6 benefits: Dogs and the Elderly

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A few years ago, while I was at work, this elderly woman came up to me, and we were talking and she mentioned how she and her husband just got a puppy. I was excited for her, because, puppy, and she mentioned that her doctor told her to get one to help her and her husband stay active.

I had never really thought about that before, and it made me start to think about some of the other benefits of having a puppy as an elder would be. Here are six benefits in a very long list of good things dogs can offer.

  • Companionship

You don’t have to worry about being alone. Dogs are great companions for the young and old alike. They are great listeners, and like to cuddle on the sofa (most of them do, anyway). Having a dog also helps prevent a feeling of social isolation. There is always someone to talk to even if you live alone.

  • Gets you out of the house

Dogs need a place to run around and get exercise outside. So, this will help you get out of your house, even if it’s only to your backyard. You will get the benefits of getting fresh air and sunshine, and your dog gets to run and play and explore.

  • Make new friends

When you take your dog out to the park, or even just a walk around the block, you are more likely to meet other people. Whether they are out with their dogs, or doing other activities. Dogs are a great conversation starter, and pretty soon, you’ll find you made a new friend.

  • Creates a daily routine

Dogs are creatures of habit, so having a dog will help you create your own routine. If you need to take medication at a certain time, you can give your dog breakfast or dinner at the same time to help remind you. Because they won’t forget to eat. They also know when it’s time to go for a walk or to the park. This routine will help fill the hours that were once filled with work.

  • Healthy heart

According to a study done by Mayo Clinic back in 2019, having a dog is good for your heart. By getting active and playing with your dog, you’re getting exercise yourself.  People who own dogs are also more likely to have a better diet and less stress, which lead to a healthier heart.

  • Mental health

People with dogs are less likely to be stressed out or suffer from depression. There is less of a chance of being isolated. Dog ownership gives you a sense of purpose again, especially after you retire. Having someone to take care of again, helps fill the empty hours.

In addition to these benefits given to you by a dog, you are also offering a dog a chance of life. There are too many dogs in shelters, and by choosing to adopt you are helping a dog in need of a home, and love. 

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