Dogs are widely recognised as Man’s Best Friend. And for good reason: People with dogs are statistically healthier and happier, and dogs have been used to help people with anything from blindness to seizures to depression. So what makes a dog a great companion for seniors?
- Research has proven that time with a dog reduces stress, almost instantly shown by lowered blood pressure, slowed heart rate, and more regular breathing.
- Long term, the presence of a dog in your life will help to regulate and reduce stress hormones in the body, significantly reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases as well as other stress-related problems.
- The companionship of a dog is one of the best known natural remedies for depression.
- Dogs require care and attention – not to mention exercise. This promotes a healthy lifestyle for the owner of the dog as well.
- Seniors are in a high-risk category for depression caused by loneliness. A dog (or other pet) in the house can provide a friendship and significant bond to reduce or eliminate depression.
- People with dogs are more social. Try taking a friendly dog for a walk and just see how many people you end up talking to!
If you are concerned about a senior loved one who lives alone or has health issues, think about a dog to help care for them!