There’s been quite a bit of research into the benefits of having a pet in your life. A recent USA Today article (“Want a healthy retirement? Consider getting a pet,” September 2014) explains why an animal companion in retirement can be particularly beneficial.
The emotional benefits of having a pet are particularly outstanding. The companionship and unconditional love that pets often provide can reduce loneliness and anxiety and even help ward off depression. Having a pet encourages socialization with others and gives some structure to your daily life—both of which can falter once you leave the workforce. Plus, there’s something about nurturing another being that just makes us feel good.
According to an article featured on allpsychologyschools.com (“Power to the Pooch and Pussycat,” 2014), the physical benefits for pet owners are also numerous: Pet parents tend to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol. Playing with a pet can increase serotonin and dopamine, the “feel-good” hormones. Additionally, walking Fido on a regular basis is a great way to make sure you stay active. Pet owners even tend to live longer!
Do you have pets in retirement? Tell us about them!