aginginplace.org reports of studies that show that a pet can have both mental and physical benefits for seniors. “Just 15 minutes” of a senior bonding with a pet sets off a chemical chain reaction in the brain. The reactions cause a lowering of the fight-or fight hormone, cortisol, and an increase of the production of serotonin, the feel-good hormone. This results in an almost immediate lowering of heart rate, blood pressure, and stress level. Long term interactions between humans and animals can lead to lowering cholesterol, fighting depression, and help prevent heart disease and stroke.