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It’s estimated that around 48 million American adults feel lonely, with older adults being more susceptible- and we are in the loneliest city- NYC!. One of the best ways to combat this is by bringing a furry best friend into their lives, who will not only provide companionship but so much more, from improving heart health to keeping seniors more active. The benefits are huge, and can transform the lives of seniors, which is why everyone should get a dog.

Senior dogs offer the perfect amount of exercise

Senior dogs pair well with senior humans, as they don’t need to go on as many walks, depending on the breed. However, they will still encourage seniors to be more active, as they can go on short walks, such as around a small New York park or a local block, and simply petting a pooch can help with arthritic hands and improve dexterity. Senior dogs also require a different diet which can involve more cooking- another great activity that can bring benefit to the dog and the owner. People with dogs are also more likely to get up throughout the day to move around, like when a dog needs to go outside or wants feeding.

Socialization is encouraged

A lot of seniors feel lonely, as they often end up living by themselves and can easily become isolated. Not only do dogs provide great companionship, but other dog walkers and lovers are likely to say hello in passing, helping seniors to meet and socialize with other local New Yorkers. Dogs also provide a talking point for seniors who can no longer do old hobbies, giving them something to chat about with friends and family.

Anxiety and Alzheimer’s benefits

Research has shown that dogs help to improve the symptoms of anything from anxiety to dementia. For example, seniors may have fears about people breaking into their home or the future of their health, and a dog can help them to live in the present to relieve worries. They also provide a sense of protection, and can deter burglars. Research also found that patients on an Alzheimer’s special care unit had significantly fewer behavior problems when a resident dog was present. Dogs are also great as therapy animals, particularly for people with mental health problems, as they are able to help with a variety of conditions.

Dogs can improve heart health

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in New York, so it’s great news that getting a pet dog can improve heart health. There are several studies that show that having a dog or even petting one can lower blood pressure and reduce stress, as well as reducing the chance of heart disease and increasing longevity after a heart attack. The chance of heart problems is likely to increase with age, so getting a dog in later life is perfect timing.

There are plenty of adoptable dogs who like to be with their people around the clock.

There are some dogs up for adoption that really would benefit from being with their owners more often than not. While most dogs do enjoy time alone and socializing, there are other dogs would thrive being with their person lots! It’s a win-win!

New York can be a lonely city for seniors, but a dog can help them to get out and meet new people, as well as socializing and improving overall health. This is why it’s a great idea for every senior to introduce a dog into their life so that they can reap the benefits.

This article was contributed by Jane Wood. If you’d like to share original content with us, please email

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