The Benefits that Dogs can Bring to the Elderly
Dogs have always been regarded as best friends to man. Their loyalty and a number of other character traits render them to be of innumerable use to human beings. From being used as guard-dogs at home to helping the visually challenged, they always manage to be of some use to each of us. One of the remarkable uses of dogs is as companions for senior citizens. It has been discovered that the key to a longer and healthier life is often as simple as companionship. The companion dogs can immensely improve the physical and mental health of senior citizens.
The most important benefit that dogs can provide to their senior citizen owners is companionship and relief from boredom. The dogs help to bring out the natural ability to love in human beings. Taking care of a pet gives one a great deal of joy and satisfaction. Older people greatly value their friendship with pets. This greatly improves their emotional health. Furthermore, it helps one to overcome one of the greatest nuisances of old age, boredom. The responsibility of taking care of the pet dependant on them gives them a reason to live their life meaningfully. As far as the pet, having such good companionship from an owner is very good for their overall pet health.
Another great benefit of having a pets is that the dogs encourage their owners to go outdoors and get involved in more physical activity. The dogs encourage the senior citizens to go outdoors, take a walk and remain physically more active. This helps to improve the physical health of senior citizens. A dog as sedentary as a lap dog can also help to greatly help to improve the health of their senior citizen owners as taking care of a pet dog involves a fair amount of physical activity. Simple activities such petting the dog can also improve the circulation of blood in our body.
With the progress of medical science the concept of therapy dogs has come into being. It has been found that activities such as petting the pet dogs can lower heart rate and blood pressure, release feel good hormones such as endorphins and most importantly help the older people to gain a new view of the life. The pets lower the stress and anxiety levels of their owners. Having a dog also helps to counter depression by giving them enthusiasm to live their life.
In addition to all the benefits as mentioned above, having a pet dog has certain other advantages as well. The pet dogs can act as watch dogs and thus can provide some protection to their owners. In case of an accident, the pet dogs can also alert the neighbors. The dogs add a sense of security and safety to the life of the older people.
All the above mentioned benefits of keeping a pets for the senior citizens give us enough reason to understand how much they can help to improve the quality of life for senior citizens. However, it is important to choose the right breed. While, larger breeds are perfect for spacious houses, little ones fit smaller homes better.