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How having a pet could help prevent cognitive decline



Bismarck, North Dakota – You may be surprised to learn how much your dog or cat is helping your health. According to a Chinese study that was just published in JAMA, pet owners over 50 who live alone may be less likely to acquire dementia.

Everybody has experienced loneliness at some point, and it’s not a pleasant sensation. A pet is a terrific approach to help alleviate that sensation.

Cliff Naylor, formerly of KFYR, has owned dogs for most of his life. The loss of his dog Dodger to a heart attack devastated him. He wasn’t prepared for another dog to move in with him so soon after Dodger died, but Naylor was asked to take care of a neighbor’s dog after her husband passed suddenly. According to Naylor, Braveheart has been amazing for him.

“Oh, you get unconditional love, you get companionship, you get exercise. There’s just so many benefits that it’s just the best thing to have, is a loyal pet,” Naylor said.

That’s not all, though. Since a pet may get you outside and among other pet owners, Naylor claimed that owning a dog is a terrific way to meet new people.

Dogs are also excellent for your physical health, according to Dr. Preston VanLoon. He mentioned that simply caressing a pet helps reduce blood pressure, but the main advantage is unquestionably the companionship they can offer.

“If they have a dog, someone to interact with and do things with during the day, that helps and reduces the impact of cognitive decline in their life,” Dr. VanLoon said.

Dr. VanLoon frequently witnesses his dog Rocky performing this kind of deed for others; in fact, the two have performed it over 550 times. Rocky is a certified therapy dog, and he and Dr. VanLoon frequently go to schools and nursing homes together to provide Rocky’s comfort to those in need.

Even though your dog isn’t as well-trained as Rocky, you still gain greatly from their affection.

According to Dr. VanLoon, loneliness is particularly problematic for those who are retired. Should you find yourself in that situation, a dog or a cat could prove to be quite beneficial.