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Discover How Our Furry Friends Can Boost Our Health and Well-Being

June 28 2021
cat and dog sitting together on a chair

At The Watermark at Westwood Village, pets are more than just friendly companions, they’re family, which is why they’re treated as such. With a pet-friendly area that’s ideal for playtime, a dog wash, and a dog-walking service, your four-legged friends won’t long for company. Chances are they’re bringing joy to those around them.

While most pet owners know the love and companionship a pet can provide, most overlook the health and wellness benefits that accompany caring for a dog or cat. Seniors, in particular, experience multiple wellness benefits from having a pet. Did you know that just petting a dog can help reduce your blood pressure and heart rate? Here are some other reasons pets are good for our health and well-being.

Improve Heart Health

While bonding with a pet can provide its own heart-warming rewards, it may also do your heart good in other ways. According to the American Heart Association, pet ownership may reduce your risk of cardiovascular disease, which is a leading cause of death in the U.S. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that owning a pet also helps to decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels.

Boost Physical Activity

Owning a pet, especially a dog, has been proven to positively influence physical activity. Studies show that dog owners walk significantly more than non-pet owners, which isn’t surprising when you consider the fact that daily walks are part of most dog owners’ lives. As a result, owning a dog may also help reduce obesity. Dogs also provide social support that can help motivate those looking to lose weight or boost physical fitness.

Make Meaningful Connections

Beyond the physical benefits that come with pet ownership, there are also a host of mental health benefits to consider. One of the most obvious is that having a pet helps you to be more social. Not only are pets great conversation starters but they are also magnets to other friendly, animal-loving people. Pet owners are a special breed, and they often attract others who have their own four-legged best friends. Because pets provide companionship and inspire stronger social connections among others, they reduce the feelings of loneliness that seniors can sometimes experience.

Provide Emotional Support

Pets can also help you to be calmer, more mindful, and more present in your everyday life. Research shows that pets help reduce stress and alleviate anxiety. With a long history of providing emotional support, they can elevate your mood when you’re feeling down. They can also give you a sense of purpose. Best of all, they provide unconditional love, which gives new meaning to life.


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