There are many obvious benefits to pet parenting — unconditional love and limitless affection, for example. But there are also health benefits to living with a dog or cat that aren’t as well-known, particularly for older Americans.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and PreventionThis link will open in a new tab. (CDC), pets “increase opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities, [contribute to] better cognitive function in older adults, and [provide] more opportunities to socialize.” Having a pet is also linked to health benefits such as decreased blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels. Pet ownership is even associated with reduced feelings of loneliness, anxiety, and PTSD.
“We have three dogs and I can tell you firsthand about the important role pets play in keeping us grateful, grounded and in the moment, especially in these difficult times,” said Gary Culp, the chief growth officer for Cigna’s Medicare Advantage businessThis link will open in a new tab.. “Pets are truly an important and beloved part of my family, just like they are in so many U.S. households.”
Recognizing the value pet parenting adds to human health, CignaThis link will open in a new tab. is working with NationwideThis link will open in a new tab., the nation’s leading pet insurer, to educate older adults about how to reap the health benefits of owning a pet. Below we deep dive into some of the physical and mental health benefits that pets bring to older adults.
As we get older, loneliness can increasingly become a problem. This can create issues with depression or physical pain that can affect our daily lives. One of the best ways to offset this issue is to adopt a furry companion who will stick with you and love you relentlessly; dogs make the perfect companions! You needn’t worry about them being unavailable or going off duty – they will just as quickly adapt to your schedule as they do their own. And if you want the convenience of having your pet travel with you wherever you go, then smaller breeds are definitely the way to go. With a dog in your life, loneliness should no longer be an unwelcome member of your life.
9-Pets Make Their Owners Feel Needed:
Caring for a living being is one of life’s most rewarding experiences. It offers a sense of purpose and helps to establish structure and routine in our daily lives. Not only is it beneficial to us humans, but enriching the lives of animals can have a positive effect on physical and mental health too. Research has shown that owning a pet leads to less stress, with nearly three-quarters of pet owners acknowledging this calming effect. Pets can also provide comfort during difficult times and offer unconditional love, bringing joy and helping to give our lives purpose and meaning.
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