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Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 9417350, 9 pages
Research Article

Associations of Pet Ownership with Older Adults Eating Patterns and Health

Department of Human Environmental Studies, Central Michigan University, Mt. Pleasant, MI, USA

Correspondence should be addressed to Roschelle Heuberger

Received 6 February 2017; Revised 26 March 2017; Accepted 4 April 2017; Published 29 May 2017

Academic Editor: Fulvio Lauretani

Copyright © 2017 Roschelle Heuberger. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Pet ownership has been shown to improve quality of life for older adults. The objective of this cross-sectional study was to compare older pet owners and older non-pet owners and assess differences between groups. This study was conducted on adults over 50 years of age, who owned either one cat or one dog versus nonowners based on age, race, gender, and education. Matched older pet owners (OPO) versus non-pet owners (NPO) pairs (), older cat owners (OCO) versus non-cat owners (NCO) (), and older dog owners (ODO) versus non-dog owners (NDO) pairs () were analyzed. No differences were found between OPO and NPO for dietary, activity, or lifestyle, except OPO had fewer health conditions []. Total OCO had greater body mass indices [BMI] () than ODO () [], less activity [], and shorter duration of activity [] and took fewer supplements []. OCO and NCO differed on health conditions ( versus , []) and ODO versus NDO differed on BMI ( versus , []). Although there are limitations to this study, data may be useful for targeting marketing and health messages to older persons.