National Pet Month is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the love and companionship that pets bring into our lives. We all know that owning a pet can bring so much joy and a sense of purpose.

It’s especially important to recognize the positive impact that pet ownership can have on adults and those facing social isolation.

By providing comfort, companionship, and a positive outlook, pets can truly improve the quality of life pet owners.


Pets Play an Important Role

Pets play such an important role in our families. Spending time with them offers numerous physical, emotional, and mental benefits that contribute to overall well-being.

They become dependable friends, excellent mood boosters, and even help build socialization skills. While it’s true that pets require care and attention, the love and joy they bring back to their owners cannot be measured. They become an extension of our own family.


Pet Interaction Fights Depression

One extraordinary benefit of pet interaction is its ability to fight depression. People who experience social isolation are at a higher risk of developing depression, which can lead to many health complications. Pet therapy, even the simple act of spending quality time with an affectionate animal, has been shown to improve someone’s perspective. Just being in the same room as a calm pet can make a significant difference.


They Can Help Lower Blood Pressure

Owning a pet has also been proven to lower blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart disease, heart attacks, and other coronary issues. Heart problems are a common concern as we age, and high blood pressure contributes to that risk. Being around a pet is truly beneficial in maintaining a healthy heart. In fact, older adults with heart problems who interact with pets regularly tend to have longer life spans.


Playing with Pets Boosts Physical Activity

Staying active is important for everyone, especially as we get older. Physical activity helps reduce stiffness, improve mobility, and manage conditions like arthritis. Playing with our pets, whether it’s walking a dog or engaging with a cat, can gradually help maintain and strengthen our range of movement and flexibility.


Pet Care Improves Confidence and Self-Esteem

Pet ownership also has a remarkable impact on confidence and self-esteem. Some adults may experience a loss of self-worth and confidence when they rely on others. However, caring for a pet can help boost their confidence and improve their sense of independence. It’s empowering to be responsible for another living being and witness the positive effects of our care.


Dog Owners Have Better Health Recovery

A study published in AHAJourney found that dog owners tend to have better recovery after major health events. Dog ownership has been associated with longer life spans and reduced risk of death for heart attack and stroke survivors who live alone. The benefits of having a furry friend truly stretch beyond companionship.


Experience the Benefits without Owning a Pet

Of course, pet ownership can bring challenges. Physical limitations and the daily care tasks can become more burdensome. However, there are various alternatives to experience the benefits of pet interaction without the responsibilities of ownership.

Connecting with neighbors who walk their pets, volunteering at local shelters, visiting dog or cat cafes, fostering pets, or participating in programs like Pet Partner’s Walk With Me can provide the company and love of animals without the added burden. Plus, you never know; once the pet gets to know you, you could make a great pet sitter if their owner has to leave somewhere.


Is Daily Pet Care a Challenge?

For those struggling with daily pet care tasks, companions can be a valuable resource. They can assist with feeding, exercising, and even help with challenging tasks like cleaning litter boxes. Placing litter boxes in accessible locations and maintaining proper hygiene is essential for pet and owner health. Companions can also recognize signs of illness or injury and assist in getting pets the care they need.


Pets are a Big Part of Life’s Journey

Pets are not just a temporary presence in our lives; they are along for life’s entire journey. They become intertwined with our memories, experiences, and the chapters of our lives. Sharing our years with a pet can bring greater happiness, prosperity, and overall health. As we age, it’s important to have a plan to ensure that we can continue to enjoy the benefits of pet ownership.


We All Need Support from Time to Time

It’s important to take time out to do whatever you can to help yourself thrive and live well, and it’s also essential to recognize when you might need extra help.

If caring for a pet becomes a challenge, scheduling a Companion for assistance can make a significant difference. They not only help with pet care but also provide valuable companionship and support. Additionally, there are resources available to help older adults with the cost of pet care, such as low-cost veterinary clinics or financial assistance programs.

National Pet Month reminds us that pets are an essential part of our lives. By working with companions and other resources, pet owners can continue to enjoy the benefits of having a pet while ensuring they are well cared for and happy.

The Villi team is here to help

Do you need help with a loved one?  Then consider Villi’s homemaker and companionship services. Our team of friendly, compassionate Companions takes great pride in serving people in their own community who need light assistance with daily chores, some company and conversation, or convenient transportation for errands, appointments, or trips to the store.


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