Home Alternative Approaches to Care Pet Therapy Benefits for the Elderly: Happiness Is A Pet Visit

Pet Therapy Benefits for the Elderly: Happiness Is A Pet Visit

dog with stetoscope

Research studies show that pet therapy benefits can out weigh the beneifts of  medication.When taking care of the elderly there are many worries, depression and loneliness. To many aging seniors, happiness is a having a pet around.

For those individuals that love animals, having a pet can decrease the chance for depression and increase socialization. In a report Between Pets and People: The Importance of Animal Companionship the bonding between pet and owner gives both a sense of security. Pets offer companionship, listen without making judgments and provide touching and snuggling when needed. Having a pet provides more comfort and social support when there is an aging adult with limited opportunity for social interactions. A pet can prevent loneliness.


Affection from a pet, when an aging person is facing trauma, loss or some sort of adversity in their life is comforting and meaningful. Many times a pet is much more comforting to an individual than the humans in their life.

When taking care of the elderly, many caregivers find comfort in knowing that their aging senior has a pet. Pets are also good listeners. As you share your stories and secrets and concerns with your loving pet, they listen and provide comfort. Research studies show that individuals that have pets actually reduce stress and anxiety levels. Research of individuals suffering from Alzheimer’s, have shown that there are fewer behavior outbursts in the homes that have a pet.

Pets give you a reason to get out of bed in the morning. They need walked, exercised and fed. This does not just pertain to having a dog as a companion. I have known a few cats in my day that, when it was time to be fed, or they want to roam outside, were very adamant and demanding until they obtained what they wanted! Pets encourage movement and physical exercise as you care for them. As you age, pets can motivate one to keep moving.087-262x300

It has also been proven that pet owners enjoy the benefits of an enhanced immune system, and lower blood pressure. A study at the State University of New York in Buffalo has concluded that individuals that have a bond with their pet, experience lower blood pressure under stress. One study done was done with stockbrokers with high blood pressure. These individuals experience an incredible amount in stress in their everyday life on the job. The stock brokers with high blood pressure that adopted a cat or a dog experienced lower blood pressure than their counterparts that did not have a pet.

The enjoyment one receives from interacting with their loving companions, whether a cat or a dog, causes an increase in the release of serotonin and dopamine. This has a calming and soothing effect on the body. This makes it easy to understand why animal lovers believe that happiness is pets.

Studies have even proven the benefits of pet therapy  can reduce your chances for heart disease. The National Institute of Health Technology Assessment Workshop: the Health Benefits of Pets has found that pet owners have decreased signs of heart disease. They experience lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Another study showed that individuals that suffered a heart attack experience a longer life span than those individuals that did not have a faithful pet in their life.

MyVitalaAlert_logo png

The health benefits of pet therapy also can cause a reduction in health care costs. It seems that individuals that have a loving pet in the home see the doctor far less for less serious medical conditions that individuals that do not have a pet. It is important to note that the health benefits of pet therapy are great; there is a responsibility to provide appropriate care for the pet in your life. We receive such joy and health benefits from our furry friends, it is important that we give back to them in return, by taking care of them.

The health benefits, the companionship and unconditional love we receive from our adoring pets is exactly why many of us feel that happiness is pet ! Taking care of the elderly might well include the health benefits of pet therapy.