senior man in park on bench with pet dog on leash

Having a pet in retirement can have many different benefits for retirees.

For years, studies have analyzed the affects of pets on human health, especially in retirement communities. While the results are still regarded as inconclusive by some, many point to obvious signs that pets can make their owners happier and healthier people. Here are just a few of the ways pets can improve the well-being of their owners.

  1. A pet has been a proven way of reducing stress. The simple act of petting an animal can reduce heart rates.
  2. Pets encourage their owners to exercise. Dogs are not the only ones who benefit from a long walk.
  3. Pets provide a sense of companionship. Many retirement-age individuals live alone and pets can deter feelings of isolation and loneliness.
  4. Pets are often described as a social lubricant and make it easier to interact with other people and pet owners.
  5. Some studies have concluded that pet owners have a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and exhibit higher recovery rates from heart attacks.

Regardless of what studies may tell us, people who own pets will tell you there is a loving bond much like that of a family member. The companionship and loyalty offered by pets is even stronger than what many humans can offer. If you do not own a pet already, retirement may be a great time to consider adopting one. Most retirement communities are very pet-friendly.

However, if you are considering a move to a retirement community, be sure to check the community restrictions on your beloved Fido. Some retirement communities have restrictions on the type or number of pets that a homeowner can have. Other communities have a weight limit on pets in the community. Obviously, it is important to determine these facts before you make your move as finding out after you close on your home can leave you and Fido in a difficult situation.