Ask any dog owner and they’ll tell you that having a dog is good for the body, mind and soul. That’s especially true for independently-living older adults. Here are some of the ways that dogs help older adults have more fulfilling lives.
One of the big benefits dogs have for older adults is exercise. A dog is great motivation for taking a daily stroll through the neighborhood or park. Even a game of fetch gets the whole body moving and can be a great workout. Owners with limited arm movement can use ball launchers to make picking up and and throwing balls to your pup easier.
If an older adult is retired, it might be a challenge to find a daily routine. Dogs can help a person find some regular structure to the day with simple tasks and add a sense of purpose. Going out for walks, making sure your dog is regularly fed and taking some time for both of you to relax are just some of the ways dogs can create positive routines for owners.
A Great Companion
Let’s face it, dogs become part of the family. Sometimes it’s hard to catch up with friends or loved ones due to distance or schedule, but a dog works around you. A dog is always there to lend an ear or a paw anytime of the day.
Relax A Little
Not only do dogs help us exercise, they even relieve our stress. Maybe it’s the fetch or just their cute faces, but having a dog around helps people lower their blood pressure and cholesterol levels. And there’s nothing like sharing some time with a dog to help you get out of a funk.
Out and About
A dog gives us more reasons to get out of the house. It could be taking your dog to the vet, a grooming appointment or to a new park in the area. These little activities add a little purpose to each day.
Find New Friends
A walk around the block with your dog is a great way to see old neighbors and meet new ones. Trips to the local dog park or taking an obedience class will have you chatting with other dog lovers. Your pup can make it easier to strike up conversations with all kinds of new friends, and they’ll meet four-legged buddies, too.
Sense of Security
A dog can be a great way to feel more secure. Whatever a dog’s size, they can alert older adults to people at the door and provide more awareness. It doesn’t take much bark to keep the uninvited away from the home.