Study after study has shown the emotional and health benefits of owning and caring for a pet. But many elders and disabled people are unable to keep a pet full time due to physical or mental limitations. This is why we encourage four-legged support staff at Silver Leaf. Being visited regularly by a well-trained comfort or therapy dog brightens our clients’ days. Here are just some of the measurable results of pets being part of home caregiving:

  • Improved ability to remember and share life stories
  • Pets can help our caregivers encourage and motivate seniors to get outdoors, get more exercise, which also gives them the feeling of purpose
  • Many senior citizens who are unresponsive to other forms of therapy tend to feel livelier and more talkative with a visiting dog
  • Animals who have been trained specifically for pet therapy can help seniors improve their motor skills

The benefits of the human-animal bond have been documented for centuries, yet the relationship between a client and a therapy animal seems to extend beyond simple companionship. There are also emotional, physical, and mental benefits. Of course, if a client doesn’t enjoy animals or has allergies, we respect their needs and leave our furry friends at home.

Emotionally, pets can provide the elderly with a feeling of companionship, as well as:

  • A sense of gentleness and caring since animals are known to be instinctive nurturers, especially to ailing humans.
  • Increased social interaction with caregivers who bring a pet into their home
  • Pets can alleviate depression and anxiety works as the client forming a bond with a pet
  • Reduced loneliness by spending time with and caring for a pet, even for a few minutes
  • Increased mobility from petting, walking, and brushing the pet
  • Pet therapy can also provide significant mental benefits to patients, especially those with memory loss:
  • Mental stimulation through contact with pet owning caregivers
  • Memory stimulation by comparing the therapy pet to other pets they may have owned


Penny the Poodle with Patty
Penny the Poodle with Patty
Mindy the Rescue with Genevieve
Mindy the Rescue with Genevieve
This is Brutus who loves a cozy lap
This is Seemore who visits regularly with his owner Stacy.