Post-Retirement Life With a Pet

Tips for an Easier Transition

What a wonderful duo a senior citizen and their pet make. And for good reason. Mounting evidence shows the enormous benefits of pet ownership, especially for people who have retired and may be living on their own.

Seniors spend more time doing physical activities like walking their dog, which is great for cardiovascular health, while playing with their pets on the floor improves agility and balance.

But there is so much more than just dog walks and playing with rubber mice on the floor. So much more, like companionship and love. Read on for some insights from Petralyte.

Combating Loneliness

You may find yourself too many hours alone. If you’ve retired from your job, you may have lost friends to illness or death, and your family could have relocated for their careers. In that case, you could be suffering from bouts of loneliness.

This is unhealthy, both physically and emotionally. But with a pet, you’re less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. And you’re also less likely to experience feelings of loneliness and isolation.

Better Social Interaction

Having a pet increases your opportunities for social interaction. Visits to a dog park are great for meeting people who enjoy the same things you do and enjoy talking about dog ownership. What about kennel clubs? There are plenty of things to talk about there, and those groups meet frequently, so you have something to look forward to and plan for.

Something to Care For

Having something that depends on you gives you a renewed sense of purpose. You’re responsible for the very well-being of a living creature, something that you have bonded with you and who gives you unconditional love. That is wonderful for your mental and emotional well-being.

And speaking of caring for your pet, one of the most important decisions you can make for them is their diet, which is why you should research the highest quality foods for your pet (you may consider this option). After all, every decision you make directly impacts the health and wellness of extended family members — you and your pets.

Better Physical Health for You

Walking your dog every day, usually multiple times a day, is one of the best health benefits of being a pet owner. In fact, studies have shown that pet owners walk, on average, 22 minutes more per day than those who don’t own a pet. This benefits you with lower blood pressure, healthier cholesterol levels, and improved cardiovascular health.

Country Living notes the interesting fact that the very act of stroking your pet lowers blood pressure by 10% and lowers stress and anxiety levels for hours afterward.

Improved Cognitive Function

AARP explains that interacting with pets can stimulate cognitive function and provide mental stimulation, which may help to improve memory and overall cognitive ability.
Having a long-term pet companion may delay memory loss and other kinds of cognitive decline, a new study has found.

And it’s not just cats and dogs that can boost the brain. People in the study also cared for rabbits, hamsters, birds, fish, and reptiles, though dogs and cats ranked highest in the study.

In short, pets are great for seniors for lots of reasons. You get unconditional love, better health, less anxiety, and a cure for loneliness. And they get love, care, a healthy diet and exercise, and a true companion — just like you!

Retired man with dog

Interested in learning more?

Read: Dog Electrolytes

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