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Top 3 Health Benefits of Pet Therapy for Seniors

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Top 3 Health Benefits of Pet Therapy for Seniors

There are many advantages to having a pet in your home, but pets can be especially beneficial for seniors. Pets can bring seniors unparalleled happiness, comfort, and an improved quality of life.

Never Too Old for Puppy Love

Did you know that animals can help with healing? While pets cannot heal like doctors, they can make seniors healthier in a variety of ways. While there are numerous advantages to owning a pet or working with therapy animals, here are three that are widely accepted.

  1. 1. Lower Blood Pressure

If you have been diagnosed with hypertension, you might want to consider adopting a cat. Studies show that cat owners with heart issues tend to outlive those who do not have a furry feline companion. A cat purring in your lap is likely to reduce any stress or anxiety you might have.

  1. 2. More Frequent Exercise

Caring for a pet provides you with a distinct sense of purpose. Walking a dog or cleaning a litter box can be the one reason someone gets up and moves. Most species of pets need food, water, and affection regularly. When the need to care for someone else outweighs the desire to care for oneself, self-care improves.

  1. 3. Natural Antidepressant

Pet therapy can reduce loneliness, depression, and stress levels. Even if a cat or dog is feisty or stubborn, sharing a bond means never feeling completely alone. Having a pet probably won’t eliminate the need for medication. You are likely to benefit from bursts of dopamine and serotonin when snuggling with a pet, though!

Mature woman smiles and pets her yellow cat as he lounges on her shoulder

Types of Pet Therapy

Adopting a pet is one of the best ways to develop a relationship with an animal, but there are other options. Foster homes and volunteers are always in high demand at animal shelters and rescues. Fostering allows you to temporarily provide a home for a pet. Volunteering entails leaving home and traveling to another location to provide much-needed attention to dogs, cats, and other animals.

Regular interactions with animals can be life-changing. Many independent living communities encourage pet relationships by providing beautifully landscaped areas for dog walks and play. To learn more, contact The Virginian online or give us a call at (703) 385-9229.

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