Pets After Retirement Can Make You Really Happy

Do you want to know a sure-fire way to put a smile on your face? Go to an animal shelter and adopt a cat or dog. Getting a furry friend will bring you lots of joy and make you healthier during retirement. Read ahead to find out how.

Finding Your New Pet a Home

Sometimes, retirees have a hard time finding a new home that allows them to bring a dog or cat with them. Many condominiums are not pet-friendly, asking that tenants leave their pets once they sign the lease. Apartments and other types of rental units also try to prohibit applicants from bringing pets — this is illegal, but it doesn’t stop many landlords from trying.

Luckily, there are quality residence homes for seniors that understand how important pet ownership can be, allowing people to move their furry friends into their suites. A pet-friendly living-space can be hard to find, but it’s out there.

How Will Pets Change Your Life for the Better?

They Improve Your Mental Health

Having a pet is good for your mental health. It can actually prevent feelings of isolation and loneliness. Owners don’t have to worry about having an empty home or yearn for physical affection.

There’s a reason why pet therapy (animal-assisted therapy) is considered an effective method of reducing stress, alleviating pain and producing endorphins.

They Improve Your Physical Health

Pets can increase your physical fitness, too. Research shows that owning a dog decreases your risk of having a heart attack by 11% and decreases the risk of dying due to cardiovascular-related conditions by 36%. Dogs have lots of energy, so owning one encourages you to keep up. You have to get off of the couch to take them out for long walks and trips to the park. If the trip is too far, you can always tire them out with a quick round of fetch in your backyard, using a tennis ball or squeaky chew-toy.

Are you a cat person? That’s not a problem. You can leash-train your cat so that you can take them on nice walks to the park. If that doesn’t work, there are plenty of specialized strollers and bags that can help you bring your feline friend out for a stroll. And on days when the weather is rough, you can play with them indoors. A simple piece of string or a laser pointer can entertain them for hours.

They Incite Social Interaction

A pet can also be a great way to meet new people. People are far more comfortable approaching strangers walking dogs, seeing if they can pet them or learn their names. If you’re shy, your dog can help you become a social butterfly.

If you’re not sure whether you want to commit to buying a pet just yet, you can always foster one for a trusted organization. You can take care of them for a month or two, and then decide if you want to make them your official pet. The best-case scenario is that you’ll bond with your new furry friend and get to keep them for the rest of their life.