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4 Ways Getting a Pet Can Help You Find Friends and Beat Loneliness

By Margaret Manning February 03, 2016 Health and Fitness

If you’re anything like me, your life has probably been filled with pets of all kinds. The first animal I bought for my kids was a small turtle. Over the years, my family owned gerbils, cats, dogs, birds and even a sugar-glider.

In my early 50s, my last dog passed away and I decided that it would be better not to replace him. For starters, I wanted to travel more and I didn’t think that it would be fair to leave an animal at home. But, the more I have become involved with Sixty and Me, the more I have been reminded of the benefits of owning a pet after 60 – especially if you live alone or want to make new friends.

Here are a few ways that owning a pet can help you to find friends and beat loneliness after 60.

Get Out of the House

There is nothing like a dog lapping at your face at 6am to get you out of the bed and into the world. You may even wake up with a smile on your face! Dogs are natural explorers. They love to go to the park and are more than happy to drag us along for the ride. Along the way, we often bump into people we know and have the opportunity to meet new people.

Improve Your Health to Boost Your Happiness

One simple way to improve almost every aspect of your life after 60 is to get in better shape. Taking a brisk walk with your dog every morning is a great way to burn a few calories, while having fun.

As your fitness increases, you will almost certainly notice your mood improving as well. And, with your newfound happiness, you will be more likely to engage in the social activities that will help you to find friends and battle loneliness.

Experience Unconditional Love

The “Dogs vs. Cats” debate has been going on for years, but, for me, both animals have their own special charm. They both love you, even if they express their love in very different ways.

Pets offer a friendly ear and are surprisingly adept at picking up on our emotions. Even the simple act of stroking a cat can release feel-good chemicals that can help to combat our everyday blues.

Join a Community of Animal Lovers

Every time I visit the park, I am amazed by the range of dog breads that exist. For some reason, people seem to gravitate to one bread or another – I personally have a weakness for Chihuahuas.

There are meetings and organizations for almost every type of animal on the planet. So, getting a pet can be an easy way to meet like-minded people.

Feel Better by Doing Good

One of the best ways to increase your positivity is to try to make the world a better place. There are hundreds of thousands of animals that are waiting for adoption. All you have to do is visit a website like and find one that is perfect for you.Getting a Pet Can Help You Find Friends and Beat Loneliness

Do you have a pet? What do you think are the benefits of getting a pet after 60? What positive things does your dog or cat bring to your life? If you don’t have a pet, what are your biggest concerns? Please join the discussion.

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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