Community Blog

10 Reasons Why Older People Need a Pet

By Kaitlyn Erdman

10 Reasons Why Older People Should Have Pets


For elderly pet owners, who often live alone or in group facilities, pets can help reduce stress, lower blood pressure, increase social interaction, and physical activities. Here are the top ten reasons why older people should have a pet in their life.



Pets are mans’ best friend, and getting older can be a lonely road. With a pet, you’re never alone and can always have someone to cuddle with! Dogs mold their schedule around yours, and smaller dogs are easy to take places!


Taking care of an animal is a big responsibility, but it doesn’t have to be taxing. The routine of caring for a pet can give structure and purpose to your daily life. Maybe you don’t want to get out of bed, but your dog does! Isn’t that great?


People benefit from regular physical exercise, regardless of their age. But it is hard to get into a regular exercise routine and so very easy to skip it. Having a dog can be a great way to make walking a regular part of your permanent daily routine.


Older people with pets exhibit less stress than their pet-less counterparts. Maybe it’s those regular walks or the sense that you have a friend to share life’s challenges. Or maybe it’s the tail wagging every day when you wake up!


Having a pet, and particularly one that requires regular outdoor activity, helps you stay connected to life. There’s the vet, and the place you take them to get groomed and washed… You need to be involved in social activities, and having a pet is a great way to stay involved!


There are lots of shared activities for pet owners, ranging from communal walks to charitable events and projects run by organizations that cater to animals and the environments. It can be hard to meet new people, but pets are a great icebreaker!


Having a pet can expose you to a lot of new interests and activities. Maybe its cleaning up the neighborhood park where you walk your dog. Some hospitals seek pet owners who who will volunteer to bring in their pets to spend time with patients.


Having a dog can provide significant security. Potential theieves will stay away from a home with a barking dog. Now, maybe your watchdog weighs only 12 pounds soaking wet. But the person on the other side of the door doesn’t know that!


Sure, you need your pet. But your pet needs you, too! The desire to be useful and of value doesn’t magically disappear when your career ends or your kids grow up. It is very satisfying to take care of another living thing.


At the end of the day, having a pet means that you have made a promise to continue being involved in another life. This commitment is one of the most positive decisions you can make as you grow older.