Having a pet can help older people cope with mental and physical health issues. According to a study, more than three-quarters of pet owners said their animals helped in reducing stress.
Two-thirds of pet owners, and 78 per cent of dog owners said pets helped them stay physically active, and 65 per cent people said having a pet helped them connect with other people.
In addition, over 70 per cent of the elderly said pets helped them cope with physical or emotional symptoms, and 46 per cent reported it helped take their mind off of pain.
"Relations with pets tend to be less complicated than those with humans, and pets are often a source of great enjoyment. They also provide older people with a sense of being needed and loved," said Mary Janevic, researcher at the University of Michigan in the US.
For the study, the team included 2,051 people aged 50-80 years.