“If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans.”―James Herriot
Dogs rock! Cats rock! Horses are beautiful. Behold the stoicism of the iguana. No matter your animal preference, having a pet at home can bring endless love, companionship, and moments of good ole fashion humor.
The Benefits of Pet Ownership
Studies have shown that the bond between people and their pets can increase fitness, lower stress, and bring happiness to their owners. Some of the health benefits of having a pet include:
• Decreased blood pressure
• Decreased cholesterol levels
• Decreased feelings of loneliness
• Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities
• Increased opportunities for socialization
Pick the Right Pet
Before adopting a new pet, make sure that it is the right one for you and your family. Do some research beforehand about the specific needs of the animal. Ask yourself these questions before getting a pet:
• How long will this animal live?
• What does the pet eat?
• How much exercise does the pet need?
• How large will it become?
• How much will it cost for veterinary care?
• Do I have enough time to properly care for and clean up after the pet?
• What type of habitat does this pet need to be healthy?
• What type of exercise does this pet need?
• Are pets allowed in my house, apartment, or condominium?
• Are there young children, older people, or people with weak immune systems who will care for or be around the pet?
Once you have your done due diligence, and checked all the important boxes, pick the animal that shows enthusiasm for joining your family.
Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Healthy People, Healthy Pets
NEXT STEPS: If you are unable to have a pet at home, consider volunteering at the local animal shelter and enjoy the free love.