Dogs and seniors: It’s a win-win

I have been saying this for years! Now there is a recent study to back me up! Take heart, our kids will help you achieve your healthy goals! We love to share information; Dogs Naturally is an all-natural, holistic magazine written by holistic veterinarians that offers webinars to learn and interact with holistic veterinarians and ask questions. They are on Facebook at I also love Dr. Karen Becker. Her free Healthy Pets Newsletter is the best! Find her on Facebook too at

There is a new study that suggests senior citizens who are also dog owners are able to meet internationally-recognized exercise goals as established by the World Health Organization (WHO) through the simple act of walking their canine companions.

The researchers discovered the dog-owning group walked an average of 22 minutes more per day than the dog-less group. And the extra exercise the dog walkers received was “marching,” not “just dawdling,” according to senior study author Dr. Daniel Simon Mills. The additional 147 minutes dog owners spent walking at a moderate pace is just three minutes under WHO’s recommendation of at least 150 minutes of moderate to vigorous weekly physical activity. The researchers also found that dog owners had fewer continuous periods of sitting down than non-dog owners.

“It’s very difficult to find any other intervention that produces this size of effect. It’s good evidence that dog ownership amongst the senior population increases physical activity in a meaningful and healthy way.” (Dr. Mills)

Dogs offer many benefits to retirees beyond exercise. If you’re in good health and have the financial means to support a pet, there are incredible benefits of dog ownership, no matter your age. For example, in addition to encouraging you to stay active, dogs provide companionship and alleviate loneliness and stress. Another important benefit is that dogs become a focal point of our attention and require us to provide a certain amount of structure to each day.

Another reason a dog can have such a powerful influence on our health is that their presence pulls our attention away from ourselves. One of the most effective ways to reduce stress and increase feelings of optimism is to focus on something other than ourselves. Elderly people will be able to fill their time by looking at places like this website, researching how to keep their dogs healthy. It will distract them and give them something to do with their free time.

Finally, dog owners took twice as many daily walks on average as non-owners and reported much less dissatisfaction with their social, physical and emotional states. This shows a healthy lack of self-absorption and a happier, healthier, more hopeful outlook. Dr. Mills offers some great advice for seniors contemplating pet ownership: “If you’d like to get a dog, don’t be put off by the fact you’re a senior. It’s good for the dog, and it’s good for you,” he says. Excerpts from Dr. Karen Becker.

Rover’s is all about learning and education. We like to share what we know and open others’ minds and hearts to new ideas and possibilities. It takes a village to take care of these kids! See you September 9!