Are pets good for senior citizens?

Updated: Nov 27, 2019

Happiness often comes in the form of a wet nose and a wagging tail. Whether they are furry, scaly, slimy, or feathery, pets provide a different kind of happiness and comfort.

Most pet owners consist of kids, young adults, and families. However, seniors are also finding the joy in owning a pet during their golden years. Aside from companionship, a pet also provides several psychological and emotional benefits to the elderly.

Although owning a pet requires several responsibilities, it can also be rewarding. Here are the reasons why pets are good for senior citizens.


A cat purring on your lap or a bird perching beside you are one of the best feelings in the world. As long as their well-being allows it, seniors can benefit so much from owning a pet. Pets provide comfort, reduces stress, fight depression, and reduce heart diseases. 

With the right connection, animals can heal the soul of seniors no matter what age or condition they are in. This is why the good aged care centers allow pets to visit the seniors under their care. As a reputable aged care facility with several locations across Australia, Arcare knows the importance of the human-animal bond.

Older people can feel very lonely. Families and friends often move to different places or pass away. Their reduced physical agility can also limit the activities in which they can participate. When seniors get cooped up in the house or aged care facility, it’s easy for them to feel isolated and abandoned.

Having a pet can provide them with constant companionship. A pet is loyal and loving; it will never leave their side. For all the unconditional love that they give a person, all they ask in return are care and affection.

It has been proven that pets relieve stress and other mental illnesses. Also called the ‘pet effect’, the bond and connection between humans and animals can alleviate anxiety, depression, and stress. It also soothes the feeling of loneliness and isolation.

Seniors who interact with pets can help them manage their long-term mental health conditions. And while getting a pet is not a substitute for professional medical treatment, a hug from a furry friend will never fail to banish the blues from the elderly.

One of the things that seniors can lack as they age is their fill of social interaction. However, getting a pet can encourage other people to socialise with seniors. For example, dogs are a great ice breaker, making it easier for others to start a conversation with a senior.

Joining pet-related activities also helps seniors meet other people who love pets as they do.  As long as the elderly person is physically and mentally able to participate in such events, pets can bring people together and form new friendships.

Elderly people still require regular exercise and physical activities to maintain their well-being. Owning a pet will make them go out more often than they normally would without one. Since pets also have to exercise, seniors can get their daily dose of muscle stretching while bonding with their pets.

Studies have also shown that pets are good for seniors with cardiovascular problems. They can reduce the risk of heart disease, lower blood pressure, and improve the health of heart attack survivors.

Due to their old age, seniors often feel useless and that their life has no purpose anymore. Thus, they tend to be more irritable and grumpy. However, having a  pet will give them a newfound purpose in life. After all, they will be responsible for another living creature.

Taking care of pets can make the elderly feel accomplished. Being able to feed, groom, bathe, and play with a pet allows them to focus their attention externally. Thus, it gives them something to look forward to every day.

Like any living creature, taking care of a pet comes with several responsibilities. However, as long as your loved one is capable of doing these, then a pet will be a welcome addition. 

If they are planning to live in an aged care facility, make sure that it allows pet visits. With the right communication between an animal and its owner, they can both make an impact in each other’s lives.

Certain circumstances might not permit your loved one to have a pet. In this case, you can take them to an animal sanctuary instead. They can bond with animals and relieve their stress even for a short period of time. Additionally, you’ll also be making a difference in the lives of the rescued animals by making them happy as well.

Juliana’s Animal Sanctuary provides a loving home for strays and abused farm animals in Colombia. They are also promoting vegan advocacy and condemning animal abuse. You can help Juliana’s Animal Sanctuary save more lives by becoming a patron, sponsoring an animal, or becoming a member.

This post is brought to you by guest blogger Vegan marketers at Ardor SEO who are also advocates of animal rights.