The benefits of having a pet for retirees

May 14, 2020

The benefits of owning a pet are widespread. Not only does having a furry companion have health benefits like increasing fitness, reducing stress, and lowering blood pressure, the healing power of pets in decreasing loneliness and increasing happiness in their owners is also well documented — particularly as we age.

Having A Routine

Maintaining a sense of routine and stability is important as we get older. Owning a pet means that you are responsible for something other than yourself. Most pets will require exercise, play time, and of course food and water. The routine of caring for a pet can bring structure and purpose to your daily life.


At any age, engaging in physical activity brings enormous benefits. But, as we grow older and have more obstacles to contend with, it can be very tempting to skip that morning walk or aqua aerobics class. Having a pet can be a great way of making exercise a regular part of your daily routine. Dogs are particularly beneficial in getting us out for walks in the sunshine, but simply playing with your pet can often be enough to get your body moving for the day.


Studies have shown that older people with pets are less stressed than those without a furry friend. Whether it’s the daily exercise, the sense of companionship, or just knowing that you have a friend to share life’s challenges and triumphs with, pets can serve as the ultimate stress reliever.

Getting Out & About

Having a pet, especially one that requires regular outdoor activity, enables you to stay connected to life. Not only will having a pet connect you within your community or neighbourhood, the nature of owning a pet will bring you in contact with vet checks, grooming services, and fellow pet-owners at the local park. All of which are great ways to meet new people, catch up with old friends, and remain social.

There are also many shared activities that you can take part in as a pet owner, including communal walks, charitable events and community projects. While it can be difficult to make new friends as we get older, pets are the ultimate ice breaker!

Protection & Security

Pets are loyal protectors who can provide a comforting sense of security. A barking dog will deter any unwelcome visitors, while some other pets like cats are known to be territorial and fiercely protective of their own.

A Mutual Reliance On Each Other

There’s nothing quite like the unconditional love of a pet. While you need your pet for all the above reasons, your pet also needs you. Whether through a wagging tail, an affectionate rub on your leg as you enter the door, or a quick action that makes you laugh, pets offer an unrivalled sense of love and loyalty, and will give you the ultimate friend for life.

The views and opinions expressed are those of the authors, please consult your own legal, financial or health advisors before making any decisions.

Looking for more helpful advice on how to maintain an active lifestyle in retirement living?

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