Heuberger, R. (2017). Associations of Pet Ownership with Older Adults Eating Patterns and Health. Current Gerontology and Geriatrics Research, 2017.
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.