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The benefits of pets for the elderly promoted in a new EU-wide campaign

The benefits of pets for the elderly promoted in a new EU-wide campaign ©

The International Federation for Animal Health Europe (IFAH-Europe) has just launched the campaign We Care, which aims to show how older people can boost their health and activity levels by spending time with pets.

The campaign aims to highlight the various ways in which animals not only bring companionship and pleasure but many other benefits to those in a later stage of life. It will run via a Facebook page and will be supported with more in-depth information on how to care for pets available from the IFAH-Europe website.

Continuing with the motto “Animals are good for us, be good to them. We care”, the campaign kicks off with an invitation to share short videos showing how older people enjoy life with their pet and giving a brief statement on what their pet means to them and how they care for them. Young people can encourage their parents/ grandparents to participate and post their videos in the campaign’s Facebook page.

The initiative was presented in Brussels at the European Pet Night on 20 February, where a wide range of stakeholders and EU decision-makers met to discuss the benefits of pets and responsible pet ownership. As demonstrated at the event by Activ’dog, a Belgian charity providing training for and organising pet-assisted therapy and activities, the presence of a cat or a dog at a nursing home brings joy into what can become a routine way of life and helps stimulate both physical activity and social interaction.