Life at an advanced age can become tedious for many reasons, but taking care of a dog can be a revitalizing experience that improves the mental, emotional, social, and physical health of seniors. Dogs of all ages bring energy and love to their owners no matter their age, and their presence can have deep, life-long benefits.
Dogs have earned the title of “man’s best friend” for very good reasons. These animals show unconditional love for their owners and will remain by their side no matter what kind of day they’re having. This type of companionship can be hard to find at any age, and the stability it can bring to a senior’s life is very enriching emotionally. This companionship is a two-way street where both a dog and their senior owner provide a fulfilling role in each other’s lives.
For many seniors, a feeling of emptiness can come with less responsibility. When the children are all grown up and having a job is no longer necessary, finding something to take care of can be challenging. A dog is a great solution to this problem. Dogs require feeding, bathing, and even medical care when needed. Getting great items for aging dogs so that they live long healthy lives is also part of this responsibility. While fulfilling these jobs doesn’t need to be difficult, the sense of purpose can be very meaningful for seniors.
Part of the responsibility of taking care of a dog is going on regular walks. This type of exercise is good for both the dog and the owners. Walks are proven to improve cardiovascular health as well as mood and just general well being. Walks also give seniors the opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and even explore new areas of town. Seniors can also exercise with their dogs by playing fetch and other games whether it’s at the park or indoors.
Dogs of all breeds, ages, and sizes are people magnets. Seniors who take their dogs outside will find countless opportunities to talk with both the young and old. People love to chat about dog’s personalities, habits, health, and a wide range of other topics. Seniors who start up conversations with other dog owners may even form long-term relationships.
Seniors who decide to share part of their lives with one or more dogs rarely regret the decision. The companionship, responsibility, exercise, and inclusion that come with such a loving and devoted animal has enormous benefits for seniors whether they live alone or in a pet-friendly retirement community.