Everyone has heard the saying that pet dog owners* live longer, healthier lives than those who don't have a pet. Is this really true?
*(please note that we use 'pet dogs' a lot. The info applies to most all pets).
Having a pet for companionship can make a difference in your health. They start by increasing your self-esteem. A pet will love you no matter who you are, what you look like or what health you are in. This type of unconditional love can make anyone feel better about themselves.
Research also shows that people with pets recover better and faster from sickness and surgeries. Pets bring out the instinct to be nurturing and loving. When you have someone that you need to help care for, it makes you feel needed and you have a stronger desire to get well.
Pets can help to lower your stress levels, which can help to reduce your heart rate and blood pressure. There was one study that proved the endorphins were released in your body when you pet your cat or dog. This hormone helps to make a person feel calm and relaxed.
A Connection between Your Health and Your Pet's
Did you know that many people believe certain dogs can sense health problems in their owners before they are diagnosed? It is believed they can tell when a diabetic's blood sugar is on the low side or when an epileptic is on the verge of a siezure.
Even though some dogs have been known to sense the early signs of some illnesses, you should still get your regular check-ups when they are due to be on the safe side.
One thing that dogs are known for and research has proven is that pets make great companions and help their owners to stay healthy. One problem seniors have is a lack of desire to get outside and move around.
When you have a charming little friend wagging their tail and waiting for that walk, it is hard to say no. Therefore, you have reason to get up and move around. You know they are looking forward to that time together where you get outside and enjoy the fresh air.
Another way pets help their owners to stay healthier is by eliminating some of the depression and loneliness senior citizens deal with daily. It can be very hard living alone and many people even experience feelings of fear and being vulnerable because they are alone so much.
A dog can be your best friend, help keep you from being lonely and make you feel safer all at the same time.
Between the companionship they provide and the exercise they encourage you to get, there's no wonder pets help to increase your lifespan and make you a happier and healthier person.
Friendships Can Aid In Healing
Senior citizens have lots more to deal with than just being alone. Many have to deal with the loss of someone dear to them who they spent the majority of their life with. This is not something easy to overcome.
It increases the loneliness and greatly affects your health. In these cases, you have lost your best friend and companion and this leaves an empty place that is hard to fill.
Fortunately, pets can help to fill that void and give back some of the love and companionship you're missing. This is one of the reasons most people with pets tend to be healthier and even happier than ones who don't have this type of companionship.
They can help to reduce the stress that everyday life can bring and they are there to comfort you when you are facing a serious crisis.
A pet will always be there when you need them and never turn their back on you or not have the time when you need a friend. Sometimes this is what a person needs more than anything else.
This is one of the reasons some hospitals and nursing homes will allow the local animal shelter to bring in puppies to visit the seniors. This is especially helpful for the seniors who are bed ridden. You can see the joy in their eyes when they see a cute little puppy nearby.
Therapists will often recommend that seniors adopt a pet to help them get the exercise they need to recover from an illness or surgery. They are recommended for patients that suffer from Alzheimer's disease. These people don't always remember who their loved ones are but they will always feel the love that a pet dog puts forth for their owner even if they have trouble remembering.
How to Adopt a Dog
When you are ready to adopt a pet dog, there are two main things that you need to take into consideration. First, you need to choose a size that is appropriate for your home. If you have a very small home then you would need a smaller dog.
A large dog wouldn't have the room needed to move around comfortably and get the exercise they need when inside.
If you rent an apartment or condominium or if you're living in a nursing home you need to find out if there is a weight limit on the size of pet dog you are allowed to have. Many of these places will only allow a dog that weighs twenty pounds or less.
In conclusion: It is a proven fact that people with pet dogs tend to live a longer, happier life than the ones who don't have this companionship. It can be very hard and lonely for seniors who live alone but it doesn't have to be that way.
When you have a loving companion by your side, you are never alone. A dog can make you feel safe, secure and happier than you ever imagined.
About the Author
The publisher of www.goldendoodletime.com is a certifiable Ultimate Dog Lover, named John Bolt. John, his wife Carolee and their Miniature Goldendoodle pet dog Daly live about an hour's drive outside of Toronto in the small town of Cambridge Ontario, Canada. Bolt credits his great success with Daly to puppy crate training through the use of metal dog crates. When Bolt isn't spending time with Daly or writing about dogs he loves to spend time in the great outdoors.
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