The Benefits of Dogs for Empty Nesters

Friday, May 31, 2019 02:38:36 PM America/Los_Angeles

Parents spend years caring for and loving their children. Between helping with homework, making sports events or science fairs, driving them around everywhere, keeping them fed and clothed, and tons of other tasks, parents’ lives are intertwined with their children. After almost two decades of love and devotion, the kids are graduating and moving out. For the first week or two, maybe even a month or so, parents may enjoy being able to nap whenever they feel like it or go on a trip. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the silence becomes deafening, and you feel the separation of this giant part of you. 

While hobbies and activities are great, adopting a dog can make a huge difference. One benefit is that it gives empty nesters a sense of purpose again. When someone has spent eighteen years caring for others and those others are suddenly gone, they feel they have been stripped of their purpose- at times like they are no longer useful. When a puppy is brought into the picture, they have someone to care for again. During the housebreaking process, the parents find themselves once again teaching another being, and they begin to feel useful again.

dog on beach

Another benefit is that the empty nesters have a companion again. Part of the sadness of children moving out is the loss of companionship. A dog can be a loyal pal that helps minimize the feeling of loneliness. Dogs love to cuddle, be affectionate, and walk with their humans, all of which makes them great companions. Also, walking a dog often leads to meeting new people, especially if walking them in a dog park or another place frequented by dog owners. Meeting new people can turn into new friendships, which further decreases the feelings of loneliness.

The third benefit of empty nesters owning dogs is the improvement to the owner’s health. Those thoughts and feelings of loneliness and loss of purpose can lead to depression, so a dog can be a great help to mental and emotional health. However, it goes a bit farther than that. It has long since been discovered that petting a dog can calm a person’s nerves, reduce stress, and lower blood pressure rates. Additionally, during potty training, and maybe just on nice days, the owner will get out walking with the dog. This increases the level of exercise and fresh air, which both improve health.

Some may be worried that caring for a dog, especially potty training one, will be too much work. Some people may live in an area where getting a dog outside every time they need to potty. If these are concerns of yours, an indoor dog potty may be a solution for you to consider. There is a good chance that you have seen or heard of having a potty pad for a dog. While these can keep the mess off of your floor, that is about the extent of their abilities. They do not exactly capture odors well, meaning that you will constantly be changing them. The expense may be too much for your budget.

Another option is fake grass, but this does not have a good track record of being effective. Fake grass tends to soak up nasty odors making your home smell disgusting, and who wants to have to scrub it down every day? Fortunately, there is another option: real grass for dogs. Yes, like the stuff outside. DoggieLawn is a natural grass indoor potty, which lasts much longer than the other options. Because the grass is natural, dogs want to go on it, and it absorbs odors making it a great solution. 

If you are facing an empty nest, really consider getting a dog. One can do wonders for your health, your emotions, and your state of mind. A dog can also be a great distraction from the worry you feel over your children and the fact that they are suddenly out there on the own. Dogs can be great friends and loyal pals and lead you to other friends. Even better is the fact that you can find one so easily. If you do not know someone who is giving one away, there are so many in shelters that are longing for a companion as much as you are. Visit your local shelter to see what requirements there are and what dogs are available. Pick your furry friend so that your nest will begin to feel full again.