How Having a Pet as a Senior is Good For Your Health

Stephanie Haywood
February 28, 2023

40 percent of seniors struggle with loneliness, reports the University of California. It can cause a host of problems, from general unhappiness and dissatisfaction to real physical ailments like high blood pressure, heart disease, and depression.  

One of the best ways for retired seniors to resolve their loneliness issues is by adopting a pet. Pets offer dependable, lifelong companionship. Moreover, having a pet in your life is good for your health in a number of ways.  

Below, True Health Center for Functional Medicine explains why having a pet can be good for your mental, physical, and emotional well-being:    

Keeping you non-judgmental company

Pets offer the best kind of companionship. As HuffPost puts it, pets have a sixth sense when it comes to compassion and understanding. They offer comfort when you’re feeling down, live to please you, cuddle well, and are extremely loyal. Most importantly, they don’t judge you.  

Helping you get more exercise

Some pets – like dogs – need frequent exercise. When you’re exercising your pet – whether that’s taking them out for walks or playing fetch – you end up getting some exercise too. Regular walks are good for your heart health, bust stress, and keep you in shape.  

Giving you socialization opportunities

Being a pet owner offers several socialization opportunities. When you’re taking your pet out for a walk, you tend to interact with other pet owners or pet lovers. Younger puppies require socialization training, which may offer interaction opportunities with a few pet owners. There are pet groups you could join for advice, assistance, resources, and events.  

Offering stress relief

According to the U.S. News, pets help owners lower stress by snuggling, making them laugh, and by relieving their loneliness. Simply petting a pet is enough to soothe many people’s fears and anxieties. Being around a pet helps you stay in the present moment, and focus less on fears, anxieties, and worries of the future.  

Helping you feel safe and protected

Some kinds of pets, such as guard dogs, are fierce protectors. You know they have your back against people who mean you harm. Many pets will physically attack threats, whether at home or outside, and warn you in other ways of non-physical dangers. Cats can sniff out imbalances in the air quality, for instance.  

Pets can be low maintenance

Many seniors hesitate to get a pet because they’re worried about the amount of care they’d have to provide. Not all pets are high maintenance. For instance, some pets like rats, hamsters, goldfish, and birds don’t require as much attention and care as, say, dogs, but still provide intelligent companionship.  

Just make sure they eat well

Making sure your pet eats nutritious food goes a long way toward satisfying their health needs. For instance, you should offer dogs grain-free dog food, which contains fewer carbohydrates and helps promote a healthy weight and digestion system. Grain-free kibble for pups is easily digestible and rich in animal protein, derived from high-quality sources like fish, poultry, and meat. This could be the ticket to a much healthier, happier pup.  

You eat well too

Just like pets need nutrition, you do too. Don’t make the mistake of neglecting your own needs while taking care of your pet, as some pet owners do. You can check out our healthy living resources for advice on eating right, recipes, and to learn more about foundational medicine.  


Pets can do wonders for your mental, emotional, and physical health. You are forced to get more exercise, socialize, and generally be out and about. Taking care of a pet doesn’t have to be hard. Most of it is ensuring they eat high-quality pet food and, also, giving them love and attention from time to time.    

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