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Get a dog, improve your health

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Written by Diane Archer

Many people grow up with dogs and treasure the companionship and unconditional love a dog often offers.  So, can a dog improve your health? Yes. In fact, studies suggest that a dog could improve the health of isolated older adults,  One study published by the National Institute on Health shows that older people benefit in many ways from being with dogs.

In short, dogs generally provide their owners with a sense of purpose, help encourage them to engage in physical activity, and offer companionship and joy to their owners.  For these reasons, dogs often improve the quality of life for older adults who are retired or who have lost their partners.  Older adults place significant confidence in dogs, and dogs give their life meaning.

While it can be a struggle for older adults to build a new loving relationship with another person once a loved one passes, it is far easier for them to build a strong bond with a dog.  The older adult’s relationship with a dog can be a substitute for the strong emotional bonds an older adult has built over time with their partner and family. The social contact with the dog can be critical to their well-being.  The dog fills a void for many older adults, providing companionship and that intimate connection to someone who loves them.

 

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1 Comment

  • Cats too! My cats snuggle with me, help me sleep, make sure I provide food and water, let me know when a storm is coming (one hides under the covers), and provide companionship and a living being to talk to.

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