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As we get older, we tend to want less responsibility. However, taking on the role of pet parent in our 60s, 70s, and beyond has many benefits that far outweigh the potential pain points. Pets improve our health, relieve stress, and can even keep us safe and secure.
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The great debate between pet owners worldwide comes down to the question of whether cats or dogs make the best pets. The answer is that they are equal. It just depends on what you are looking for. UK-based Cats Protection explains that cats are not as social as their canine counterparts. They are largely hands-off… Unless they happen to be in the mood for a quick cuddle. Dogs are highly social pack animals that want to be with their people almost around the clock. For many seniors, a dog makes sense because of this social aspect.
No matter which breed or species you choose, look for a pet that matches your lifestyle. Talk to your local veterinarian about how different breeds and even ages vary from one to another. For example, if you want lazy days, consider a pug or French bulldog, the latter of which is great if you live in an apartment and need a low-shed dog that doesn’t usually bark.
One of the greatest concerns for seniors on a budget is the potential cost of feeding and caring for a growing pet. Although it is up to us to ensure that our pets eat well, it does not have to be extremely expensive. There are plenty of dry dog food options that make sense for dogs of all ages. Going grain-free (grain-free dog food provides protein from meat, fish, and poultry) is a great way to reduce many issues, including obesity. Because grain-free dog food doesn’t have as many carbohydrates, it’s not burned off as quickly. This means your pet is likely to eat less and maintain a healthy weight and a well-functioning digestive system.
We’re not going to say that pets are like modern-day shamans… able to keep you healthy and happy in an almost magical way, but they are amazing. Aging Care explains that pets keep you from loneliness, and there’s even some anecdotal evidence to suggest that animals can help improve memory. Having a pet, and a dog especially will also keep you active. After all, there will be dog park play dates, walks, and games of fetch in the backyard. A dog will also intuitively know when you need a companion by your side, such as if you’re sad or scared.
If you’ve never seen the movie A Dog’s Purpose, watch it. In the movie, the perky pet’s purpose is to keep their humans safe and happy life after life. But animals give us purpose as well. As a pet owner, you’ll be more present at the moment, and you won’t be focused on your past. Further, having a dog or cat gives you a routine since you have to feed them, exercise them, and provide them love and care each day.
Pets are great for people of all ages, but especially seniors that need a faithful companion to maintain their overall health and wellness. Feed them well, give them exercise, and love them unconditionally, and they will provide benefits and love in return, unlike anything you’ve had in all of your years.
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