Dogs have long been considered man’s best friend, but some generations took that to heart a bit more than others. When it comes to pet ownership, baby boomers make up 37% of all dog owners. Although that is not the majority, it is a sizable chunk of all dog owners.
For many baby boomers, pets and dogs have become a part of the family. Where previous generations could take or leave having a pet, baby boomers integrated dogs into the household. In fact, so many boomers report that they see their dogs as their fur babies, especially as their children begin to leave the home.
Owning a dog can be great, especially as one age and heads into retirement. Here are some of the reasons why dogs are baby boomer’s best friends and how that is a good thing.
Why Dogs are a Boomer’s Best Friend
With the boom that welcomed baby boomers into the world came a new level of comfort for much of the developed world. This new level of comfort means that things that were not possible for previous generations were not possible. One of those things was dog companionship.
Boomers grew up with pets and from an early age forged a connection with furry friends. As they themselves grew up, they kept that connection alive by owning pets themselves. Owning pets in their formative years was a huge turning point for boomers.
Dogs as Companions
Instead of keeping dogs outside as previous generations did, baby boomers brought their pups inside the home to integrate them into the family. By bringing the pup inside, boomers created a companionship dynamic between dogs and people that was not as strong before boomers took the reins.
Boomers were the first generation where dog and pet ownership was common. Today, baby boomers take advantage of the fact that dogs are family members. Having your dog as your best friend can go a long way in keeping you feeling fulfilled and sociable.
Dealing with an Empty Nest
Seeing dogs as companions have helped boomers cope with a number of things such as adjusting to an empty nest. In fact, many boomers report getting pets after their children have moved out. The feeling of companionship that comes with owning a dog can help boomers adapt to a now-empty household.
How Boomer’s Furry Friends Help
In general, interacting with animals has been found to have a positive impact on a person’s mental health. But owning a dog can do wonders for both a boomer’s mental and physical health.
Mental Health Benefits of Owning a Dog
As a person moves from one stage of life to the next, they can become at risk for mental health issues such as depression and anxiety. Owning a dog can help to combat this because of the stress-reducing effects dog’s can have on a person’s wellbeing. Actually, assisting with a dog has been found to have a significant effect on depression levels.
The emotional bond formed between baby boomers and their doggie best friend seems to play an important role in reducing depression levels. It is safe to say that dogs can really help baby boomer’s mental wellbeing.
Boomers with Dogs Stay Active
Having a dog as a best friend can go a long way in keeping baby boomers active. One study found that after just 3 years of owning a pet, dog owners, more than any other kind of pet owner, were more likely to be physically active.
Owning a dog means that regular exercise for the pup is necessary. By having your furry best friend, you are bound to get out and move more with your pup. The easiest way to stay active as a dog-owning baby boomer is by heading out for a daily walk—something that your dog will need anyway.
Dogs Can Be Social Facilitators
Baby boomers with pets can reap the social benefits that come with owning a dog. Dog owners tend to get out of the house more often than other pet owners. More than that, dogs can help baby boomers meet new people by exercising their dog. Here are some great ways boomers can meet new people with this furry best friend:
By walking in your neighborhood to increase familiarity
By joining a dog walking group
By attending dog-focused events
By heading over to the dog park
All of these options will help you not only get out more with your dog but interact with fellow dog-owning baby boomers. Dogs are a baby boomers best friend since they expose you to new people and experiences.
Dogs Help Boomers’ Heart Health
When it comes to heart health issues, dogs have your back. According to a nationwide study, dog owners have a lower risk of death from heart health issues like heart disease than people who do not own a dog. This study had even more interesting findings.
The researchers found that there is an association between the breed that a baby boomer owns and the relative risk of developing cardiovascular disease. This study found that owning hunting breeds was related to a lower risk of cardiovascular disease than any other breed of dog.
Doggie Best Friends and Blood Pressure
Owning a dog can really do wonders for a baby boomers’ heart. Issues like high blood pressure are less likely to arise for dog owners. The risk of developing high blood pressure is decreased for dog owners likely because of the companionship and higher levels of exercise that come with having a furry friend.
Dogs Help with Stress
Dogs can help baby boomers deal with stress for a number of reasons. The main being that it is hard to stay stressed when you feel the unconditional love that your dog gives you. Studies have found that by just petting your dog on the head, you can improve your mood significantly.
If you find yourself feeling stressed, try hanging out with your furry friend for a bit. But if you happen to notice that Fido himself is feeling some added stress, you can help calm him by giving him CBD treats. CBD treats have been found to reduce stress and anxiety with no side effects. With CBD treats, you and your pup can destress together.