Josh Billings said it best – “A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself”. Having unconditional love from a furry friend is beneficial to senior citizens.
5 reasons senior citizens benefit from owning a dog
- Health Benefits: comfort from a dog helps create a brain reaction to lower levels of cortisol (stress-inducing hormone), and increases creation of serotonin (feel-good hormone) which causes blood pressure, heart rate, and stress levels instantly decrease. (Byrne, 2015).
- Learning Opportunity: A new dog can peak a seniors curiosity which may cause them to learn more about the breed. According to Dr. Katharine Hillestad, this learning opportunity “can be very mentally stimulating and important at that age”.
- Reduces Loneliness/Isolation: Senior citizens can feel loneliness and isolation for various reasons: death of husband/wife, loss of transportation, personal/spouse illness/injury or retirement (loss of interaction with co-workers). A study conducted by University of Rochester, determined that “pet ownership could help spread feelings of social connectedness and significantly decrease feelings of isolation in older patients”.
- Focus on today: Dogs live in the moment which means they are only focused on what’s occurring right now, not their trip to the dog park last week or the vet visit tomorrow. Worrying about “tomorrow” can be very frightening for a senior citizen. According to Dr. Jay P. Granat, “having an animal with that sense of now, it tends to rub off on people,”
- Provides Purpose: being responsible for a dog provides a sense of purpose. According to the Senior Directory, getting up in the morning to feed, groom, and let the dog out boosts morale plus the love and attention dogs need and give in return provides additional benefits.
Adoption Program for Senior Citizens
PAWS’ located in Snohomish County had adoption program geared towards seniors. Program was developed to help place senior pets (7+ years) with elderly residents 60+ years old. The dog match makers at PAWS’ will assist in finding a furry friend who suits your housing situation/ lifestyle at a discounted adoption rate of $35.
In summary, if you are having trouble walking your dog or bending over to collect your dog’s deposit, Tailored Pet Services can help. We offer a special rate of $75/week for a 30-minute visit Monday-Friday for walks completed between 8am-10am. Contact us today!