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The Benefits of Animal Companionship for the Elderly

Seniors and pets are a great match. As satisfactory as independent living is, there are times when it can get a little lonely; and seniors, like all people, have a lot to give. Having animal companionship around the house is beneficial for the owner and the pet itself.

If you’ve ever loved a pet, you know how rewarding it is. But if you still need proof, take a look at the benefits of animal companionship for the elderly:

  1. Pets are relaxing.

Domestic animals depend on us for a lot of things. This means that you’ll have to stick to a routine to take care of your pet. And you know what’s great? Having a routine to stick to gives you a sense of responsibility and satisfaction. Needless to say, this will improve your overall mood. Besides, you’ll be more inclined to taking your pet for a walk or playing with it in the house which translate into fun, comforting times for both of you.

  1. Pets make you exercise.

Everything from walking, bathing or playing around with your furry loved one involves moving around…and yes, that’s exercise. But that’s not all; seniors have actually reported that their pets make them feel better when they feel physically ill. This leads us to the next benefit.

  1. Pets love you back.

Animals can be incredibly affectionate and they will keep you company. Dogs especially, are very faithful and sort of base their personality to match that of their owner. They’re not man’s best friend for nothing… they’ve rightfully earned that label. Pets love you back, and right now, there are many animals living in shelters that could benefit as much from you as you could from them.

As a senior however, there are some things you should consider before getting a pet.

  1. Energy level.

Seniors who live independently might appreciate the calm and stability of older dogs, which, by the way, are easier to adopt. If you’re unsure about what kind of pet you want, go for one that matches your energy level.

  1. Movement and independence.

Consider if you can go for daily walks. If that’s not your particular case, look for the kind of pet that can skip the trip to the park but can be great companionship like a low-energy breed, or maybe a cat.

  1. Consider if there’s someone who can help when you need it.

Pets do need assistance. Make sure to have someone who can help out if you need to take it to the vet, administrate medication or even someone who can take care of it if you decide to go on a trip. Being a pet owner is accepting a lot of responsibility, so do some research and consider all factors before getting one.

With that said, pets offer great companionship for the elderly and offer the possibility of having a very unique friendship, which in a way, is the greatest benefit of all.

Image source: http://www.silverpaws.org/

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