Survey Shows Growing Old Is Healthier With Pets Around

Isolation is the by-product of this digital age and stress has been a constant companion of people for centuries now. However, the addition of a furry family member to your unit can help keep both at bay. The benefits of being a pet parent have been explored in-depth several times before.

Having a pooch around, for instance, is great to keep you moving and physical activity has been applauded one too many times for the way it can assist a person in staying healthy. Dogs also boost the immunity of their pet parents which means diseases and ailments are resisted.

Pets encourage you to stay social without having to put in much effort and research shows that they also reduce stress and anxiety in their owners. In fact, some studies say that these four-legged friends around can also help reduce blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and the risk of stroke.

Now a new study points out another health-related benefit of having a pet. As per this latest survey, growing old is healthier with a pet around.

What Did This Study Reveal?

A new survey by the University of Michigan National Poll on Health Aging polled 2000 US adults who were in the age range of 50 to 80. 55% of these owned at least one pet with dogs being the most common. The survey revealed that a huge part of the participants believed that their furry buddies improved their mental as well as physical health. Here’s what they said:

  • 90% said that pets made them enjoy life
  • About 80% said pets decreased stress
  • 64% said that pets kept them physically active
  • 60% said that pets helped them with emotional and physical health concerns
  • 46% said that pets kept their mind off pain
  • 65% said that pets encouraged connections with other pet parents

The drawbacks, in contrast to the benefits experienced, were few. These include financial strain and other limitations such as the inability to travel or leave the house freely without the pet. The worst downside in this regard is that having pets around can cause injury. 60% of people in the poll said that they had fallen and injured themselves due to a pet.

Keeping the many ways, a pet can support wellbeing in mind, everyone should consider adopting one. However, if for any reason, keeping a pet doesn’t seem feasible, people can also spend time at pet shelters or volunteer to spend time with other peoples’ pets.

Key Takeaway

A whole lot of health benefits accompany having a pet around be it a pooch, cat, hamster, bird or another small mammal. A new survey shows that pet parents feel loved, less pain, reduced stress, more social, and more active because of the presence of their pets. However, this study also showed that pets could cause injuries due to falling.

In sum, it can be learned from this study that growing old with a pet around is beneficial for both one’s physical as well as metal health.