Owning a pet is a great experience for a ton of reasons, providing countless happy memories and a companion who is there no matter what. But what you probably don’t know is that owning a pet can be hugely beneficial for your health as you grow older. From relieving you of anxiety to encouraging you to exercise, here are some of the unexpected benefits of owning a pet in retirement:
Benefits of owning a pet in retirement:
- Lower stress levels
- Increased social interaction
- Improved mental health
- Better heart health
- Increased physical activity
- Increased sense of purpose
- Great fun for grandkids
Lowered stress levels
Given how much joy pets give us, it’s perhaps no surprise that having a pet can be a huge stress-reliever. Form a close bond with your pet, especially a dog or a cat, and you’ll be much better equipped to overcome the stresses of day-to-day life. There’s nothing like spending some quality time with your pet to lift you up after a bad day. They offer both comfort and companionship, which can help boost your mood and reduce feelings of anxiety.
Increased social interaction
One of the great unintended benefits of owning a pet is that it can lead to greater social interaction! Have you ever stopped someone in the street to pet their dog? If so, you’ll know that owning a pet can be a great ice-breaker. Taking your dog for a walk, or even taking a pet to the vet can lead to opportunities to make new friends who share an affection for cute-looking pets.
Improved mental health
Retirement should be a time for happy new memories and relaxation, but many people also experience feelings of loneliness and isolation. But with a pet by your side, you are far less likely to struggle with feelings of depression. Pets provide unconditional love and support, which in turn can make you feel happier and more upbeat in your retirement years.
Better heart health
As well as boosting your mental health, owning a pet is great for your heart health! You might not expect it, but studies have shown that owning a pet can help lower blood pressure, as they have a soothing influence on their owners, and encourage you to do more physical activity. So don’t just think of getting a pet as a fun choice - it’s also a healthy choice too!
Increased physical activity
As you age, keeping up with physical activity is essential to keeping you and your body healthy. But if you don’t quite fancy keeping up with your fitness - and to be honest, who does? - getting a pet could be a great idea. Walking a dog is a perfect excuse to keep you active and engaged, without ever feeling like a chore.
Increased sense of purpose
Without the routine of your career to fall back on, it’s natural to feel a bit out of place once your retirement years have kicked in. This is where owning a pet can be hugely beneficial. The day-to-day routine of looking after a pet, whether you are going out for walks or keeping an eye on their diet plan, will give your life more structure and purpose. Though you won’t have a job that you need to wake up to, you will have a pet that needs looking after, leading to a greater sense of physical and mental well-being.
Great fun for grandkids
If you have grandchildren that frequently come over to visit, owning a pet can help you in two ways. As well as providing your family with hours of fun, your grandchildren can also take some of the responsibility of looking after your pets - it’s win-win!
Looking for a place to retire with your furry friend? At Churchill Retirement, we welcome pets of all shapes and sizes. With retirement developments across the UK, we have everything you need to enjoy a relaxing and fulfilling retirement lifestyle.