Healthy Aging: Comfort & Companionship from Pets

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With our ever-aging population, more seniors are benefiting from the health benefits gained through their companionship with pets.This quiz will inform you about some of the best ways to choose a pet, and what possible benefits have been shown to exist when they're paired with seniors. As one gets older, the demands faced when caring for an animal could be overwhelming if paired with the wrong pet. These demands could be both physical and financial, placing an unreasonable burden on someone with a limited income. There are also the concerns of hygiene and possible risks of infection when cleaning and caring for pets. These are just a few of the concerns that seniors face when trying to make the best decisions. Caring for the pet could become taxing. For example, an elderly person with severe arthritis may have a large dog that needs to be walked and cared for. There is also an ever-present risk for falls and tripping hazards presented by an overexcited dog that is excited to see their owner, or perhaps even a cat resting in a hallway. These aren't concerns with animals like a fish in an aquarium. The costs in purchasing and caring for certain pets could be a limiting factor as well. A purebred dog with a high initial purchase price and increased costs for their upkeep and health care might not be the best option. A dog that goes through fifty-pound bags of dog food on a regular basis could be a problem. Indoor dogs do need someone capable of safely taking them out for a walk or at least a safe, fenced-in backyard. Fish do fairly well in a contained environment, but aquariums do need to be cleaned. Cats don't need to be walked, but litter boxes have to be cleaned and the litter replaced. Petting a cat in your lap can be soothing and relaxing, but fish owners miss out on this benefit. Watching fish swim, however, has its own calming effects. The companionship provided by a kind and loving dog can be a wonderful thing. With benefits that include improved mental acuity, decreased depression, and the encouragement of relaxation, this quiz can help you or a loved one come up with an idea of which pet might be the best companion during those precious golden years.

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