Animal lovers know there’s nothing better than being greeted by your loveable four-legged friend when you enter a room. Sometimes even a bark or purr can be the magic medicine that can get you through a hard day or week. Pets have been scientifically proven to increase our oxytocin – the hormone that makes us feel good – improve our mood, and make us feel less stressed about the, well, stresses of life. There’s also new research that has shown that animal interaction may help children with emotional and social skills, as well as those with autism.
For older adults who are isolated or see family and friends sporadically throughout the month or year, pets provide a comfort and health booster like no other. But for those who have lost their furry friend or are unable to own a companion, daily life can sometimes be very lonely or boring.
That’s where you can help. Do you know an older adult who could use the benefit of a dog or cat visit? If so, here are some ways you can help brighten a senior’s day via furry friend:
- Take your own pooch or feline by – You’ll first want to make sure they can have pets and are not allergic, but bringing by your pride-and-joy and sharing their love is an easy way to make their day – and yours!
- Visit the Humane Society or local adoption event – Whether they are open to a new pet or not, interacting with animals craving love and affection is a win-win for all (And it might help them consider adopting over buying)!
- Stroll through the dog park – It’s a great way to encourage exercise and talk with others who share the same love for pets. For a senior who can’t own an animal, it may also be the best way to fully enjoy the experience of a dog in their playful element.
- Head to the pet store – There’s always a lot going on at your neighborhood pet market or store. From birds, iguanas and snakes to owners’ fidos on-leash sniffing each other in the food aisle, there’s no shortage of friendly social encounters and entertainment.
- Talk about their former furry companion – It may sound sad, but nostalgia is a great way to bring back fond memories of a pet they once loved. And a great way for you two to further bond over your love for animals!
How are you going to make someone’s day with a pet? Tag us on social @imreadytocare and show us what you did!