Lonely people may use their relationships with their pets to replace the human interaction they are lacking.
There’s one area in particular where we know pets can be helpful in dealing with loneliness.
For senior citizens, having a four-legged friend can help to fend of feelings of isolation. It’s not a cure-all by any means, but there is evidence to show that a pet can be a delightful companion when those in the elder community are no longer able to enjoy the social activities they once relied on. There are also a number of other health benefits associated with pet ownership.
However, it can be that we also develop unhealthy attachments to our pets, especially if we’re lonely.
Involving ourselves with our pets to the exclusion of human relationships can lead to deeper feelings of loneliness. The temptation to do this can actually be stronger after a bereavement.
Image credit: jpctalbot.
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