Those with an empty nest can find that owning a pet in retirement has many benefits.

Those with an empty nest can find that owning a pet in retirement has many benefits.

Studies have shown that owning a pet in retirement is beneficial to Baby Boomers for a variety of reasons. The bond between active adults and their pet can essentially establish a positive connection that helps them enjoy their golden years. A pet can become part of your family and provide comfort as well as unconditional love during retirement.

Here, we list just eight reasons why you should own a pet in retirement.

Health Benefits

The emotional and physical health of retirees can improve when they own a pet. Sitting and petting dogs or cats have been a form of animal therapy that has a positive impact on active adults. Recent evidence suggests that retirees who owned or spent time with a pet helped lower their blood pressure. It also decreased the need for oral pain medication for some people who had undergone certain types of surgery. Pet owners also perform more physical activity like walking that contributes to a healthier lifestyle.


Retirees who own a pet stay connected with more people. This opens up their social circle and allows them to interact with other pet owners. Active adults can use their pets to promote social interaction, such as chatting with fellow pet owners at the park to spark up a conversation. You may even gain new interests in volunteering at animal shelters or hospitals because of your fondness for animals.

New Friendships

It’s easier to make new friends when retirees own a pet. Owning a pet automatically gives you a shared similarity with other pet owners before any formal introductions have been made. The bond between owners and their pets can give off great first-impressions and make it easier for neighbors to approach you.

Protection & Safety

Pets may offer retirees a feeling of protection and safety. They feel less lonely at home and feel more comfortable walking outside alone too. Sometimes having a barking dog around the house may keep unwanted visitors away as well as be your alert system when someone is approaching your doorstep.


Some retirees face loneliness when loved ones pass away. A pet can be a great companion. Animals have helped retirees get over depression or physical problems by offering affection and entertainment. Pets have their own personalities that you can appreciate and in return they provide you with unconditional love. Pets can also be good travel companions too.

Establishing a Routine

When Baby Boomers have a pet, it creates a sense of responsibility that requires an established routine. This gives retirees a schedule they need to stick to on a daily basis. Active adults will have to remember to take them for walks, buy food, clean up after them, and groom them. Owners may not want to get up every morning to let their dog out, but their pet will be there to remind them that they need to stick to this routine, which gives retirees a sense of purpose.


Owning a pet will help you get more exercise and become more active. No matter how old you get, everyone can always benefit from daily physical exercise. Sometimes sticking to a regular workout regimen might be daunting, so having a dog to remind you to go outside for that evening stroll is a fun and easy way to get moving. Baby Boomers will enjoy having the company of a four-legged walking partner to keep them motivated as well.

Relieve Stress

Studies have shown that pet owners are less stressed than non-pet owners. Pets provide comfort and help soothe anxious people by simply cuddling next to them, going on regular walks, or just knowing that you have a friend to cheer you up. The bond between pet and owner can lift a bad mood, which allows retirees to become nurturing and caring toward another living creature.