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How Pets Enhance the Health of Seniors

Mar 14, 2023

As we age, it can be difficult to stay physically and mentally active. Fortunately, pets can provide companionship and comfort that can help seniors stay healthy and happy. Here are some of the ways that pets can improve the mental and physical health of seniors.

Make Life More Purposeful

Having a pet can give seniors a sense of purpose and responsibility. Taking care of another living being provides structure to their day-to-day life, which is especially important for those who may have retired or are no longer working. This sense of purpose gives seniors something to look forward to each day and helps them feel needed.

Relieve Feelings of Loneliness and Isolation

Pets can provide comfort in times of loneliness or isolation. They offer unconditional love, companionship, and emotional support that humans cannot replicate. Even if you’re not able to get out as often as you’d like, having a pet around will make you feel less alone in your home.

Promote Fitness and a Healthier Lifestyle

Pets need exercise just like humans do, so taking them on regular walks or playing with them outdoors is an excellent way for seniors to stay active. This can help improve their cardiovascular health and reduce the risk of developing heart disease or other chronic conditions. Additionally, taking care of a pet can also encourage seniors to make healthier food choices for both themselves and their pet, leading to better overall nutrition.

Increase Social Interaction

Having a pet encourages social interaction with other people in the community who also own pets or simply appreciate animals in general. This could mean meeting up with friends at the dog park or striking up conversations with strangers on walks together. Either way, having a pet increases opportunities for social interaction which is good for both mental and physical health.

Provide Stress Relief

Animals provide calming energy that has been proven to reduce stress levels in humans—especially seniors who may be dealing with anxiety related to aging or medical issues. Petting an animal releases oxytocin (the “love hormone”) which helps lower cortisol levels (the “stress hormone”) resulting in improved moods overall!

Set Up a Space for Your Pet

When bringing home any pet, it is important to make sure they have everything they need such as food bowls, toys, and bedding. Setting up a space specifically for them will help them adjust more easily to their new environment as well as provide boundaries so everyone knows where they stand within the household dynamic.

Feed Your Pet Food With Essential Nutrients

Feeding your pet high-quality, grain-free food is essential for their health and well-being. This type of food ensures that they get all the nutrients they need to stay healthy and strong. If you try this dry dog food, you can be sure that your pet won’t be missing out on any of the necessary vitamins or minerals. It also has added benefits for their coat and skin health as well. Grain-free foods are available in an array of tastes and textures, so there is something guaranteed to please even the pickiest eater.

Pets are wonderful companions for people of all ages—especially seniors. Before bringing home any new furry family member, make sure you set up a space specifically for them,gather all the necessary supplies, and provide high-quality food to ensure your pet gets all the necessary nutrients without unnecessary fillers. With these tips in mind, anyone looking into adding some extra love into their life should find success when bringing home their perfect companion.

Harmonia Collaborative Care offers senior care and behavioral health services for seniors in need of support. Call us today.

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