Mental and physical benefits of adopting pet in retirement

People with pets frequently age well. That happy fact keeps emerging from surveys on pet ownership. Sharing your life with purring cats, devoted dogs – or any animal companion – lowers blood pressure, lower cholesterol reduces the need for medical services (less time in waiting rooms) and increases physical activity. Pet owners repeatedly report less anxiety, depression and stress than those without animals in their homes.

Unsurprisingly, pet owners are also less lonely – there is always someone to come home to, and dog owners will attest to the power of their pooches as conversation starters when out for their daily walk.

The comfort our animals provide during times of grief and loss is also profound; many pet owners say their animals intuitively know when they are not in a good headspace. With pets being the perfect panacea to life’s inevitable challenges, why doesn’t everyone have one?

The latest national survey of pets and people, commissioned by Animal Medicines Australia has found that while 61% of all Australian households have a pet, there are many more who would like to own one.

The survey also found that around 80% of families with children had pets, yet only half of all retirees enjoyed the company of animals in their homes.

Animals need an army of people to speak for them, protect them and rescue them from harm – Carole

The RSPCA wants to encourage pet ownership – it’s a win-win for animals and people. And Australia’s leading animal welfare charity is adamant that age is no barrier to pet ownership, thanks to its Home Ever After program.

“I’ve been a vet all my life, and I can say with some confidence that the only organisation with the expertise, the credibility and, above all, the love, to be able to do that, is the RSPCA,” said Carole (photo above with Phoneix).

Aside from encouraging pet ownership, this big-hearted program is also the organisation’s way of saying thank-you to anyone who generously leaves a gift in their will. For animal lovers, there can be no greater legacy than to support the RSPCA’S lifesaving work for our most vulnerable animals.

Once you register your pet with Home Ever After, you can have peace of mind knowing that if – for whatever reason – you are suddenly unable to care for your beloved animals, the RSPCA will step in with a plan that prioritises your pet’s ongoing welfare. They will use their many years of experience in animal adoption to match your beloved pet with an adoring family that will give them a wonderful, loving new home.

I think Home Ever After is an amazing service – Janet

Animals taken into care under the RSPCA South Australia’s Home Ever After program are initially assessed by an RSPCA veterinarian to check nothing needs immediate medical attention. Next, using information you provide about what your pet needs to stay healthy and happy, the RSPCA staff set about finding your pet a forever home.

“It gives me real comfort to know that the RSPCA will change the lives of so many animals in need of love,” said Janet (photo above with Alexis).

Participants in the Home Ever After program sleep soundly, knowing that whatever lies ahead, their pet’s welfare is protected. And by remembering the RSPCA when writing their will, participants are paying it forward for the animals that come into the charity’s care every day. These are animals that have suffered cruelty, neglect, abandonment and rough lives on the streets.

They all deserve second chances to have the kind of happy life your pets enjoy. Making this happen is why the RSPCA exists – but this vital work relies on support from our community.

Registering Stan with Home Ever After has given me great peace of mind – Terry

The gift you leave in your will ensures your love for animals can live on forever, by enabling the RSPCA to be there for animals at the times when they need help the most.

“I know if I go first, the RSPCA will find him a home where he’ll be treasured as much as he is now,” said Terry (photoed above with Stan).

Your gift means these animals experience loving care, often for the first time. They sleep in warm beds, thrive on nutritious food, receive expert medical care and – when they are recovered and ready – they go to loving new homes. The kind of home you want for your pet, the kind of home every animal deserves.

To receive your free information pack about Home Ever After please visit

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