The impact of pets on humans’ moods and psyche is widespread and evidenced in the lower rates of euthanasia. In the United States, over 90 million households own a pet, some of the most popular being dogs, cats, and fish. Pets bring great joy and companionship to our lives, providing emotional support and helping us stay healthy and active.
Caring for a pet also has the potential to teach us responsibility, compassion, and empathy. In truth, having a pet can be a hugely rewarding experience for you and the animal. Hence, if you are considering getting a pet, there are several personal and social reasons why it may be an excellent idea for you.
Can improve your mental health
Several studies have pinpointed the positive impact of pets on our physical and mental health. For one, having a pet extends your life by improving your overall health and mood. The close relationship and bond formed with pets foster quicker recovery from depression, anxiety, and other similar mental health disorders.
Better physical health
Merely stroking a pet can lower your blood pressure and stress levels while increasing your serotonin and dopamine levels – chemical neurotransmitters responsible for regulating mood, social behavior, appetite, and sleep. Other health benefits of pets include reduced cholesterol levels, improved recovery time after illnesses, and significant improvements among patients dealing with certain medical conditions, such as Alzheimer’s disease and PTSD.
You are saving a life.
Most animals in a shelter are strays rescued from horrific situations such as brutality, neglect, and abandonment. Pet adoption serves as a way to save the lives of these homeless animals by providing them with love, care, a permanent home, and a second chance at happiness.
Furthermore, shelters are forced to euthanize animals due to overcrowding and a lack of resources. Adopting these animals helps significantly reduce the rate of pet euthanasia. Ultimately, pet adoption is a great way to save the life of homeless animals by providing them with love and care. Viewing animals as our emotional equals is not new, with several studies showing that they have the full range of human emotions; hence, we should also treat them with care and empathy.
Can benefit children
It is common for parents to introduce their children to pets at an early age. This is because pets can provide many benefits to children, from improved physical health to mental health, emotional development, socialization skills, and therapy. Children can be taught valuable life competencies by caring for a pet.
First, children with pets often learn to care for another living entity, fostering empathy, compassion, a sense of responsibility, and self-esteem. The mental benefits of interacting with a pet are also apparent in children, with most kids benefiting from their pet’s companionship and emotional support. Pets are valuable additions to a child’s development; however, teaching and supervising them how to interact with and care for pets are essential.
You could get a pet you never expected
Dogs, cats, and fishes are some of the most common animals adopted as pets. However, several other unlikely animals also work well as pets. Exotic animals, such as primates, exotic cats, reptiles, and raccoons, to mention a few, are some options in the vast array of animals waiting to be adopted in a shelter.
However, these animals are unlikely for a reason. These animals require specialized care and knowledge; hence, it is essential to consider their needs and resources before deciding to adopt an exotic pet. You can explore several steps to choose the perfect exotic pet species. Once the research is done, you can adopt a pet; you might connect with a pet you never expected.
For emotional support
Aside from improved physical health, having a pet can offer emotional support and improve a person’s mental health. As unlikely as it may sound, animals are known to be good listeners and can help ease loneliness and isolation. Caring for a pet offers a sense of responsibility and purpose, which can benefit those feeling depressed, hopeless, or helpless.
Highly helpful in the medical field
Several medical professionals train pets to act as therapy animals and provide emotional support for people with medical conditions or disabilities. Research has highlighted the importance of pets in improving self-esteem, providing a sense of security, and helping as an effective coping mechanism. Hence, if you deal with any mental or physical condition, consider adopting a pet with the right personality and temperament that suits your needs.
Companionship means different things for different people; however, it is based on a vital premise, wanting someone or something and enjoying their company. The benefits of companionship cannot be overstated, from improving mental health to reducing stress, offering emotional support, and satisfying the need for social interaction. Yet, most people are still trying to find quality companionship for one reason or another.
Aside from people, pets also make good companions for people, providing unconditional love and acceptance, which can be highly beneficial for people feeling lonely. Pets offer emotional support, a sense of purpose, increased physical activity, and other benefits we look to get from companionship. Regarding social interactions, pets provide social support, which can help owners interact with others.
It costs less
Adopting a pet from shelters or animal rescue institutions can often be cheaper than buying one from a breeder or pet store. Typically, the adoption fee for a pet from a shelter organization includes the costs of vaccination, spaying or neutering, chipping, and other medical treatments. This saves you a significant amount compared to buying a pet from a breeder or pet store.
Additionally, several animal shelters and rescue organizations, such as the Humane Society of New York, offer reduced adoption fees for exceptional cases and during special adoption events and promotions. Hence, if you wish to own a pet, adopting one from shelters or rescues is much more cost-effective.
Helping to build a better society
Aside from pet rescue and adoption, most local organizations also engage in other animal services. For instance, these organizations look to strengthen their programs that reunite lost pets with their families and push for a more pet-friendly environment in a community. However, while these are important, they are more secondary tasks, with a more pressing responsibility being the rescue and adoption of these pets. Hence, when pets are adopted faster than they arrive at these local shelters, they have more time and resources to focus on other responsibilities. By adopting a pet, you play a significant role in helping build a better society for pets and people.