Keeping a Pet is Good for your Happiness & Health

DogWhile the list of advantages for staying at home versus entering a retirement village are vast there is one very big reason that many people or families fail to realise until it’s too late – keeping your beloved family pet.

Science has proven the health benefits of owning and cat and dog from keeping fit and fighting disease to the more extreme cases of helping to cope with chronic illness.  Apparently having or looking after a pet has a positive biochemical effect on the owner which leads to happiness and health.

In an article recently published in popular website, WYZA, here are five good reasons to keep a pet – and that means for the most part, staying at home.  Don’t worry, we have that part covered at Ten Years Younger.

Pain Relief

Pets can alleviate pain such as chronic migraines or arthritis. Spending time with a pet is likely to reduce anxiety and therefore people who use pet therapy while recovering from surgery may need significantly less pain medication than those who do not.

Paw off the blues

The antics of our furry friends are sure to bring us a laugh even during tough times. In fact, a survey has shown that pet owners with a chronic illness were less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets. Coming home to a pet that loves you unconditionally and gives you affection no matter how bad a day you’ve had really does lighten your mood.

Exercise

While this one mainly applies to dog owners, it’s a big one. Rain, hail or shine, you know the weather doesn’t stop your pooch from needing a run in the park. By forcing you outside, your dog is dramatically improving your health by helping you get fresh air, natural light and cardio-vascular exercise. It’s a win-win situation!

Socialising

This one often goes hand-in-hand with exercising. If you’re out and about with your dog you are very likely to run in to like-minded pet lovers and if you are new to a community, this is a great way to meet people and – get the latest gossip too.

Heart-health

If you’re stressed you could be producing harmful chemicals like cortisol and norepinephrine that can negatively affect the immune system. Studies show a link between these chemicals and plaque buildup in arteries which can signal the beginning of heart disease. Combat stress with some one-on-one time with a pet and enjoy the elevated levels of serotonin and dopamine; nerve transmitters that are known to have pleasurable and calming properties.

At Ten Years Younger that is just another service we offer in our tailor-made approach to quality care.  While you may have less energy to look after you pet, we recognise the importance of maintaining this relationship and will help in many and various ways from organising and keeping vet appointments (annual vaccinations and illness), dispensing medication and tick/flea and heart worm prevention, grooming appointments, feeding and daily exercise.

If you need persuading further, there is plenty of research available in terms of pets and the great effect on the health of aging adults. There is a website dedicated especially to this issue.

For more visit: http://www.petsfortheelderly.org/research.html

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Oct 2015