Living

A Postive Effect for Seniors

For some seniors, retirement isn't all that is cracked up to be. All too often grandchildren grow up, children move away and older friends and family members pass away. As a result, many seniors become lonely and depressed. They need something in their life to combat these feelings, and that might just be a pet.

Having a pet offers seniors many benefits. A pet provides them with companionship and emotional stability during times of crisis. A pet offers them a chance to get out and interact with others as they walk their pet or take it to the vet or groomer. A pet gives seniors a sense of purpose and a reason to get up in the morning.

Having a pet also offers seniors health benefits. Pets must be walked, played with, petted, fed and groomed. All of these activities force seniors to get up and get moving, which helps their joints stay limber and flexible, which, in turn, helps their heart stay healthy. Physical contact with a pet also lowers an individual's blood pressure, temperature and heart rate.

Before adopting a pet, seniors must consider whether they have the time and means, physically and financially, to care for a pet. They also need to consider what would happen to their pet if they had to leave their home or died.

Seniors who have the means to care for a pet must decide what kind of pet to adopt. If they want a pet that doesn't require walking and letting out, the best choice would be a cat. If they want a pet that requires them to be more active, then a dog might work. Older animals will be easier to handle and manage than younger ones.

Many programs are available for adopting a pet. The best place to start is with a local shelter. Adoption fees often include vaccinations and spay and neuter procedures as well. Some shelter offer senior programs, in which the adoption fee is waived. If the local shelter doesn't offer such a program, they may have information and support for new pet owners. Seniors looking for a purebred animal should check with their local shelter and with breed rescue organizations.Pets and seniors have a lot to offer each other. Having a pet will provide seniors with years of constant, unconditional love.

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