Im so sorry for your loss but I am glad you are encouraging your Aunt to get a furry companion. Dogs provide many benefits for their 2 legged owners. Among these benefits are:
Happy Body–Numerous studies by the CDC and National Institute of Health have shown that pet ownership reduces heart rate, blood pressure, and cholesterol as well as increases serotonin levels in the body.
Happy Feet- People who own dogs have to exercise, walk and play with them which means most owners get at least the minimum recommendation of 30 mins of exercise a day. This helps people to maintain a healthy weight or get into shape. Plus, having a dog as a workout partner has shown to be a great motivator for people to stay with their exercise regiment.
Happy Heart- Dogs give their owners unconditional love. This 100% acceptance when a person is sick, depressed, or recovering from surgery alieveates anxiety, depression, and loneliness. Dogs also give their owners a sense of purpose so on the days when a person feels least motivated, a lick on the face and a thump of a happy tail gets people out of bed and out the door.
Happy Times- Dogs are great icebreakers for conversation and when an owner has to get outside to walk their dog they are more likely to meet their neighbors as well as build lasting bonds with other dog lovers. A strong support network and an active social life are proven fighters of disease and sickness.