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Pets are a person’s best friend. They provide us with unconditional love, loyalty, and companionship down to their very last breath. These qualities are more important than ever for today’s seniors. Interestingly, robotic animals can provide these much-needed qualities as well. After all, they’re still pets. So if you’re retired and lonely or have dementia, a pet can be just what the doctor ordered.
Whether you adopt a shelter animal or get a robot pet, animals can make your life better. GPS trackers are available to help you be sure you and your pet will always be together. If you are ready for the love and warmth an animal can give you, this article will help you choose the best pet for you.
Adopting shelter animals
Animal shelters around the world have programs to match older adults with senior pets, including the Dog Duca animal shelter’s Senior Dog Supporter program by Shinobu Takahashi in Nagoya, Japan. His goal is to “save abandoned pets from doom, and senior citizens from the gloom.” Through the program, retirees are carefully matched with suitable dogs with special behavior training.
The dogs “give them health, and hope,” Takahashi says. “Widowed and lonely seniors who had given up on life now have a reason—walking their dogs—to get out of the house again. They have something to talk about, they’re chatting with their neighbors again.”
Similar programs in the USA, such as PAWS’ Seniors for Seniors adoption program, found numerous benefits for the elderly, including reduced stress and depression and lowered blood pressure. Even New Zealand seniors claim that owning a pet during retirement is beneficial for your mental, emotional, and physical health.
Robotic animal companions
Can’t own a real animal? You can still reap the health benefits by getting a robotic animal companion. Several companies offer realistic robot pets to older adults to reduce loneliness, encourage socialization, and provide care. There are dogs, cats, and seals that run on batteries to move and have built-in sensors.
The Joy For All Companion Cat and Pup by Ageless Innovation can bark or purr, open and close their eyes and mouth, move their head and body, lift their paws, or wag their tail. The cat costs $109.99, while the pup is $129.99.
If you prefer a more realistic robot dog, Tombot’s Jennie will make the perfect companion. She’s a golden Labrador Retriever and is designed for seniors with dementia. You can buy her for $399.
Paro, a therapeutic robot baby harp seal, can calm seniors with its cooing sounds and gently waving flippers. It can also reduce stress, stimulate interaction, and improve motivation and socialization. Paro costs $6,000.
By 2050, the potential ratio of caregivers to seniors needing care is expected to drop to three to one, so adopting technology such as a robotic pet could be the solution you need for a longer and healthier retirement.
GPS trackers for pets
Whether you get a real animal or a robotic one, a GPS tracking device can be useful for locating your pet should it become lost or is stolen. However, researchers from Avast Threat Labs found the T8 Mini GPS Tracker Locator and 29 similar model brands from the same manufacturer, Shenzhen i365-Tech, contained vulnerabilities.
The ID, or username, assigned to each device is based on its International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI). Additionally, more than 600,000 of these devices were assigned the same default password of 123456. This means they can be easily found and hacked, so it’s recommended you don’t use any of these vulnerable devices.
Due diligence is required when shopping for a GPS tracker for your pet. Once you’ve found a good one, make sure to use a unique ID or username, as well as a complex password and change it on a regular basis.
Choosing the right pet
Owning a pet is a cost-effective way to keep you healthy and in your own home for as long as possible. Adopting a shelter animal can help you reduce the number of those loving pets who are put down.
If you live in an assisted-living facility or nursing home that doesn’t allow pets, then a robotic animal companion is the perfect choice for you. Whether live or electronic, remember to get a GPS tracker for your pet to ensure it stays close by—a continuous daily dose of care and companionship from your pet can help keep the doctor away.
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