Are you a dog or a cat person?
How pets are great for over-50s health
Perhaps you are neither, preferring birds, fish or even guinea pigs!
But it seems most of us are one or the other, with a recent study through Roy Morgan Research in Australia showing that
''50% of Aussies live in a household with at least one cat and/or dog in it.''
Whichever side of the pet debate you are on, research shows that having a pet, especially a dog, definitely has a positive impact on our health and wellbeing.
Read more from Sue Loncaric: The secret to a happy retirement
I love my grandpuppy! Yes, I have a grandpuppy who is a miniature schnauzer and so cute -- she even has her own Instagram account, check here out! Her name is Wallis, she thinks she is a human and sometimes, so do I.
Each week when I visit my grandson, Wallis races to say hello and definitely needs as much attention as her 'little brother'. My three-year-old grandson says Wallis is his 'best friend' and they have such fun playing together.
How pets improve our health and wellbeing in retirement
As we age and find ourselves living alone, pets can provide companionship and help maintain purpose in our lives. We have a responsibility for the care of our pets, which can be a source of great joy and comfort.
Having a pet can decrease the feeling of loneliness and also help with socialising. When you are out walking, how often do you stop and comment on a cute dog walking with its owner?
Pets in health care
At the aged-care facility where my mother-in-law lives, there is a volunteer who regularly visits the residents with her dog. Pet therapy, including the Therapy Dogs International Nursing Home Program provides interaction with dogs and patients.
This type of therapy has shown to get responses from elderly patients who have withdrawn. Pet therapy is widely used working with the elderly, children, people with special needs and in the area of mental health with positive results.
Sitting and stroking a purring feline can help to lower our stress levels and help us to relax. Studies have shown that having a pet can decrease blood pressure and anxiety.
Keeps us fit
Having a pet, such as a dog, helps to keep us fit because daily walks are required. Taking the dog for a walk or throwing a frisby keeps us active and moving.
Sure, having a pet is a responsibility, it can be expensive and can impact your life if you want to travel etc. But the responsibilities are outweighed by the benefits they bring to our lives.
Do you have a pet? Would you consider adopting a pet from an animal shelter?