Could dog breeding be a buffer against outliving retirement income? Probably not, but pet ownership, especially dogs, is common among people over 50, according to a survey by AARP. The overwhelming reason for getting a pet was companionship (only 2 percent said they got a pet specifically for breeding or profit-making purposes), but one of the side effects reported was an increase in exercise.
Nearly 40 percent of boomers have a dog, and almost one-quarter have a cat. Older pet owners were more likely to say they got a pet as a companion, and men were more likely to say they got it for protection.