Here are a few reasons why pets can lead to longer as well as healthier and happier lives:
1. Get up and get out. As you age, you risk slipping into a sedentary lifestyle and social isolation. But a cat pawing at your face or a dog barking for a walk is great motivation to get up and engage with the world. And going anywhere with a cute fur-ball at your side is an instant icebreaker for meeting new friends.
2. Motivation to move. My grandmother’s cats had her heaving 40-pound containers of kitty litter until her 80s, walking around her property to try and find kitties who hadn’t come home for dinner, and scooping kibble and litter many times a day. Having a dog, particularly in an apartment, makes you take at least short walks each day, which is a good workout for your muscles and your heart.
3. Keep you company and calm. When there’s a dog or cat in the house, it’s hard to feel lonely. They’ll also listen to your problems and give you a soft belly to stroke to instantly relieve your stress.
4. Inexpensive alarm system. Your dog may never hurt a fly, much less bite a burglar. However, when he or she barks at a noise outside, it can be one of the best deterrents to break-ins there is!
5. Feel needed. When your kids flew the coop, you may have felt at loose ends … and then the grandkids and great-grandkids came along, but they only need you for your delicious homemade cookies and the occasional babysitting. A pet, on the other hand, needs your love every single day. And that’s a really wonderful feeling!
By: Terri L. Jones