People who want to maintain their vitality as they age may want to consider getting a pet. This is according to a survey conducted by The University of Michigan on healthy aging. Researchers surveyed 2,000 adults from ages 50 to 80.
According to the national poll, 55% of the participants owned at least one pet. Dogs are the most common pets followed by cats and small animals including hamsters and birds. Regardless of the animal type, a majority of the people who were surveyed stated that their companionship with their pets improved their health. Below are the results of the poll:
- 90% shared that their furry friends helped them feel loved, decreased their loneliness, and enjoyed their life more.
- 80% said having pets around lessened their stress.
- 75% said their furry companions gave them a sense of purpose.
- 64% of pet owners and 78% of dog owners stated that their pets encouraged them to stay active and fit.
- 60% shared that their furry friends helped them to cope with mental and physical challenges.
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There are also some drawbacks to owning a pet. According to the report, some people said that middle-aged and senior pets bring a few problems. The poll shows that:
- 54% said that looking after pets would affect their travelling plans
- 18% shared that caring for a pet would add more to their expenses
- 6% said that they had experienced injuries because of their pets
- 15% (26% with fair to poor health) said that their pet’s health comes first before their own.
Despite these disadvantages, many studies have proven that most people regardless of the stage of life they are in can benefit from owning a pet. Our four-legged-friends help in lowering anxiety and depression, reducing stress, and boosting physical activities.
The recent survey suggests that pet ownership can have a positive impact on older adults since they are prone to loneliness and social isolation.