An estimated 35% of Canadians own a dog, while 38% own a cat. Nearly half of all seniors own a pet. A study of pet owners between the ages of 50 and 80 found that 88% of respondents said their pets help them enjoy life, 86% said their pets make them feel loved, and 79% said their pets help reduce stress.
We’ll dive into more detail explaining the benefits of pets for seniors
Benefits of Pets
Pets provide companionship and make great friends. Seniors can become lonely or isolated if they don’t stay connected or become more distant from family and friends. Pets can increase our spirits and lighten our mood.
Owning a pet can help you socialize. If you own a dog, you can meet new people when taking it for a walk or letting it run around in the park.
Pet owners tend to have a lower blood pressure than non-pet owners. This is likely due to the calming effect that pets have. Lower blood pressure decreases the risk of heart disease and stroke.
Pets can lower stress. It has been found through research that petting a dog can reduce cortisol, which is a hormone that is released in response to stress. Over 80% of post-traumatic stress disorder patients noted a significant stress reduction, while 40% were able to decrease their medications used to treat stress.
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This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice or diagnosis. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.