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5 reasons seniors should consider getting a pet

Owning a pet gets even better with age.

While reports on the health benefits of caring for a dog, cat or other critter abound, a new poll suggests that aging adults in particular can benefit from an animal companion.

The National Poll on Healthy Aging surveyed 2,051 adults aged 50 to 80 last fall, more than half of whom reported owning a pet. And 88% said that their pets helped them enjoy life, and 86% said their pets made them feel loved. The poll sponsored by the AARP and the University of Michigan also reported that 79% of senior pet parents said that their four-legged (or feathered, or finned) friends reduced stress.

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