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4 Reasons Dogs Are Good for Seniors


Maybe you are a senior who loves dogs.  Did you know that they are good for you too?  That is all the more reason to add a dog to your life today or spoil the one you already have just a little more!

#1 Physical Health

Dogs require regular exercise to maintain health, just like people!  It can be easy to forego exercise when you don’t have adequate motivation.  Having a dog can help with your motivation because your pup needs and wants exercise.  But, he can’t really walk himself or play fetch by himself.  That’s where you and your physical health come into play!  By taking your pet for a walk, you are also getting a walk!  By playing fetch, you are exercising your arms and core as you throw the ball.  Even if you are too unsteady on your feet or no longer very mobile, you can sit and throw a ball.   Any exercise is better than no exercise for both of you!

#2 Relieves Stress & Anxiety

In reality, most dogs could be considered “emotional support dogs” simply because dogs are naturally great at emotional support.  They can sense when their owner is not feeling quite right either physically or emotionally.  Yes, there are dogs that are specifically trained to detect physical or emotional distress, but most dogs can at least detect when their human needs some extra attention.

At first, you may think your pet is being needy or annoying when he is putting his head on your lap or under your arm, essentially demanding attention, saying in dog language, “pet me, pet me, pet me.”  What you may not realize is that your dog is attempting to make you feel better.  Your dog is giving you his undivided attention and affection – two things that can help humans feel better!

No matter what is going on in your life or how bad your day has been, it feels pretty darn good to be greeted at the door by a furry buddy who behaves like you are the best human that has ever existed on planet Earth.  How could that NOT lift your spirits?  That loving greeting can help melt away the stress or anxiety you may be feeling.  

#3 Socialization

This applies to both you and your dog.  Getting out for a walk with your dog or even just sitting outside with your dog can help initiate conversations with other dog lovers.  The more your dog is socialized with both people and other dogs, the better it is for your dog.  It helps him learn the proper way to behave.  Socialization is also good for you. You may make a new friend!  Even if it is a one-time conversation with someone you never see again, a conversation is good for your brain and the interaction can boost your mood.

#4 a Good Cure for Loneliness

As you age, your world may become smaller.  This isn’t the case for everyone, but we know that it can happen.  Even if you have a very active social life, you may still have moments of loneliness if you live alone.  A dog is a great companion for all the reasons listed above and can be a good cure for loneliness.  Many of us process our thoughts verbally.  It’s always nice to have a dog to “talk to” when talking aloud.  Even though they don’t talk back, it still feels like you have someone around because you do!

#5 a Sense of Purpose

Humans seem to have an innate sense of needing to feel needed.  A dog can help give you a sense of purpose.  You have a buddy that is depending on you.  He can’t feed himself, take himself potty, or take himself for a walk.  Knowing your pup is waiting on you each morning to fulfill his needs can help give you the necessary motivation to get up and get your day started.  His needs throughout the day can keep you busy in a good, healthy way!

Victoria Landing – Pet-Friendly Senior Living

If you thought that moving into a senior living community meant giving up your beloved pet or taking away the opportunity for you to get one, think again!  Victoria Living offers beautiful, waterfront living in Melbourne, FL!  Your pup is welcome here!  You will find other pet-loving residents to share time with, enjoy our beautiful walking trails, and live your best lives together here at Victoria Landing!

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