How Owning a Pet Benefits Seniors

It doesn’t take a genius to realize that pets are capable of making humans feel better. Anyone who has stroked a dog or a cat’s fur would agree to this.
There are numerous studies that can tell us why and how pets can be therapeutic. While a senior may not be able to take care of a pet, having someone bring a pet during one of the visits can definitely be an advantage.
Listed below are just some of the many advantages of pet therapy for the elderly.


Humans can greatly benefit from the companionship of a pet. However, one of the biggest concerns of allowing seniors to bring their pets is their ability to take care of the pet and its well-being.
According to studies, the benefits can be greater for elderly who used to have pets before transferring to an assisted living facility. However, even those who did not have a pet have also benefited from pet therapy.


Pet therapy is quite beneficial in dementia patients as it helps decrease their agitation. Having pets around, it helps increase the senior’s food intake and encourages physical activity.


In a study that was conducted in a veteran’s home, researchers found out that pet therapy has a positive impact on the lives of the seniors. Participants of the study were divided into 2 groups: 1 group had this form of therapy; while the other did not.
In this study, researchers have discovered that pet therapy can help fight depression and patients were better off after interacting with their pets after a few weeks.
Additionally, a 15-minute bonding with animals can increase the production of the feel-good hormones (serotonin) and lower levels of the fight or flight hormones (cortisol).


Having a pet is advantageous, especially for the elderly, as it helps lower cholesterol levels and can even prevent the development of cardiovascular diseases and stroke.