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Have you been thinking of adopting a pet, but are wary of your imminent retirement? Pets can improve the wellbeing of all owners but pose significant advantages to retired adopters. Nothing beats the comfort of a meow hello, or a puppy cuddle at the end of a long day. So why are pets so good for retirees?
When we leave work, there are few things forcing us into a routine. Finally, there’s the freedom to become a habitual snoozer – or even better, toss the alarm clock. Unfortunately, a consequence of this can be that regular exercise falls to the wayside. After all, there is always tomorrow.
Pets can bring exercise back into your daily routine. For most dogs, it is recommended that they receive between 30 minutes to 2 hours of exercise daily. A beach walk or a trip to the park is a great way to start your morning while benefiting your health, and the bond between you and your pet.
An empty home can feel even more isolating in retirement. Away from the hustle and bustle of working life, many miss the simple acts of connection within a workplace. Pets are the best form of company. They don’t argue, hog the remote, or leave dirty dishes in the sink. Pets offer companionship and love, so you always feel connected.
Furthermore, living alone can be scary at times, especially if you are hearing or sight-impaired. Pets offer an added layer of security as they can hear or see things you cannot. For many, having a pet can make you feel safer when alone.
Did you know that owning a pet has been associated with a lower risk of cardiovascular disease and lower blood pressure? A close bond with a pet can help you relax, and even improve your health. Pets have evolved alongside humans to be companions, and are adept at sensing our moods and offering comfort.
Recent studies have begun to explore how the bond between pet and owner can have both mental and physical benefits. It has been found that retired pet owners make 30% fewer doctors appointments than their pet-less counterparts, and have a lower rate of depression, hypertension and heart disease. Pets encourage good habits such as regular sleep schedules and exercise to improve physical and mental health.
Pets can transform our lives, and offer unconditional friendship. There are many benefits to pet ownership in retirement, but there are a few things to consider. Firstly, puppies and kittens can be very hard work, with high exercise needs. If you have reduced mobility, consider adopting an older pet with lower exercise needs. How much exercise they need, how hands-on their grooming is, and how comfortable they are staying at home alone varies by breed, age and size. It’s important to factor in these elements before adopting.
Pets are a long-term commitment. To them, you are everything. Before adopting, it is important to put plans in place in the chance that you aren’t there to look after them. Furthermore, think about your next steps and where you will be living in 5, 10 or 15 years. Some retirement villages, such as Greenview Park, allow pre-existing pets (with management approval).
Loving, fun, and great exercisers, pets can improve our quality of life in retirement. There are many benefits for adopting a pet so you can enjoy your golden years together.