Date: September 24, 2020

Author: Barry Griffin


Does your older family member own a dog? If not, you may want to consider assisting them to adopt one. There have been multiple studies over the years indicating that people who have dogs tend to be healthier and may even live longer than those who don’t own dogs.

Recent Study Results

There have been two studies published in a scientific journal that is put out by the American Heart Association. Overall, the studies showed that people who have dogs enjoy longer lives than non-dog owners. In addition, they have better recovery outcomes after a stroke or heart attack and often get better faster. Some specific things the studies found are:

  • Dog owners who live alone and suffer a heart attack have a 33 percent lower risk of dying compared to the only 15 percent lower risk of people who live with another person, like a spouse or family member.
  • People living alone with dogs have a 27 percent lower risk of death from stroke than people who don’t have dogs and live with someone else.
  • In total, dog owners have a 31 percent lower risk of death from stroke or heart attack.

Other Health Benefits of Dogs

Dogs aren’t just good for the cardiovascular system. There are many other health benefits for seniors in sharing their lives with dogs, such as:

  • Reduced stress levels.
  • Lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.
  • Less depression and loneliness.
  • Greater amounts of physical activity.
  • Getting outside more often.

More chances to interact and socialize with other people (dogs naturally attract the attention of other dog lovers!)

Dogs also give their senior owners a reason to take care of themselves and work toward recovering from illnesses. The dog gives them a sense of purpose. They have to stay healthy so that they can be there for the pet they love, which offers motivation for taking the necessary steps to improve health.

There are, of course, other things besides the health benefits to consider when adopting a dog. Your aging relative has to want one and needs to pick a dog that fits into their lifestyle. In addition, they need to be able to take care of it. The good news is that elder care providers can help seniors to take care of their canine companions. Elder care providers can assist with basic pet-related tasks, like feeding and watering. An elder care provider can even help the senior to walk their dog, ensuring both remain safe and get the exercise they need.


Date: September 24, 2020