It's no secret that pets can bring joy to a person's life. May is National Pet Month, and scientific evidence proves that having a furry friend can provide more than just happiness. Pets can provide great health benefits for seniors. For those who require home care, a pet provides a reason to exercise and maintain mobility as you age. According to the American Heart Association, pets can help decrease seniors' risk for cardiovascular disease, and the CDC also notes that pets can lower cholesterol, blood pressure and feelings of loneliness.
Scientific evidence supports the claim that pets can improve your health, but there are also other ways a dog or cat can bring positive benefits to your life. Having a pet provides structure to your day and a source of friendship, which can help decrease feelings of hopelessness and boost self-esteem.
Although there are benefits associated with having a furry friend of any kind, owning a dog may prove more beneficial for your health than owning a cat. Researchers even note that having a dog can help you live longer.
"People who have dogs live longer than people who have cats, and the assumption has been that dogs naturally cause their owners to be more active," Dr. Thomas Lee, co-editor in chief of the Harvard Heart Letter told Harvard Health Publications. "The emotional benefits of having an affectionate creature are also one of the theories for why dog-lovers live longer."