Pets enrich our lives in so many ways. Who could feel down in the dumps while petting an adorable little puppy or playing with a cute kitten? Some pets even live long lifespans comparable to that of humans. Parrots, for example, can live upwards of 80 years old and have vocabularies similar to a kindergarten-age child. For seniors, the benefits of having a pet can help maintain health and good spirits. Even seniors who don’t feel quite up to taking on a pet can simply take advantage of those benefits by regularly visiting with a companion animal. Also, for many people searching for luxury senior living options, finding a community that will welcome their beloved pets is of prime importance.
What Are the Benefits of Pets for Seniors?
It may seem strange, but many research studies have been conducted on seniors with pets. Although a few drawbacks have been identified, such as worries about getting to the vet, what would happen if they became ill, and other such issues, overall, having a pet is highly beneficial to seniors. Here are some of the benefits related to senior pet ownership.
Pets Encourage Seniors to Be More Active
Pets need walks or need to engage in play. They need to be fed and taken to the veterinarian. Seniors with pets are more likely to be physically active as they care for their pet’s daily needs.
Pets can also help boost the immune system and reduce blood pressure in seniors, reducing their risk of heart disease and other chronic conditions.
Pets Help Seniors Stay Sharp and Engaged
Maintaining good cognitive function is a primary concern for most seniors. Everyone wants to be able to manage their affairs, be independent, and keep enjoying activities and hobbies. Studies show that, for seniors, owning a pet can help slow cognitive decline.
Pets Make Excellent Companions
Loneliness in seniors can be a significant problem. Everyone needs socialization and companionship, but when someone gets older, they may have more trouble getting around. Having a pet can not only provide companionship but can also help encourage seniors to get out and make new friends.
Pets Provide Stress Relief
Spending time with a pet can reduce stress and anxiety levels in seniors, providing important mental health benefits.
Common Pets for Seniors
There are many domestic animals to choose from, such as:
- Cats – Cats are low-maintenance, independent pets that can provide seniors with companionship and stress relief. They don’t need to be taken on regular walks and require minimal grooming.
- Small dogs – Small dogs such as Chihuahuas and Pomeranians can offer seniors the same physical activity, emotional support, and companionship as larger breeds, but in a more manageable package.
- Fish – Fish can help reduce stress levels in seniors while providing mental stimulation from caring for their aquatic habitat. They also won’t take up too much space or require regular walks outdoors.
- Parrots – For seniors who want an interactive pet without the responsibility of a dog or cat, parrots make great companions with their colorful feathers and entertaining personalities.
Finding the right pet for yourself or a senior loved one can be challenging. Although some seniors feel entirely confident taking on a puppy, kitten, or other baby animal, others might want a little more low-key companion.
Experience the Benefits of Pets for Seniors in Dallas, Texas, at Ventana
Our luxury senior living community in Dallas, Texas, is not only pet-friendly, but we also have a dog park so that you and your canine friend can mingle and mix with others in the community. Contact Ventana today at 214.225.6197 to schedule a tour.