Dog ownership is often associated with kids or families, but some of the people who could benefit the most from owning one are seniors. Not only do they make for great companions, but they can also improve your sense of safety while providing actual security in some cases. Some research has even shown that owning a dog could help increase longevity and decrease the probability of developing all sorts of diseases. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why all seniors should consider getting a dog, and some tips for taking care of them properly as you get older.
A Dog Can Reignite Your Social Life
Going to a dog park with a dog is one of the best ways to connect with the people in your community and make new friends. Dogs are great conversation starters and can allow two people from completely different backgrounds to share stories and affinities. This is one of the things that make dog ownership so special.
They Will Keep You Active
Another benefit of owning a dog as you get older is that it can help you increase your level of physical activity. It’s usually recommended that seniors spend at least 150 minutes of physical activity every week, but not everyone has the disposition to take walks, cycle, jog, or go to the gym for that long, especially if they’re alone. But, with a dog, you’ll not only be excited to get active, but you’ll also have an obligation to. This alone could be a great source of motivation, and you might be surprised by how much dog ownership can increase things like mobility, cardio, and physical endurance.
They Can Make Grandchildren Visits More Interesting
One underrated benefit of having a pet is that it can make your home much more interesting for your grandchildren. Most grandparents love spending time with their grandchildren but feel bad because they have nothing to keep them occupied. But if you have a dog, you’ll have the satisfaction of seeing your grandchildren have fun every time they’re at your house.
Improved Home Security
If you live in an area that deals with a lot of crime, owning a dog can be a great way to make your house less of a target. Burglars will think twice before they go for a house that has a dog inside, even if it’s a small one because they know that they can alert the people inside.
Dog Care Tips for Seniors
Now that you have a better idea of why dogs can make a great addition to any senior’s household, you have to know that taking care of one as you get older becomes more difficult. This is why you’ll need to be up for the many challenges that come with owning a dog when your mobility is reduced or when you’re suffering from chronic issues.
One of the things many older dog owners overlook when they look for pets is their age. Younger dogs need a lot more activity than older dogs, and older dogs tend to be much better house pets. This usually makes them a much better option for seniors.
The breed of the dog will be very important here too. Now is not the time to pick a rambunctious dog breed like a Jack Russel that will run after everything that it sees or a Dalmatian that requires marathon runner levels of activity to be happy. You should try to stick to breeds that tend to be calmer and more on the smaller side like a French Bulldog, a Boston Terrier, or a Cocker Spaniel as they will be much easier to manage.
You may also want to start looking at services that will make dog ownership for you easier. This mobile vet service, for instance, will come right to your door if your dog needs a checkup or emergency care. You also have services that will come to your house to provide grooming services, and you should keep a few pet sitters’ and walkers’ numbers on hand just in case you need someone to take care of the dog if you have other obligations or simply can’t do it because of a condition or a lack of energy.
Some apps will facilitate dog ownership for you as well. Apps like Rover, for instance, are great if you’re looking for pet sitters in your area, while MyPet Reminders will come in handy if you want to be able to remember important appointments.
Pets are highly beneficial for seniors and can help you help a much more active, healthy, and happier life. So, consider buying or adopting a dog today if you feel like you have the capacity, and make sure that your home and lifestyle are conducive to caring for one first.