How Dogs Help the Elderly

senior sitting on a couch reading a book with dog in their lap

Anyone who owns a dog knows the joy they can bring into the home. They make loving companions and are a calming presence. For many elderly people who may be alone, a dog can offer love and companionship to them that they otherwise may be missing. While the energy a dog can require might seem to be too much for someone who is older, dogs actually have much to offer! Here are just a few ways dogs help the elderly:

1. Dogs Motivate You to Move

Dogs need exercise, just like humans. For the elderly, movement is still very important. If you’re worried about the amount of exercise a dog requires, consider a smaller dog or one of the laziest dog breeds with a lower level of energy.

They still need a daily walk, but won’t need to exercise heavily, either. This is a great motivator to get outside, breathe some fresh air, and move your body just a bit. This is just one of the many ways dogs can improve our health and also how dogs help the elderly.

Caring for a dog will also motivate you to get up each day. Knowing you have a dog to feed, walk, and spend time with will give you the motivation to do other things, too.

2. You Won’t Be Alone

Many elderly people report feeling lonely, especially if their partner or family members are no longer around. Dogs are excellent companions, especially if they are one of the most affectionate dog breeds. They are more than happy to give you love and affection, as long as you give them those things in return. Dogs will give you joy and help you feel less lonely.

Dogs can also encourage you to meet others. If you take your dog to a dog park or even just on a walk around your neighborhood, you may be able to meet people. Your dog can be an excellent bridge to making new friends. And just maybe, your dog will be able to gain a new human friend or even a dog friend!

3. Dogs Are Beneficial to Your Physical Health

Dogs can be really good for your health. Their presence can help lower blood pressure and help put you at ease. Even something as simple as petting your dog can help you de-stress and lower your blood pressure.

Along with the benefits of regularly exercising with your dog, dogs can be trained as service dogs to look out for signs that your health may be in danger. Dogs can sense oncoming seizures, low blood sugar, heart attacks, and more.

If your dog is trained to recognize these signs, they can also be trained to alert either you or someone else. This can be lifesaving and can allow you to be more independent.

4. They Give You a Sense of Security

Dogs are a wonderful addition to a home because they offer a sense of security and protection. Intruders are less likely to bother if a dog is present in the home.

Dogs are also great companions on your walks. Dogs can be very loyal and if they sense a threat, they will do their best to protect you. This can give you the confidence to be out and about and have some fun.

These are just a few of the ways dogs help the elderly. They will be a loving and loyal companion and will bring lots of joy and happiness into your home!