The Positive Effects of Pets on Seniors


It is an unquestionable fact that many people love pets, no matter if they are a current pet owner, if they have positive recollections of owning a pet during their life, or if they are simply an animal lover. Pets bring many things to our lives, for example, it has been proven that pets have a positive effect on our mood and actually aid in reducing depression and anxiety. A pet can even be trained to alert their owners to the occurrence of health problems before they become life-threatening.  

There are a number of health benefits to owning a pet. They include:

  • Reduction of blood pressure.
  • Reduction of depressed mood by increasing serotonin and dopamine levels.
  • Reduction of visits to a doctor.
  • Increased opportunities to exercise.
  • Opportunity to meet new people.
  • Reduction in loneliness.

New studies have proven that there are many ways seniors benefit from pet ownership or pet therapy. Taking care of an animal can give a senior a new purpose in their lives, which may be missing after retirement. Pets can also help distract from chronic illnesses and loneliness. A pet who also is trained as a service animal can help keep seniors safe by finding missing people, detecting illnesses, and providing guide service for the vision-impaired. Alzheimer’s patients who participate in pet therapy show a reduction in behavioral problems, increased positive reinforcement and are comforted by a pet’s ability to provide nonverbal forms of communication. 

Pets are a loved and adored part of society. They have served in many capacities since the beginning of time. No matter if you own a dog, cat, turtle, pig, fish or many different types of animals, they are an important part of our society.