Retirement and golden years beckon with the promise of less stress and fewer demands, but we may find that even happily-anticipated changes also feel somewhat disruptive and unsettling. Our pets can buffer the transition and enrich this new phase of life.
- Pets require an established routine around which we can structure daily life. Maintaining a consistent schedule, especially for eating and sleeping, is a boon to brain and body health.
- Walking or playing fetch with your dog or dragging a string or ribbon around the house as “prey” for your cat to catch are good sources of exercise, and keeping physically active equals healthy aging.
- Our pets are totally dependent on us for their care and their safety and their very lives, giving us a sense of responsibility and purpose.
- Pets provide companionship, a wonderful antidote to loneliness and isolation, and their unconditional affection and acceptance remind us that we are loved and loveable.