Animals are a wonderful source of companionship and entertainment no matter what your age is. Many people get a dog for their kids, but as children grow up and move out and dogs pass away, you may not have adopted another pet, worrying about the time and care. However, if you’re now considering a Florida retirement community, this is the perfect time to bring a dog into your life. With more free time and attention to give, over 50 is the perfect age to get a dog.

If your home is feeling a empty and quiet these days, a dog is a wonderful way to add companionship and new life into the household. Dogs like to spend time with their owners, whether it’s lazing on the sofa watching a golf tournament on TV or helping outdoors as you do some gardening or simply enjoy the warm Florida sunshine. It’s hard to feel lonely or bored when you have a dog with you.

Even outside the home, a dog is a great way to be more social. Take a walk around your Florida retirement community and you’re bound to be stopped regularly by neighbors who want to pet your dog and talk about dogs in general. Head to a dog park and you’ll easily find other like-minded people and maybe make some new friends.

A dog is also good for your health. Dog owners tend to walk an hour longer each day than those without dogs, and because dogs crave structure and schedules, it’s much harder to put off the daily walk. Plus, study after study has shown that having a pet can low your cholesterol and blood pressure and reduce your risk of a heart attack. It’s amazing how the simple act of petting a dog can help you relax and feel better.

If the idea of training a puppy feels overwhelming, don’t forget that there are plenty of wonderful older pets out there who are looking for homes. Most of them are already trained and are just looking for someone they can relax with and love. Dogs understand people’s emotions, whether it’s tears or laughter, and they make a wonderful companion at any age.