1010 B Street,
April 24, 2019
Each fall, the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) and the University of Michigan sponsor a National Poll on Healthy Aging. In the 2018 poll, a majority of adults aged 50-80 said that they owned a pet, and many reported distinct benefits from that friendship. Eighty-six percent said that their pet(s) made them feel loved, and 79% credited their pets for reducing stress in their daily lives.
There was more. Forty-six percent of the respondents who indicated they were pet owners and also in fair or poor health said that their pets help distract them from their pain, and 72% of these same respondents noted that their pets helped them to contend with physical or emotional symptoms. Additionally, 73% of all pet owners polled indicated their pets gave them a sense of purpose, and 64% said that their pet led them to be more physically active than they would be otherwise. If owning a pet seems like too much responsibility to take on, consider a little pet therapy. Organizations like the Alliance of Therapy Dogs and Therapy Dogs International can bring you the company of a trained service dog for 30-minute or 60-minute sessions.2