Almost two-thirds of American households include a pet, and that’s healthy: Research shows that having a pet can improve heart health, ease anxiety and lower depression. Studies have shown that pet owners scored better on stress tests and that having your dog in the room can lower blood pressure even better than certain blood pressure medications when you’re under stress.
Simply stroking a pet can have health benefits. For older Americans, the physical benefits of taking care of a pet can be positive – perhaps because they do more walking, bending over and the like. Walking a dog can also increase social interactions, which is positive for older Americans. So when you’re planning for retirement, make sure to include room for a dog or cat.