Pets Add Exercise, Cut Stress for Older Adults


Pets of all kinds help older adults cope with health issues, stay physically active, and connect with others, a poll shows.
dogs help seniors

In the poll, 55 percent of adults ages 50 to 80 said they have a pet—and more than half of those have more than one. More than three-quarters of pet owners said their animals reduce stress, and nearly as many said pets give them a sense of purpose. But 18 percent also said having a pet or pets puts a strain on their budget.

Two-thirds of all pet owners, and 78 percent of dog owners, said their pet helps them stay physically active, according to the new findings from the National Poll on Healthy Aging, which the University of Michigan Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation conducted.

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