We all love animals. They’re loyal, sweet, cute, and even funny. But when we reach retirement, pets have an added bonus: they’re great for our well-being. From physical to emotional health, animals make our lives fuller. That said, pets are a lot of responsibility, so make sure you have the time and physical energy to handle a new addition. Still, most find having a pet is an absolute joy rather than a burden. Read below to learn about the 5 ways pets can add love to your retired life.
Give you Some Company
This is probably the most obvious, but it’s an important one. For those who live alone, or are grieving a loss, pets provide a happy comfort every day. Seniors who are less mobile find visiting friends and family an arduous task. A pet can fill in those social gaps. Even better, animals have an unbelievable ability to sense loneliness and depression, and they act on it by showering you with love and affection.
They’re Good for Your Health
Seniors with pets have shown significant health benefits over their pet-free friends. The act of petting is believed to actually lower blood pressure, cholesterol, as well as control heart rate and stress.
Taking Fido for a walk is as good for you as it is for him. Exercising your dog forces you to exercise, too, which is great for your heart and your waistline. Even playing with a cat indoors gets you off the couch and moving around. Repeatedly filling the water bowl and feeding animals keeps your joints loose since you squat and bend throughout the day.
They Make You Feel Good
Aside from a great anti-depressor, animals are very concerned with the given moment. That means that you, dear owner, are also concerned with the moment as well. This takes some of the pressure off anything ailing you, be it physical or emotional. Being happy in the present has a positive effect on your mood.
Pets need their owners. They need them for food, exercise, and love. Pet owners find a greater sense of life purpose because they’re responsible for a living being. The daily routine an animal requires, in turn, establishes one for the owner, which instills an even greater sense of purpose.
You’ll Feel Safe
When you live alone, sometimes it can be a little creepy. A creak in the living room can be terrifying to an active mind. When you have a dog, you have a living security system roommate. Dogs have heightened senses, so they hear and smell much better than you can, and they’re quick to react. Knowing man’s best friend has your back is reassuring.
The Right Pet is Life Changing
Some people have great mobility and they want a big dog who they can take for a light jog, while others have a hard time getting around, and have a cat curled up in their lap makes for an ideal buddy. What can you handle? Your physical abilities may prevent you from having a rambunctious puppy, but you could get a sweet middle-aged rescue. Fish are fun to watch, and birds can be quite entertaining, especially if they can talk.
Many assisted living homes allow pets, but under certain criteria, so it’s worth it to first look at the guidelines, even if you aren’t living there yet. Some facilities even have companion pets that visit, to give residents a little love. So if you’re worried about the responsibility of caring for a pet, try to make your next move into a living arrangement with companion pets, or else see if you can visit with animals in your community. Shelter dogs and cats are in need of homes, if you can’t adopt one, many shelters will let you care for them on a regular volunteer basis, as well.