The many benefits of sharing your home with a pet

The many benefits of sharing your home with a pet

by Bryn Fest

As anyone who has a pet or grew up with animals in their home knows, having a cat or dog around the house brings you all sorts of benefits. This post discusses just a few of them, as well as giving some advice on how to decide if you’re ready for a pet and why you should adopt not shop for your furry friend. You’ll almost certainly be on your way to your local rescue shelter by the time you get to the end!

Why you should consider getting a pet

Sharing your life with a pet offers all sorts of wonderful advantages. Firstly, animals can be a genuine source of companionship. Many people consider their pets to be valuable members of their family, who brighten their day and comfort them when they’re sad. Unsurprisingly, research has found that animals can play a significant role in mitigating symptoms of loneliness. In fact, having a dog might even help you to meet new people, for example by joining a walking group or training class.

Pet ownership can have numerous beneficial impacts on your physical and mental health. For instance, studies have revealed that the simple act of petting a dog or cat not only improves your mood but actually lowers your blood pressure. This in turn can help to reduce your risk of harmful medical conditions such as heart attacks. Some research even suggests that a cat’s purr can have a healing effect on muscles and bones!

In addition, spending time with animals can be an effective way to reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression. Even if you don’t suffer from such mental health concerns, it’s hard not to feel better after a bad day at work when your dog rushes over to greet you or your cat jumps onto your lap, curls up and starts purring!

Owning a dog can have an even more noticeable impact on your health thanks to the fact that they require you to walk them every day. Going out so often is a fantastic way to boost your fitness and will lower your risk of diseases such as obesity and diabetes. Even though cats don’t need walking, they do usually want you to spend time playing with them – which is sure to help you burn a few more calories than you would sitting in front of the TV!

How to decide if you’re ready for a pet

If reading about the benefits of pet ownership has convinced you that you’d like to welcome an animal into your home, you first need to make sure that you’re ready for it. After all, animals are living creatures with their own emotions and needs – and caring for one is a big responsibility. You need to be confident that you have the money, space, time and effort required to give a pet a loving home before picking out that cute kitten or puppy!

Another aspect to consider is whether you’re emotionally prepared to have a pet. For example, will you still love them if they misbehave sometimes? If you have children, do they know how to care for an animal? Will you be able to cope if your pet gets sick or dies? Those who have grown up with animals will know there are ways to help someone who has lost a pet, but it’s still an eventuality you need to think about in advance.

It can be helpful to talk to friends who already have pets to get a better idea of what’s involved or have a read of pet blogs online. If you’re still unsure, you could try volunteering to walk dogs or foster cats for a local animal shelter. This is also a brilliant option for people who are unable to take on a pet permanently due to work commitments, frequent travel, or the unsuitability of their current home. Then, once you’re in a position where you can have a pet of your own, you’ll definitely be ready!

Adopt don’t shop

If you do decide to get a pet, please consider adopting one from a rescue shelter rather than buying from a breeder. Unfortunately, many animals in pet stores and online marketplaces are raised by breeders who keep them in shockingly bad conditions without any affection or even proper medical care. As such, they often suffer from poor physical and mental health. By rescuing an animal from a sanctuary instead, you can be confident that you’re not inadvertently supporting such unethical practices.

It’s a common misconception that shelter animals are dangerous or badly behaved, but the truth is that the vast majority of them are there through no fault of their own. Their owner may have died, been unable to look after them anymore or simply decided they no longer wanted a pet. Shelters also spend time with an animal before putting it up for adoption so that they know more about its personality and requirements – this way they are able to match up people to the animal most suitable for them. By offering one a loving home, you’ll not only be saving their life, but you’ll be freeing up space for another unwanted animal to be rescued and cared for until they find their forever home.

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