How Seniors Health Benefit from Pet Therapy

How Seniors Health Benefit from Pet Therapy


Nothing can be compared to the companionship of a loving pet. This relationship can help in bringing engagement and purpose for youths and seniors. Spending time with a pet can help in combating isolation and loneliness, bringing companionship and comfort while reducing stress and promoting wellness and overall health.

If you’ve ever spent time with your dog or cat, you probably understand the effect that animals can have on people. A pet companion can help in bringing a wide range of health benefits to seniors even when they can’t take care of their pet properly. Pet therapy animals usually interact with people to transform their lives.

Pet therapy can occur in different settings. And they include hospices, retirement communities, senior homes, and rehab centers. Pet therapy animals range from domesticated dogs and cats to farm animals. These animals go through an obedience course to understand how to interact with seniors who don’t move much.

Defining pet therapy

Pet therapy or animal-assisted interventions is a form of complementary or holistic treatment that uses animal interactions to improve specific psychological, physical, and emotional health concerns. In short, it uses the natural ability to spend time with pets to make you feel better about yourself.

Types of pet therapy

There are three types of pet therapy namely:

  • Animal Assisted Therapy
  • Ownership therapy
  • Animal-assisted activities

Dogs are the most common types of pets used in these scenarios. However, this type of complementary treatment can involve other animals such as horses, cats, birds, and guinea pigs.

Benefits of pet therapy

The benefits of pet therapy cannot be ignored. Studies have shown that animals can be used to ease and eliminate several physical and mental health issues. Spending time with an animal can change our cognitive, physical, and emotional responses. Pet therapy can help seniors by:

1. Providing comfort

Animals can help in providing support and reassurance, especially in new environments and situations. The unconditional affection that we receive from pets will help you feel loved and stable. Pets can help in bringing joy, comfort, and happiness. Simply stroking a pet can help in fulfilling the need for touch and relieving stress. Most seniors feel safe around their pets.

2. Combating loneliness

A research study conducted by Age UK found out that the number of seniors experiencing loneliness will reach 2 million in four years. Animal interactions are quite effective when it comes to offering companionship. Pets can help seniors deal with loneliness, loss, or any other condition that may lead to anxiety or depression.

Lots of evidence have shown that spending time with animals can promote emotional wellbeing after a traumatic experience such as a serious illness or the loss of a loved one. Pet therapy helps in reducing or eliminating feelings of social isolation.

3. Increasing exercise

Pains and aches reduce mobility. And this is a good recipe for sluggishness, inactivity, and a decline in health. That’s why you should stay as active and mobile as you can especially as you get older. Pet therapy can help in keeping you active and boosting energy levels by encouraging healthy lifestyle changes. Getting out also helps in supporting your health and wellbeing. Whether it’s horse riding or dog walk, interacting with a pet will help you keep moving. And this will loosen your joints and free your muscles.

4. Provides purpose

Spending time with an animal reduces boredom and offers a sense of fulfillment, purpose, and reason for being. Regardless of whether it’s daily caring or feeding the pet, having a routine provides structure and gives you something to look forward to every day. Pets will help you stay engaged and entertained in the long run.

5. Boosts self-esteem

Animals have a great way of bringing out the best in people. Most people tend to smile and speak highly of their pets. Animal therapy helps in improving verbal communication and interactions.


Pet therapy has numerous benefits to seniors that cannot be ignored. There are lots of experts who can help you choose the ideal pet.   

About the Author:

Jennifer Holland is a professional college paper writer at with 3 years of experience who has been writing about education and student life for several years. She helps students get their dream job by offering them her excellent writing skills and knowledge.

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Jennifer Holland
Jennifer Holland

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