South Africans love their pets, and consider their furkids to be an important part of their family. In fact, pet ownership continues to be on the rise in the country with a significant spike during hard lockdown in 2020 when there was a marked increase in adoptions and purchases of cats, dogs, birds, fish and even reptiles.
Whether you’re a dog, cat or parrot person, pets make for wonderful companions and offer immeasurable physical and mental health benefits.
1. Pets – especially dogs – help keep you active
Taking your dog for daily walks is good for you and Rover as you benefit from the fresh air and exercise. Studies have also shown that retirees with dogs are more likely to meet their recommended daily physical activity goals.
2. Pets are good for your heart
Frequent interaction with a pet can lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels which reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease.
3. Pets combat loneliness and social anxiety
Owning a pet can improve your social health. They foster a sense of connection and often act as ice breakers in conversation – especially when you are out and about with them. And lifelong pet owners can attest to the fact that it is quite normal to have a conversation with your pet, even when they don’t answer back.
4. Pets give you a sense of purpose
Our need to be useful and add value doesn’t disappear when the kids move out of the house and we stop working. Pets – even the independent ones – still rely on our love and care. The daily routine of caring for your pet can add structure to your day, as well as a sense of purpose that will boost your mental health.
5. Pets can help you combat stress
Retirees with pets exhibit lower stress levels. It may be thanks to those regular walks that boost your happy hormones or the pure joy of seeing that wagging tail every morning when you wake up… either way, pets add to your overall happiness and reduced stress.
At Great Oaks pets are welcome in our cottages and apartments and pet ownership is actively encouraged. With the ample garden space for cottage owners and extensive walking trails inside the Village and in the surrounding neighbourhood, you can rest assured that your pets will enjoy their retirement as much as you will.
Great Oaks Retirement Village in Constantia, Cape Town, is set to open for occupancy early 2024. Hotel-style apartments start at R3.5-million, and luxury cottages start at R7.5-million.
Visit our Accommodation page to look at the units that are still available or contact Lynette or Francis on 073 119 9999 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to chat about you and your pets’ retirement options.