This year alone, pet spending in the U.S. is estimated to exceed $72 billion. For fellow animal lovers, this may not seem crazy because our pets offer us something that is very hard to come by – unconditional love. But you don’t have to break the bank to have a furry friend and the benefits are validated by numerous research studies. Animals can have a positive effect on our social lives, our health and our overall emotional well- being. For seniors, there is no better way to decrease loneliness and stress than to have a pet in their home. Whether you live independently or in an assisted living facility, the best medicine can be named Fido or Miss Kitty.