January is National Walk A Pet Month and even though the weather may be colder it’s the perfect time to get out and start walking with your dog, your cat, or any pet that you want to walk with. Even though most people think of walking a dog when they think about taking a walk with their pet but some cats do enjoy going for walks wearing a leash and a harness. If your senior loved one has a dog but has trouble walking the dog because of poor grip strength or balance issues a companion care at home provider can go for walks with your senior loved one and the dog to hold the dog.
With help from a companion care at home provider your senior loved one can get the benefits of walking a pet that include:
Walking is a fantastic way to lower stress levels. So is spending time with a pet. So combining a walk and spending time with a pet will result in a big reduction in stress. When stress levels go down health increases, sleep gets easier, and anxiety and tension melt away. Even a short walk with a pet daily is a fantastic way to keep stress levels low.
Better Cardiovascular Health
Seniors should be walking as much as possible to improve their cardiovascular health and keep their hearts strong. When seniors walk with a dog they have to walk at a good pace because of the pace of the dog and that turns a daily dog walk into a great workout. By walking just one or two miles each day with their dog seniors can significantly lower their risk of a heart attack or stroke while also making their heart stronger. Those are a lot of benefits to get from a walk around the block.
Better Mental Health
Depression is one of the most common conditions that affect seniors. Huge numbers of seniors struggle with depression. But walking with a pet is one of the best ways to combat depression, reduce anxiety, and improve mental health. Walking with a pet and with a companion care at home provider will make your senior loved one’s depression symptoms less severe and help them manage those symptoms more effectively. In time the symptoms may disappear entirely if your senior loved one is doing everything that their doctor recommends including daily dog walks.
Walking outdoors in the fresh air with a pet can help seniors who struggle with insomnia and other sleep disorders. Daily walks will help set their Circadian rhythm which tells the body when it’s time to go to sleep and when it’s time to get up. The regular exercise will also help seniors feel tired at night and ready to go to bed. And regular walks will also tire out your senior loved one’s dog and make it more likely that the dog will sleep soundly through the night. When the dog sleeps through the night there will be less chance that the dog will wake up your senior loved one wanting to play or go outside in the middle of the night.