Many Senior Citizens and the baby boomer generation will exclaim that "Happiness is Pets"!
There is a good reason for that statement. Aging pet owners experience physical and emotional health benefits from having a pet that they may not even be aware they are experiencing.
Here are just a few of the health benefits of having a pet:
Reduces stress and anxiety -- pet owners, even without research studies will tell you how great they feel when they are greeted and spend time with their loving pet. Pets show unconditional love. Our pets are there for us when we need them, even when others in our life can't be there for us. We can talk to our pets, share our innermost thoughts and feelings and not worry about rejection. The mere act of petting releases naturally occurring chemicals into our bodies that calm and soothe our nerves.
Lowers blood pressure -- the same chemicals that are released when we pet our faithful companions are also the ones responsible for helping lower your blood pressure. In fact, one study found that pet owners on medication for high blood pressure, were less likely to experience spikes in the blood pressure and heart rate, than those that did not have a pet at home. Maintaining a steady and healthy blood pressure and pulse decreases your risk for a heart attack or stroke. Research has also shown that those individuals that experienced a heart attack had a longer survival rate if they had a faithful and loving pet they had bonded with when they returned home.
Improve your mood--pets become part of the family. They provide companionship and help to alleviate loneliness and depression. It is hard to be in a bad mood when you have a pet. Every time you enter your home, or even a room, your loving companion will greet you. Even if it is just to look up and acknowledge you are there! They keep you company and keep you active. Having a pet means taking care of your friend. That may mean anything from walking, feeding or even just cleaning out the litter box. What ever the activity, the animals in your life, make you take an interest in living. Even if it is just caring for them. Pets never hesitate to show their love or appreciation of the care you give them. Some show it more enthusiastically than others.
More of why "Happiness is Pets" to Senior citizens and the baby boomer group
Promotes heart health--having pets decreases stress, anxiety and depression. A pet in your life also promotes physical activity and emotional well being. The companionship of a pet promotes emotional and psychological stability. There is a link between the chemicals released when enjoying your pet and the lowering of cholesterol and triglycerides. Studies show there is a link between pet owners and a decrease in heart disease versus non pet owners.
Enhances your immune system-- pet owners experience decreased stress, improved mood and emotional well being. This causes an increase in your ability to fight off or prevent illness. Research studies show that pet owners are less likely to make a visit to their doctor or health care professional for the less serious sicknesses they may experience. The study did not address if the aging seniors with pets were sick less often or just did not see the need to seek medical attention for their minor illnesses. There are insurance companies that now include asking if you have a pet for their clients over seventy five years of age as part of their pre screening process. Surprisingly, if the answer is "yes", the insurance company looks more favorably on the senior with a pet than one that does not have a pet.
Provide balance in life-- pets offer intangible benefits to our lives. They offer social interaction, even if it is just between the aging senior and the pet. If a senior is walking a pet, it is not unusual for someone to interact with the aging senior to ask about their furry companion. They offer relief from loneliness and promote physical activity as well as mental stimulation.
There may be skeptics out there that believe that pets do not make you feel better. Science now confirms that having a pet enhances the physical and emotional well being of the owners. It is easy to understand why many senior citizens exclaim "Happiness is Pets!"