A blog post I wrote for an animal charity:
Thinking of welcoming a new pet to the family home? Here are 4 great reasons to adopt your new best friend.
Because you’ll save a life:
Every day vets are put in the terrible position of euthanising healthy animals due to the lack of space in rescue shelters. Not only would your adoption provide a loving home to an animal that needs a new family, but you would also be freeing up space in a shelter that could then welcome a new arrival.
Because you’ll get a great animal:
There are almost as many reasons why an animal may have arrived in a shelter as there are animals living in them. Divorce, downsizing, allergies and overseas moves are among the myriad reasons that can see happy, well-adjusted animals in need of a new home.
Often these animals are a little older, which means that you can benefit from a pet that is already house trained and comfortable with people rather than having to start from scratch with a new kitten or puppy.
Because it will cost you less:
The cost of spaying or neutering, not to mention vaccinations and other initial expenses of bringing an animal straight from the litter to your home can often come as a surprise to new owners. Whilst cost should not be your principal concern when welcoming the newest member of the household, wouldn’t it be nice to spend the money you save on a nice comfy bed and some toys to welcome your new best friend?
Because you’ll change a homeless animal’s whole world:
Somebody once said that their aim in life was to be a person ‘as good as my pet already thinks I am’.
Adopting a homeless animal is one of the most rewarding things you can do. Not only do you change their whole world but they will also change yours for the better in ways that you never thought possible!
It has been scientifically proven that in addition to the obvious physical health benefits your daily dog walk provides, just having a dog in the house can help relieve stress and improve your mental health.
New owners are also surprised by the way in which a dog can imporve their social lives. It’s not unusual to see two complete strangers strike up a conversation when their dogs decide that they want to say hello to each other!
Not to mention that, at the end of a long day, there is nothing better than the exuberant waggy-tailed welcome you receive from your four-legged friend when you get home.
Sigmund Freud once said ‘time spent with cats is never wasted’.
Just like dogs, owning a cat can be incredibly beneficial to your mental health. Owners in multiple studies have commented on how their cat alleviates stress, and there is even evidence of lower rates of heart disease and strokes amongst cat owners.
Cats are very low-maintenance as they don’t require walks – most cats actually exercise themselves for entertainment. Also, they keep themselves clean and will earn their keep by guarding your house against rodents.
Most cats are also very playful, and it can be great fun to watch your frolicking feline bouncing around the house to its heart’s content. There’s a reason that cat videos are such a hit online!
Pets in a pandemic
For the past year, the world has been in the grip of a COVID-19 pandemic and, for many, having a four-legged friend at home has never been more rewarding. A great number of us have been forced to self-isolate, and most people’s daily routines have changed beyond recognition. A huge number of pet owners have reported that their pet’s company has been a great help in the battle against anxiety and loneliness.
Whilst a great deal of our interaction is happening remotely at the moment, there is something very comforting about the tactile component of petting an animal.