Autumn Leaves

Pet Therapy for Seniors: Benefits of Companion Animals in Aged Care

There is a fundamental bond that often goes unnoticed, yet plays a pivotal role in our well-being: the bond between humans and animals. As we navigate the golden years of life, this bond becomes even more significant. Pet therapy, a therapeutic approach that integrates animals into the care of individuals, has been gaining traction in the aged care sector. Especially for our most vulnerable, the companionship of animals offers a unique blend of emotional, cognitive, and physical benefits.

What is Pet Therapy?

Pet therapy is a guided interaction between a person and a trained animal. It also involves the animal’s handler. The purpose of pet therapy is to help someone recover from or cope with a health problem or mental disorder.

For seniors, pet therapy is more than just spending time with an animal. It’s about harnessing the therapeutic potential of these interactions to enhance their overall well-being. Whether it’s a structured session in a care facility or a casual visit from a therapy animal, these interactions can stimulate memory, encourage communication, and provide a comforting presence.

Below, we list some key benefits of pet theory for senior citizens.

  1. Increase Physical Activity: Interaction with pet animals while petting or cuddling will help increase the mobility of seniors and also increase activeness in them. Taking a dog for a stroll also allows them to go out of the house and increase social activity.
  1. Increase Mental Activity: Animal-assisted therapy can encourage mental acuity and problem-solving skills, such as teaching a dog a new trick or a new act of obedience.
  1. Increase Communication: Talking to animals has a lot of psychological benefits. Communicating with animals can be amusing, cathartic, and healing. This is especially important for older adults who are quiet and/or solitary. Interacting with animals inevitably calls for some type of verbal communication. Such activity can help improving human to human communications between a senior elder and another person.
  1. Increase Positive & Decrease Negative Emotions: The emotional benefits of animal-assisted therapy are well established. Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) can increase the power of bonding and security and considerably reduce stress and anxiety for the elderly. Interacting with animals can be a positive distraction for alleviating the elderly’s worries and discomforts.
  1. Increase Affection & Decrease Loneliness: A significant benefit of bonding between a senior citizen and an animal is an increase in emotional connectedness and decreased isolation. This can occur even with basic activities like petting a cat or dog or feeding fish or birds. Simple interactions with animals can often bring a smile to the elderly’s face.
  1. Decrease Negative Behaviours: When the bonding between the pet and the senior citizen is strong, the positive emotional impact of a pet may, in turn, reduce the senior’s negative expressions, such as anger, outbursts, and irritation.
  1. Increased Locus of Control: With a well-trained or well-behaved animal, pet therapy can increase the elderly’s sense of locus of control (having control over one’s life and environment) and reduce powerlessness and helplessness. This can occur with simple acts such as a dog trotting into the room or a cat meowing when their names are called. The act of feeding an animal also gives an older adult a sense of responsibility and relevance.


In conclusion, having a pet can be encouraging for seniors, as their lifestyle will become more active with a sense of purpose, allowing them to take on responsibilities with care and bring more positivity into their lives.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Latest Post


Signup our newsletter to get update information, news, insight or promotions.

Related Article