The Healing Power of Pets: How Our Furry Friends Boost Health and Longevity
Jonathan Perlman, founder of Tradition Senior Living in Houston & Dallas, TX.
Tradition Senior Living
June 12, 2024

As we age, maintaining a high quality of life becomes increasingly important. While proper nutrition, regular exercise, and social engagement are well-known pillars of healthy aging, there’s another factor that can significantly enhance our well-being: pets. Studies have shown that pets can positively impact our physical and emotional health, ultimately contributing to longer, happier lives. Here, we’ll explore the various ways pets benefit our health and longevity.


Physical Health Benefits


Increased Physical Activity

Pets, particularly dogs, encourage regular physical activity. Taking your dog for daily walks can improve cardiovascular health, enhance mobility, and help maintain a healthy weight. According to a study published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, dog owners are more likely to meet the recommended levels of physical activity compared to non-owners. This regular exercise can reduce the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and osteoporosis.

Lower Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Levels

Interacting with pets has been linked to lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. The simple act of petting a dog or cat can trigger the release of relaxation hormones like oxytocin, while simultaneously reducing stress hormones such as cortisol. A study by the American Heart Association found that pet owners have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, contributing to a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases.


Emotional and Mental Health Benefits


Reduced Stress and Anxiety

Pets provide constant companionship, which can alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation that many older adults experience. The presence of a pet can reduce stress and anxiety, offering comfort and emotional support. A study from the University of Michigan found that pet owners report lower levels of stress and increased feelings of happiness and relaxation.

Enhanced Mental Health

Caring for a pet can provide a sense of purpose and routine, which are essential for mental health, especially in older adults. Pets can also serve as a distraction from daily worries and provide a source of joy and entertainment. Research published in the journal Aging & Mental Health found that pet ownership is associated with lower rates of depression and anxiety in older adults.


Social Benefits


Increased Social Interaction

Having a pet can lead to more social interactions. Dog owners, for example, often meet new people during walks, visits to the park, or trips to the vet. These interactions can lead to new friendships and a stronger sense of community. The companionship of a pet can also encourage participation in social activities, reducing the risk of social isolation.


Cognitive Benefits


Improved Cognitive Function

Engaging with pets can also stimulate cognitive function. Activities such as training, playing, and caring for a pet require focus and problem-solving skills, which can help keep the mind sharp. A study from the University of California, Davis, found that pet ownership can delay cognitive decline in older adults, providing mental stimulation that contributes to better cognitive health.


Pets and Longevity


Longer Lifespans

Numerous studies have linked pet ownership to increased longevity. The sense of companionship increased physical activity, and emotional support provided by pets contribute to a healthier and potentially longer life. A study published in Circulation, the journal of the American Heart Association, found that dog ownership is associated with a 24% reduction in all-cause mortality, underscoring the significant impact pets can have on our lives.


Live at The Tradition: Welcoming Pets with Open Arms

At The Tradition, we understand the profound benefits pets bring to our residents’ lives. Our pet-friendly communities are designed to accommodate and celebrate the bond between residents and their furry friends. We offer amenities and activities to ensure pets are comfortable, including pet-friendly walking paths and access to nearby parks.

Our commitment to fostering a pet-friendly environment stems from our belief that pets are not just companions; they are family. We invite you to visit The Tradition and experience firsthand how our communities support the health and happiness of both residents and their beloved pets.

Tradition Senior Living logo - stacked version


A luxury senior living Community offering Independent Living, Assisted Living, and Memory Care services, all in a resort-style setting.


© 2008 - 2019 Tradition Senior Living. All rights Reserved.

Privacy Policy