Review on Benefits of Owning Companion Dogs among Older Adults

Kung Choon Keat, Ponnusamy Subramaniam, Shazli Ezzat Ghazali, Noh Amit


Background: a world that is facing major global demographic trend of population ageing as well as increasing number of pet ownership, the benefits of companion animals on older adults is a noteworthy area of study. Objectives: To conduct a literature review on the existing studies focusing on the benefits of companion dogs on older adults. Method: Narrative review on original published articles in both Western and Asian countries pertaining to the benefits of companion dogs for older adults were conducted. Discussion: The benefits of companion dogs on older adults were analyzed in the domains of physical well-being, psychological well-being and social interaction. Most of the research papers included, suggest positive correlation between dog ownership and owner’s well-being but a few papers also found no correlation between dog ownership and owner’s general well-being. Conclusion: Even though companion dogs might not be for everyone and their benefits on their owners could not be determined conclusively, it is undeniable that companion dogs do play an important role in contributing to the well-being of their owners whether it is in the form of increasing social contact, motivation for exercise and reducing stress.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2016.v7n4p397

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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