4 Reasons Why It’s Time To Get A Pet
Whether you’re already a pet parent or have admired pets of friends and family (even strangers) from a distance, you know how amazing it can be when you spend time with these little gifts of sunshine walking on four legs.
Videos of cute animals receive millions of views every day for the very simple reason that they make people feel better. Pets have that effect on people - they’re too cute and adorable without even trying.
Pets are companions that love you without condition and bias. They just simply do!
If you’ve already watched a dozen dog videos on YouTube and are thinking of becoming a pet parent but can’t seem to get over the line, here are some reasons that may just help you make up your mind.
Pets are an amazing source of comfort and support
Imagine this, you come home after a long, hard day at work and the minute you open your front door, you are greeted by your overly excited pet - wagging tail, warm, fluffy, cuddles, and all.
It doesn’t matter if you left him alone the entire day, the only thing that matters to him is you’re home.
Now, wouldn’t that turn any bad day into a good one, in an instant??
Pets are also known to provide comfort and support during difficult times for the very simple reason that they fulfill the very basic human need for touch.
According to research, interacting with animals decreases the stress hormone cortisol and also lowers blood pressure.
Oxytocin or the hormone responsible for creating a sense of calm and comfort have been observed to increase in people interacting with animals.
Therapy dogs are especially good at reducing hospital and nursing home patients’ stress and anxiety. Dr. Ann Berger from NIH Clinical Center in Maryland shares that mindfulness, a way to help decrease stress and manage pain, is something that animals do innately.
Pets can improve your health
If you have pets that need exercise and physical movement as part of their routine, chances are you’re going to be moving with them too.
Walking your dogs, or cats in a nearby park not only allows them to get the fresh air and physical activity they need, but you also get your daily dose of sunshine and movement as well.
A growing number of studies have also shown that kids who grow up surrounded by furry animals are less likely to develop asthma and skin allergies like eczema.
Having pets are also proven to reduce blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels while providing a lot of opportunities for socialization!
Pets give you purpose
Kookai, a fur mom to her furry Dirk, shares that her “little boy” changed her life. She always wanted a pet dog growing up, and one day she just decided to come home with one! Her entire life changed that day, and the rest is history.
“Taking care of a dog is the BEST feeling you’ll ever experience in your life. It’s life-changing and it will bring you immeasurable happiness and love. Because of Dirk, I finally understood what unconditional love meant. He made me feel I have a purpose”, shares Kookai.
Pets need their owners for survival, and this need gives their owners a sense of purpose and reason. When a living thing depends on you for something, you find it in yourself to deliver and be there for them.
Pets make you responsible
One very important nugget of wisdom that you have to remember when getting a pet is that it is a living, breathing creature that requires food, water and attention to survive.
Not because they’re fluffy, furry and cute doesn’t mean you can leave them lying around when you’re done playing with them just like you would to a stuffed animal.
Kookai shares one bit of advice to future parents, “Love them as your own. If you want a pet, don’t keep them in a cage nor tie them up. If you’ll only put them in one, then don’t get one. They don’t deserve that kind of life.”
Pets require attention, resources and energy from their carers.
When you decide that you’re ready for that type of commitment, you knowingly and consciously bear the responsibility that comes with getting yourself a fluffy (or even scaly) companion.
While dogs and cats are the common pet options for most people, don’t discount other animals too! Some pet owners choose to take care of fishes, turtles, and tortoises, among others because they are low maintenance and don’t require as much attention compared to dogs and other furry pets.
If you feel you’re not yet ready and you still need a bit of time and adjustment before taking the plunge, worry not!
There are plenty of other alternatives available for those who want to spend time with animals but are not yet ready to take care of them full time.
If you have friends with pets, you can volunteer to be pet sitters for a few hours while they run errands. You can also try and be a volunteer in animal shelters that care for animals that need permanent homes.
Hero Image by Eric Ward on Unsplash