Associations between pet ownership and frailty: A systematic review

Gotaro Kojima, Reijiro Aoyama, Yu Taniguchi

Research output: Journal article publicationReview articleAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Frailty is defined as a state of increased vulnerability due to age-related decline in reserve and function across multiple physiological systems. Increasing physical activity level is considered to be a measure to counteract frailty. Some studies have indicated that pet owners are more engaged in physical activity than non-owners. We conducted a systematic review regarding associations between pet ownerships and frailty among community-dwelling older adults and critically assessed the findings. PubMed was searched in April 2020 according to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines for cross-sectional or prospective studies examining associations between pet ownership and frailty in community-dwelling older adults with a mean age of 60 or above. A supplementary search was done using Google Scholar. Identified articles were reviewed by two investigators independently and assessed for methodological quality. The search identified 48 studies, among which three studies (two cross-sectional and one prospective) were included in this review. These studies suggested that pet ownership may be associated with a lower risk of frailty. This systematic review found only a limited amount of relevant research. More research is needed to establish the link between pet ownership and frailty as well as healthy aging and well-being.

Original languageEnglish
Article number0089
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
JournalGeriatrics (Switzerland)
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • Frail elderly
  • Frailty
  • Pet
  • Systematic review

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Gerontology
  • Health(social science)

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