A pet can benefit a lonely senior in several ways. Because a person’s oxytocin level rises when he or she has a pet, and because oxytocin is the hormone responsible for bonding with others, seniors are more apt to experience a sense of bonding in general if they have a pet. Additionally, a lonely senior with a pet, let’s say a dog, would be more likely to socialize with others who share a common interest in dogs.
Owning a pet can also give seniors a greater sense of family. According to one study, 81 percent of families with a dog consider the dog to be a family member, allowing the dog to sleep on the same bed and giving their dog left-overs from their own meals. Also, nearly 100 percent of pet owners talk to their pet, which for a senior can help to reduce loneliness.