For personal as opposed to property protection, the elderly may have the most to gain, being more vulnerable and frequently living alone. In man y ways the elderly form a special group regarding dog ownership since their numbers are increasing, and they are more likely to feel lonely and suffer emotional isolation. The traditional extended family has declined and been replaced by the nuclear family where different generations usually live apart. Despite the obvious benefits, pet ownership is lower among older than younger age groups, possibly because older people worry over the well-being of their dogs if their own health declines, and because they see more disadvantages from dog ownership than do younger people. Perhaps most importantly, they fear the loss of their dog and their own resulting grief.
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