Loneliness can become an unwelcome companion as we get older and can lead to depression as well as physical problems. Dogs mold their schedule and personality to you. They are never unavailable or off duty. Smaller dogs, in particular, can easily travel with you wherever you go.
Having a Routine
Having a dog is a responsibility but needn’t be taxing. The routine of caring for a pet can give structure and purpose to daily life. Maybe you don’t always want to get out of bed, but your pet wants you to, and isn’t that a good thing?
People benefit from regular physical exercise regardless of their age. But it is hard to get into a regular exercise routine and so very easy to skip it. Having a dog can be a great way to make walking a regular part of your permanent daily plans.
Older people with pets exhibit less stress than their pet-less counterparts. Maybe it’s those regular walks or the sense that you have a friend to share life’s challenges. Or maybe it’s that tail wagging every day when you wake up.
Having a pet, and particularly one that requires regular outdoor activity, helps you stay connected to life. There’s the vet. The place you have your dog groomed and washed. You need to be involved in social activities. Having a pet is a good way to stay involved.
Making New Friends
There are lots of shared activities for pet owners, ranging from communal walks to charitable events and projects run by organizations that cater to animals and the environment. It can be hard to meet new people, but pets are a great icebreaker.
Having a pet can expose you to a lot of new interests and activities. Maybe it’s cleaning up the neighborhood park where you walk your dog. Some hospitals seek pet owners who will volunteer to bring in their pets to spend time with patients.
Having a dog can provide significant security. Potential thieves will stay away from a home with a barking dog. Now, maybe your watchdog weighs only 12 pounds soaking wet. But the person on the other side of the door doesn’t know that.
Taking Care of Something
Sure, you need your pet. But your pet needs you, too. The desire to be useful and of value doesn’t magically disappear when your career ends or your kids grow up and build their own independent lives. It is very satisfying to take care of another living thing.
Investing in Life
At the end of the day, having a pet means that you have made a promise to continue being involved in another life. This commitment is one of the most positive decisions you can make as you grow older
Adopt and adult or senior pet. petfinder.com