15 years of studies suggest dog ownership promotes wellness for senior citizens

Improvements in the healthcare system are increasing life expectancy, however, seniors are moved to nursing homes with few

engaging activities and few people to engage with socially, leaving them to experience feelings of loneliness and depression.


Although improvements in healthcare allow for a longer life, the quality of life tends to deteriorate.


Owning a pet, particularly a dog, can curb those effects and even provide benefits by boosting the wellness of senior citizens, says

a study that reviewed 15 years of research.

Owning a dog improves physical and mental health

There is a whole range of benefits for improved quality of life in seniors.


Increased physical activity

  • Dog owners reported significantly more walking at higher frequencies and longer lengths
  • Leading to improvements in cardiovascular health, strengthening of bones and muscles
  • Pet owners visited doctors less frequently than non-pet owners


Increased social interactions

  • 81% of dog owners reported that the dog helped make contact with other people
  • Meeting other pet owners at pet-centric activities allows for meeting like minded individuals


Decreased feelings of loneliness

  • Older adults report owning a pet becomes a motivator to go through life even when feeling depressed, isolated, and lonely
  • Feel needed and useful, and develop a routine by caring for a pet
Senior getting exercise walking her dogs

Source: https://via.library.depaul.edu/nursing-colloquium/2018/winter/9/


Abhishek Patel

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