Many people enjoy the companionship of a dog or cat, but the benefits can be even greater for seniors. Seniors who own pets are less likely to suffer from depression, as a pet provides a companion and someone to talk to. It can also help reduce anxiety because having a four-legged friend which depends on you, helps provide a sense of purpose, stability and routine.
Studies have shown improved mental and physical health as the result of owning a pet. Having a furry friend at their feet or in their lap provides a valuable source of comfort and eases loneliness for those who can’t get out as much as they’d like.
If you have decided a furry companion is the right choice for you, choosing a dog or cat, for seniors or anyone else, can be a fun process. It should start with assessing the needs and wants of a prospective owner. Some seniors gravitate toward smaller pets that can cuddle in a lap, while other prefer larger dogs that can romp around and play fetch. Ultimately, any breed of dogs or cats is good for older people if it meshes with their abilities, likes, and lifestyles.
A few good things to remember when picking out your next furry companion is to consider the size, age, temperament, grooming requirements, and energy level of the animal and to make sure it is a good fit. If you want to stay physically fit, dog owners are generally more active as they must ensure their dog goes out for regular exercise. If you need a companion who is more independent a cat might be a good solution.
A four legged furry friend could be a great way to add a loving companion to your life.
Whitevalley Resource Center would like to thank our sponsors, The United Way, and Interior Health.