The Power of Pets: How Furry Friends Can Improve Your Health

Heart Health

Pet ownership is linked to a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease. In fact, just petting a dog or cat may cause our blood pressure to settle down. Pets can also lessen cardiovascular reactivity during times of stress, as well as help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels.


Social Support

Animals, particularly dogs and cats, may provide much-needed social support. Of course people do too, but sometimes those relationships can also bring stress. Having an animal may give owners more opportunities for social interactions with strangers, friends and acquaintances — going on walks, visiting the dog park, browsing online groups and even visiting the vet. In fact, pet owners are 60 percent more likely to get to know their neighbors than non-pet owners.


Pets at Brookdale

Many residents at Brookdale communities have pets. Quite often a resident’s dog becomes a community dog. And for those who don’t or can’t have pets, our communities often offer pet-therapy. Many residents light up when interacting with therapy animals, and dogs and cats are especially wonderful for those living with dementia or depression.

When it comes to the power pets may have on the health and wellbeing of seniors, perhaps writer Jack London said it best: “Dogs don’t rationalize. They don’t hold anything against a person. They don’t see the outside of a human but the inside of a human.”

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