Retirement, Life Satisfaction, and Leisure Services: The Pet Connection


  • Patricia A. Norris
  • Kimberly J. Shinew
  • Garry Chick
  • Alan M. Beck


Pets, retirement, life satisfaction, human-animal bond, leisure services


This study explored pets' influence on the life satisfaction of recent and long-term retirees. More specifically, the study examined satisfaction with life, satisfaction with level of personal safety, freedom to travel, satisfaction with level of income, satisfaction with level of exercise, satisfaction with health, and perceived health among pet owners and nonpet owners. Findings indicated that life satisfaction decreased significantly from recent to long-term retirement. However, when accounting for pet ownership, a significant decrease in only one of the specific contributors (satisfaction with level of income) was found for pet owners, whereas four contributors (satisfaction with level of personal safety, freedom to travel, satisfaction with health, and perceived health) declined for non pet owners. With the rapidly increasing population of retirees and the obligation ofleisure professionals to serve them, the study introduces an area of interest for many retirees that has not been tapped. Suggestions are offered for recreation programming involving pets in the homes of retirees.





Regular Papers