Caring for a pet can be a great comfort. They offer companionship and fun, and quickly become just like a member of the family.
Research shows that caring for a pet has multiple health benefits. Owning a pet has been linked to lowered blood pressure and cholesterol, and fewer minor ailments such as cold and flu. A pet is also a great way to combat loneliness and feelings of isolation.
Having a pet around the house has a very calming effect so is great for people suffering from anxiety and stress. Pets lower Cortisol, the stress-related hormone in the body. Petting an animal also releases the feel-good hormone Oxycontin in both the owner and their pet.
Other studies have shown that people who own a pet are less likely to suffer from clinical depression. Preliminary studies show an increase in the chemicals Serotonin and Prolactin. Taking care of an animal and being responsible for their food, shelter and health also offers a sense of purpose and meaning in life. Studies also show that dog walking has multiple health benefits.
Many people concerned with animal welfare are choosing to adopt pets from shelters. Doing this provides a vulnerable animal with a loving home and frees up desperately needed resources at shelters across the country.
Sadly, certain animals are more vulnerable and less likely to be adopted than others. In particular, people often overlook older animals, black cats and certain breeds of dogs. Shelters also report they are inundated in the weeks after Christmas. This is mostly due to people who receive animals as unwanted Christmas presents.
It’s a match!
The well-being of animals is paramount to Animal Shelters. They will provide a carefully considered match between a pet and their new owner. They are committed to finding animals the perfect owner who matches the animal’s personality and specific needs.
If you’re interested in adopting, a good place to start is the RSPCA’s find a Pet service.
Can’t Have Your Own Pet?
Not everyone is able to commit to owning a pet. However, with recent dog borrowing services people can still get to know a dog. Services such as Borrow My Doggy link dogs who need extra company with people who don’t have a dog of their own. You can read many heartwarming stories about borrowers who have made close friends through these services, both with the dogs they borrow and their owners too!
Temporarily Foster An Animal
Another option for people who are unable to take in an animal long-term is to foster. Animal Shelters need people who can provide a temporary home to animals allowing them quiet time to recover from abuse or illness, before they start on their journey to find a permanent forever home.