Keeping Your Life Healthy With Dogs
Keeping Your Life Healthy With Dogs
Whatever stage of life you are in, is the perfect time for a four-legged companion. Pet parents come in all ages, genders, and demographics. In fact, it is estimated that 40% of Americans who are 70 years or older own a pet. As we all age, our pets provide more enrichment to our lives than we could ever imagine. Statistics show that older adults who are dog owners benefit from the bonds they form with their canine companions.
A Good Match
Older adults are a great companion for all types of dogs, but especially for more mature dogs. Unlike puppies who need constant attention, training, and activities, older pooches have no need for housebreaking and require much less discipline and attention…perfect for older folks. Dogs who have lived for several years are more likely to possess a calm demeanor and be comfortable cuddling on the couch with you, your children, and your grandchildren.
The Rewards of Owning a DogIf you’ve heard that having a pet in your golden years can provide countless benefits, you’re right! Pets provide intangible advantages, specifically for seniors:
- Caring for a living animal allows a person realize they are needed and wanted, and helps take the focus away from any problems, especially if the person lives alone
- Dogs and other pets live very much in the here and now. They don't worry about tomorrow, which is a good lesson for adults as they age
- Published research demonstrates that animals have benefits for the mental health of older persons; dog owners have less anxiety and depression<1>
- According to Harvard Health, there is evidence that having a dog may help improve cardiovascular health<2>
- Research studies show people who have a pet make fewer visits to the doctor<3>,<4>
But the dogs also benefit from their senior owners. These lucky pets not only go from the pound to paradise, they receive countless benefits. Since many adopters are retired, they have extra time to devote to a previously unwanted pet.
Caring for Your Pet as You AgeRegardless of your age and agility, your canine companion requires exercise and regular walks to remain healthy. Consistent exercise can help eliminate unwanted behaviors like chewing, raiding the garbage can, and excessive barking. It also helps your hound maintain a proper weight and appropriate energy levels. If you, or someone you love, is a pet owner who is unable to get out and walk their dog due to mobility or health issues, their pet can still go for a walk and stretch their legs with help from Sparky Steps. Sparky Steps delivers outstanding services to make you and your pet’s life simple and easy:
- Reliable scheduling for regular walks
- Pet care insurance
- Background checks for all dog walkers
- The most affordable pricing in the Chicagoland area
- GPS tracking
For Active and Working Seniors
In opposition to many stereotypes, almost 19% of people over 65 are still working. These older citizens also continue to be socially active and are involved in multiple leisure pastimes.<5> They are part of the 40% of adults age 60 and over that travel at least once a year.<6> Clearly, many older Americans are “on the go” and may be away from their home for several hours, or even days, at a time. If you have odd working hours or if you are off to visit family or sail on a cruise, find a local dog walking service that allows your pets to maintain their routine in the safety and comfort of their own environment. Find someone that makes your pet their priority and works tirelessly to assure both you and your dog have a wonderful experience.
Anyone Can Give Back
After rescuing, adopting and falling in love with their pet, many older adults want to support the animal shelter where they adopted their pet. But they may be unable to volunteer in person. There are dozens of other ways to support your local animal centers. The abandoned and lost pets who have found their way to your neighborhood shelter need the continued generosity of food, blankets, pillows, toys, leashes, and more. Every pet deserves a daily dose of love, and there are endless ways you can help.
Written by Audrey Beim