February 3, 2011

It is a proven fact that the psychological and physical benefits of caring for a pet greatly enhance a person’s quality of life. Pets give us affection, companionship and a good reason to get up and get moving each day.

If your pet is a dog, those necessary daily walks will be good for both of you. You will both get the exercise you need, and you will have the opportunity to interact with your neighbors or people you meet in the neighborhood or at the dog park.

Pets encourage a senior to stay active, whether you like it or not. There is nothing like a dog’s cold, wet nose waking you each morning. Or how about a kitty kneading your back with her claws as she meows, “Good morning. I’m hungry!”

Walking, feeding and playing with the dog or feeding, grooming and cleaning the litter box for the cat will definitely keep you active.

Did you know that owning a pet can be beneficial to your heart? Studies have shown that pet owners generally have lower blood pressure and cholesterol than non-pet owners. That reduces your risk for heart disease.

Pets have a positive impact on older people who have lost a loved one. Anyone suffering from loneliness or depression after a loss will feel better, if they have a four-legged companion around who needs love and attention.

According to AARP (American Association of Retired Persons), “older people who have a pet live longer, go to the doctor’s less often, recover more quickly from illnesses, and have a more positive outlook than those who do not have a pet.”

Dogs or cats love you unconditionally, and they just want to be loved in return. If you don’t already have a pet in your life, consider a visit to your favorite animal shelter and ask about adopting or even fostering a pet. Save a pet’s life may be just what the doctor ordered to save yours.


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