time in physicians’ offices and more time enjoying life.
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