Here at Sixty and Me, we know just how much living with an animal can improve your life, and we’ve written before about the benefits of owning a pet as an older adult. Many people choose to buy their animal from a breeder, but there are plenty of other ways to adopt deserving pets.
By now, it’s pretty clear that the evidence shows that having a pet is a great idea for many seniors.
Beyond the “soft” benefits of owning a pet – like unconditional love and emotional support – animals can be great for your health. For example, according to this study, owning a pet may significantly reduce your chances of developing heart disease.
When we are planning a vacation, or any kind of trip for that matter, we typically plan for all sorts of situations.
What clothes do we need to include for everything we want to do? What snacks do we want to keep within our grasp? Do we have enough of our prescription medications for the entire time we will be away? The list goes on.
“I said I’d take a dog, but I’m not sure I want that one.” “He’s a real sweetheart,” Brittany, a staff member, assured me. He was big with the smushed-in face of a bulldog, but the height of a boxer. He had a barrel chest, and his front legs were shorter than the back ones making his back bow in the middle. Truth is I was a little afraid of him.
As retirement approaches, the opportunities to embark on voluntary work become increasingly appealing.
But what to do? If you are not going to get paid, it has to be something you enjoy, something you feel passionate about and, hopefully, something that will give you a new perspective on life.
I’m a cat person. I’ve always had a cat and can’t image my home without one. My cat isn’t my pet, it’s a member of my family. I love coming home and having my boy run up to greet me, rubbing against my legs and looking up at me with his big wide eyes that say he missed me. No matter how difficult my day has been, I forget it all about it when I see his eager face.
I’ve always been an animal lover. For most of my life, my family has had dogs, cats, mice and an assortment of other creatures, common and exotic. Now, as a single woman in her 60s, I often consider getting a new dog. I imagine playing with her in the park.
Over the course of our lives, most of us have had our fair share of pets. At times, my house felt like a petting zoo, with dogs cats and birds all crying for my attention. So, while I was completely heartbroken when my last little Chihuahua died, I also felt a weight lift from my shoulders. With my kids building their own lives and no animals to look after, I could finally explore the world.
I never thought much about the benefits of having a pet until my little Chihuahua, Chica, died. She was the most wonderful little dog. She used to pull books off the shelf for me when I had something on my mind. Her selections were surprisingly relevant, although I wasn’t too keen on the bite marks. She kept me company, gave me plenty of exercise and gave me someone to talk to when my family wasn’t around.