Dogs and cats are much more than just wonderful companions, sharing a home with one can bring a wealth of benefits to the health and wellbeing of their owners. This is a scientifically proven fact, and it’s even more pronounced in the case of elderly people. Below we’ll share some reasons that explain why is having a pet good for elderly people.
Encourages physical activity and social development
Having a pet at home will make an elderly person exercise moderately, whether going out for a walk or playing together. It’s also very likely that social life will improve, as it will help them to get to know other people and mix with them through their pets.
Animal company hugely reduces the sense of loneliness, along with other problems like stress and anxiety. Furthermore, the responsibility of looking after a pet will provide a greater sense of usefulness, which is very good for self-esteem and mental health.
Especially in cases where the elderly person suffers some kind of impediment (impaired hearing or sight, etc.), a pet can be of great help in warning the owner of potentially hazardous situations.
Now that you’ve discovered these reasons, maybe you are considering adopting a four-legged friend for an elderly person in your life. But before taking the plunge, you should be clear about which is the most suitable, depending on characteristics.
Which pet should I choose?
On one hand, a dog can be the perfect choice for an elderly person in good physical shape. These animals require a higher level of activity, mainly due to the fact that they have to go out for walks. Small or medium non-aggressive breeds are recommended, to facilitate the co-living process.
Cats, on the other hand, are animals that adapt very well to life indoors. For this reason, if the elderly person has reduced mobility, this won’t be a problem, as cats don’t need to be walked. All they have to do is look after and play with the cat. Nowadays, there are loads of things to make this task even easier: self-cleaning litter trays, toys that don’t require human involvement, etc.
We can’t finish without saying that having a pet at home, regardless of who’s going to take charge, is not a decision to be taken lightly. Looking after an animal requires a great deal of responsibility and commitment. Here at Danna, we recommend you study all possibilities and, even, check with an expert, so as to ensure the wellbeing of both pet and human. But now that you know why is having a pet good for elderly people, what do you think about it?