The psychological health effects of pet ownership have been widely studied, but only a few studies investigated its impact among socially isolated older adults. The present study aims to investigate the psychological health of older adults with or without the experience of pet (i.e., dog or cat) ownership who are socially isolated or not socially isolated . This study used cross-sectional data from 9856 community-dwelling older adults in a metropolitan area of Japan . Social and non-social isolation and type of pet ownership (i.e., dog or cat) were stratified to examine the psychological health . Logistic regression models indicated that, after adjusting for demographic and potential confounders, socially isolated older adults who never owned a dog were 1.22 times more likely to report lower psychological health in comparison to socially isolated current or past dog owners . No such difference was observed among cat owners . The results suggest that the experience of dog ownership may be effective to improve the psychological health among socially isolated older adult.
Index: cat ownership, dog ownership, older adult, psychological health, social isolation