The many benefits of living with a pet
- Improvement in mood levels and consequent decrease in depression. Also, when we play with pet animals, there is a calming effect with the release of a hormone called oxytocin. Another key fact, according to a Swedish scientist. When a woman bonded with dogs, the oxytocin-producing effect was like a breastfeeding relationship. This hormone has a calming effect on the mind of our elderly, which is also known to reduce anxiety.
- There is a significant reduction in the risk of heart attack and stroke. There is also a decrease in blood pressure and the pulse rate is also known to stay normal. Owning a pet involves many activities, and it also keeps our elderly loved ones busy. This brings down the risk of developing heart disease as exercise keeps their blood pressure under check.
- Promotes socialization and exercise. This is because, when there are pets at home, elderly would have to take them out for walks and attend to their needs. This allows the elderly to get out of the home. And meet friends and people, thus promoting socializing. In this case, walking is the best exercise for older people, which improves blood circulation and boosts overall health.
- It also improved cognitive functioning. Caring for a pet is exceptionally beneficial for the elderly suffering from dementia. This is because spending time with pets, caring for them, attending to their needs, all makes them more focused and improved their cognitive functioning.
- Improved overall health. According to several studies conducted across the globe. When the elderly owned and cared for their pets, were far more healthier than those who did not own pets.
Get the right kind of pets
Top 5 dog breeds for seniors
A relatively low energy dog that can happily spend an afternoon snuggled up on their owner’s lap. Yorkshires tend to bond very strongly with one person.
A good dog for a retired person who can give this breed frequent walks around the neighborhood. Scottish Terriers are both affectionate and protective of their owners and will provide a sense of security.
Another lap dog that is ideal for the older person. These dogs are calm and affectionate and love spending time with their owners. The long coat of the Shih Tzu will require frequent grooming, but given the dog’s patience and small stature, this can be a pleasant routine for the retiree.
A lively, medium size dog that will require frequent walks and romps in the park or backyard. These dogs are favored by many retirees, however, for their easy-going nature. Spaniels tend to like other people and other dogs, making them a nice addition to the family, although Cockers do need strong boundaries. They can get cranky, and at times exhibit dominant behavior, without a strong leader.
A little dog that can bring cheer and affection to an older person’s home. These dogs like to play but need only a small area in which to run. In fact, the space available in an apartment is usually enough to keep these dogs happy and healthy.
Top 5 cat breeds for seniors
A devoted companion animal, this cat will do whatever it can to get your attention. They’re a fairly quiet breed but very affectionate.
The wide eyes and loveable nature of this breed will melt your heart. Also, they are relatively innocent and trusting nature, they should be indoor-only cats.
A loving and an affectionate breed, devoted and loyal to people. Colorpoint Shorthairs demonstrate sensitivity and compassion toward their owners.
The American Shorthair
It comes in a wide range of colors and patterns and is also a very long-lived kitty, with a lifespan of 15 to 20 years. The American Shorthair is healthy, gentle, easy going and low maintenance — grooming is not an issue with this breed, which weighs in at an average of 8 to 15 pounds.
The rag doll
a gentle and affectionate cat, often following its owners from room to room like a puppy. This kitty is not good at defending itself and shouldn’t be allowed to roam the streets alone. In fact, it is careful not to use teeth and claws during play, which makes it ideal around seniors.