In 2017, 68 percent of all households in the United States owned pets, up from 56 percent in 1988. For fellow animal lovers, the reason why is obvious – unconditional love. But many people don’t realize that there are also other benefits that 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.