- The Ultimate Guide To Pet Adoption: The Benefits of Adopting A Pet
- You Get to Feel the Magic of The Meet Up
- You Get To Be The Recipient of Some TLC
- You Will Save a Life
- You Will Be Physically Healthier
- You Get to Help Your Local Shelter or Animal Rescue
- You Will Help End Puppy Mills
- You Will Get a Better Pet Match When You Adopt
- You Will Be Friendlier
- You Will Have a Better Love-Life
- You Will Save Yourself Some Serious Moolah
- 15 Surprising Benefits of Adopting a Shelter Dog
- 15 Amazing Benefits of Adopting a Pet
- Top reasons to adopt a pet | The Humane Society of the United States
- 1. Because you'll save a life
- 2. Because you'll get a great animal
- 3. Because it’ll cost you less
- 4. Because of the bragging rights
- 5. Because it's one way to fight puppy mills
- 6. Because your home will thank you
- 7. Because all pets are good for your health, but adoptees offer an extra boost
- 8. Because adoption helps more than just one animal
- 9. Because The Shelter Pet Project makes it easy
- 10. Because you'll change a homeless animal's whole world
- About Pets & People
- Pick the Right Pet
- Wash Your Hands
- Keep Your Pet Healthy
- Practice Good Pet Hygiene
- Teach Children How to Interact with Animals
- Keep Wildlife Wild
- The health benefits of adopting a dog
- 10 Benefits of Adopting a Pet | Animal Friends Pet Insurance
- 1. You are saving a life
- 2. You will save money
- 3. Helping to eradicate puppy farms and pet shops
- 4. Can improve your health and make you happier
- 5. Can benefit children
- 6. Many of the animals are housetrained
- 7. Unconditional love
- 8. You could get a pet you never expected
- 9. Older animals can prove to be the best companions
- 10. Adopting supports spaying and neutering
The Ultimate Guide To Pet Adoption: The Benefits of Adopting A Pet
This is it! There can only be one reason for you to be reading this and that is you want to adopt a pet! First off, lots of kudos to you for trying to read up before getting yourself a furry, scaly, or some other kind of fluffy companion! Want to know what the benefits of adopting a pet are? Then read on!
Adopting a pet is a life changing decision and it is understandable that some people (including you!) may want to be truly sure before heading to the shelter, your friend’s house, or an animal rescue to meet your new best friend.
Every person is different and the benefits of adopting a pet will not be the same for a child as compared to an adult. It is just the same as saying that adopting a goldfish is very different compared to say, adopting a horse.
In the whirlwind world of pet adoption, some surprises may pleasantly sweep you off your feet so you have to be ready for that too. So yeah, what are the benefits of adopting a pet?
We’ve interviewed hundreds of pet rescues and shelters all over America to get the best tidbits from the experts themselves and here they are, the benefits of adopting a pet in no particular order:
- SUGGESTED ARTICLE: Pet Adoption- What If You Can't Take Them With You?
You Get to Feel the Magic of The Meet Up
Have you ever experienced the magical feeling of being in-love? It is said that when you meet an animal for the first time and that animal has formed a connection with you, there is an explicable bond that forms and you just know, this animal is meant to be with you.
The bond is also reported to be deeper when that animal is from a shelter or a rescue; maybe because you know that taking that animal as your pet means that you will be giving it a better live. Some describes the feeling as almost falling in-love.
Some describe it as some kind of paternal or maternal instinct that makes you want to take care of another creature and love it as your own.
In the words of Star Paws Rescue Foundation’s Courtney Rheuban Ax, “There's something about bringing home an animal for the first time, either from the shelter or the rescue, and watching them realize that they are home and spending the rest of their life happy and warm and loved and safe. The unconditional love you get back from that dog or cat is one of the greatest things you can experience.”
But let’s not only focus on shelter or animal rescue pets here. Making room for another creature in your life is a gift in itself. Hope for Feral’s Ashleigh Kuhl sums the magic of the meet up as quoted, “Adopting a pet is the best gift you can give them. It is the gift of life. In return, they give you a lifetime of loyalty and love in their own unique way.”
You Get To Be The Recipient of Some TLC
Lots of pet animals are very loving creatures, and we’re not just talking of the furry kind of fur kid.
Nothing beats a wagging tail, a happy purr, some happy chirping, excited flapping, a swoosh of the tail, and some cuddling after a long day at work.
Pet parents are reportedly healthier and are less stressed than people who don’t own pets so yes, pets are good for you, just as much as you are good for them too!
In fact, the most loving pets are usually from shelters and shelters because they tend to be more appreciative of the love and care given to them.
Keyria Lockheart, a volunteer at the Last Hope Cat Kingdom says that, “I have had many tell me they love shelter animals more than non-shelter because they seem to appreciate being the environment and into a loving home.” Surely, that’s a great motivation to adopt a pet, yes?
You Will Save a Life
Let us inject a bit of unsavory honesty in this post – pet animals which do not end up in loving homes are destined for just one thing, a life of desolation in the streets or on their own and then ending in a lonely and slow death in some way or another. That’s very sad.
Not many people can say that they helped changed another creature’s life but when you adopt a pet, you gift yourself with that opportunity. Esther Lyon from Wayward Paws says.
“I think that the most useful information that potential adopters can know is that by adopting from a shelter or rescue group, you are giving a home to a cat/kitten that has never had one of their own.
” We agree with her, but is it a one-sided affair?
Pet owners often remark that one of the best benefits of adopting a pet is not just saving another creature’s life. You are actually enriching yours and in some cases, saving your own life.
There are numerous studies which shows that having a pet has plenty of health benefits, and it’s not just physical too.
Some people with mental conditions anxiety disorder and PTSD and people with social awkwardness all benefit from having a pet. It’s better than conventional therapy!
You Will Be Physically Healthier
Do you know that children who grew up in homes with pets suffer from less allergies? Yes! Growing up with pets can minimize the risk of developing allergies – and we are just getting started. Depending on what kind of pet you have, you are in for an array of benefits.
For dog owners, they tend to become more physically active and thus, have lower risk of developing heart disease and diabetes. If they do happen to already have those conditions, having a pet a dog can help them get more active and decrease their stress levels too. It’s not just dogs either.
All kinds of pets will benefit you with their power to simply turn off your stress switch. It is having your very own unlimited supply of antihypertensive and anti-stress tabs, for FREE!
You Get to Help Your Local Shelter or Animal Rescue
All over the world, pet rescues and shelters are filled to the brim with pets who have no other place to go. We all know how life will usually end up for them if no one comes to make them a part of their family. Adopting a pet, no matter how small is a big help to the community.
Just to give you a glimpse on what goes on inside a shelter or an animal rescue. Basset Rescue Across Texas’ Founder Anne Fifield says, “Opt to adopt. Yes, puppies are cute and cuddly.
Who doesn’t love puppies? However, there are thousands of animals in rescues and shelters who need a home or they could be euthanized. Shelters get full and have to make room for the dozens more coming in every day. You would be saving a life by adopting. Rescues become full, too.
If they don’t have an open place, they can’t bring more in. That means someone is going to lose their life”. Surely you don’t want that to happen right?
You Will Help End Puppy Mills
Let us just state that we have no problem with responsible breeders as the pets which ends up in shelters, streets, and animal rescues usually do not come from responsible pet breeders.
Pets that are often from puppy mills who do not care who the pet will end up with and do not care if the pets they are breeding are not from a sturdy or good line.
Buying from a puppy mill or an unregistered breeder only means that more well-deserving pets end up not having a home and puppy mills will keep on mass producing living creatures who deserve to be treated better than just a product in an unregulated factory.
You Will Get a Better Pet Match When You Adopt
As can be glimpsed above, baby pets are cute and everyone loves them but the cuddly ball of fur you have now can become your worst nightmare if the pet turned out to be totally different from your expectations breed characteristics.
It is why some people end up giving up the pet they got from an irresponsible breeder or puppy mill and why it is better to either adopt from a shelter or a rescue where the animal has been assessed for temperament and is more or less stable with how they are regarding mood and activity level.
With just a little bit of getting to know each other, you’ll ly end up with a dear companion who would deeply appreciate you and won’t take you for granted.
You Will Be Friendlier
People who have pets come as friendlier and more approachable. If you’ve been to a park or just chanced to see some dog owners at the street, they tend to congregate and look life-long friends, even if they have never met each other before. That’s because a common interest brings people together and everyone loves cute furkids!
You Will Have a Better Love-Life
Lacking dates? You may want to adopt a pet too. Having a better love life is indeed one of the benefits of adopting a pet; however, you have to remember that getting a pet should be something you really want and not just a temporary thing to be a guy or girl magnet.
Individuals who have pets are perceived as more family oriented, more responsible, and more caring – all sought-after characteristics when picking out a romantic interest.
In fact, people often feel so strongly about pets that your 'performance' the first time you meet the pet of your romantic interest is among the top parameters he/she will gauge you with.
That's right, your reaction to his/her pet or to the idea of having a pet ranks right up there with meeting friends and family!!
You Will Save Yourself Some Serious Moolah
Purchasing a pet can be very expensive, especially for certain animals and breeds. Adopting a pet from a friend who can no longer keep the pet, or adopting from a shelter or a rescue is way cheaper than buying one.
Sure, shelters and rescues can charge a certain fee and review your eligibility before letting you take home an animal, but what is that compared to the cost of buying one? A fresh-from-the-breeders pet is usually a baby and hence, you will have to take care of immunizations, vet bills, training, and everything else the pet needs whereas adopting one from a shelter or rescue often means that the pet has undergone vet check-up, has been given immunizations if applicable, and is basically A-okay. You’ll often get free expert advice and help from staff who wants the pet to have a great life with you – how’s that for some serious good deal?
San Diego Humane Society and SPCA’s Public Relations Program Manager Kelli Schry says, “There are many advantages to adopting a shelter animal. Adoption is a much more affordable option, and you know you’re getting an animal that has been assessed behaviorally and medically.
Our staff knows the animals well, so we can be sure you’re set up for a successful relationship.
At the San Diego Humane Society, your new pet is not your only new, lifelong friend! We are your resource for the entire lifespan of your pet, whether you need training advice, pet supplies, educational resources, we are here to support pet owners well beyond the point of adoption.”
We’re sure you have plenty of questions lined up and we’ll do our best to guide you by coming up with the best information through our The Ultimate Guide to Pet Adoption Series. Next time we’ll talk about the differences which sets apart animal rescues and shelters so stay tuned for that!
We’ve recently added a lovable fur kid to our family and we can’t wait for you to experience the same joy. How about you? Why do you think are the happy benefits of adopting a pet? Do let us know and let’s chat at our Page. Whether you are a first time owner or someone who has been with lovable pets all your life, we want to hear from you!
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15 Surprising Benefits of Adopting a Shelter Dog
Okay, okay, all kinds of dogs love their people. This is not exclusive to shelter dogs. But it's easy to project an extra-special feeling of gratitude and joy onto a grateful, happy dog who really needed you.
“I think if you adopt a dog who's had a less than perfect life, they are the ones who appreciate it the most when you give them a wonderful life with the attention, food, love, and training they crave,” says Trish McMillan, a professional dog trainer who spent nearly eight years working with the ASPCA's New York City shelter and currently co-chairs the International Association of Animal Behavior Consultants' Shelter Division. Don't miss these 50 secrets your pet won't tell you.
When you adopt from a shelter, you're giving a great home to a dog who needs one, but you're also freeing up the facility and its people to care for more animals that need help. Plus, every dog that isn't purchased from a puppy mill means there's less incentive for irresponsible breeding, according to the Humane Society.
“Puppy mill dogs have higher rates of inherited and infectious diseases, and the mothers of these puppies often suffer from inhumane breeding practices and inadequate care,” says Elizabeth Berliner, DVM, director of Maddie's Shelter Medicine Program at Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine.
(The Humane Society website has resources for finding good dog breeders, if that's the route you decide to take.)
Lots of dogs in shelters are adults that have already spent time living with other families—often successfully.
Nashville Humane Association executive director Laura Chavarria says about half the animals surrendered to her shelter come from families that can't find pet-friendly housing, and others are brought in because of owners' medical conditions or life changes.
“The majority of the dogs that come to our facility do so because of issues in their humans' lives,” she says. “These issues are beyond the dog's control.” Because they've matured past the puppy stage, adult dogs are less ly to chew shoes and dig up your garden. Ask yourself these 15 questions before you adopt a shelter dog.
Lots of adult dogs have been through the potty-training process, so they already know not to do their business in the house.
That said, any dog dealing with a new living situation might be prone to accidents while they get their bearings, but at least adult dogs are physically capable of going a few hours between potty breaks; the Humane Society says that puppies can typically only be expected to wait an hour for every month of their age, so a six-month-old pup will definitely require nighttime outings. These are habits you have that vets wish you would quit.
If you really want to bring home a youngster so you can play a strong role in socializing and training it early on and get all those warm cuddles, you can still adopt. Chavarria says her shelter gets “oops” puppies from unspayed female dogs: “We see a lot of pregnant mother dogs or nursing moms that enter our adoption center.
” Chavarria adds that the Nashville Humane Association has foster teams that take care of the puppies and mama dogs until they're healthy and old enough to go out to adoptive families. Berliner confirms that puppies are often available for adoption. “It sometimes takes a little time and patience to find the one for your family, but shelters are a great place to get a new puppy,” she says.
These are the 15 things you need before bringing a new pup home.
On the other end of the spectrum, if you're looking for a companion who doesn't need intensive exercise sessions, you might want to consider adopting a senior citizen. Berliner says that she's taken home several older dogs herself.
“Many shelters work hard to screen senior pets more thoroughly for conditions of aging, provide more extensive care to prepare them for adoption, and take pride in finding them homes,” she says, adding that these dogs often “provide fantastic companionship for quieter households, single people, and families.” (While you might be worried about high vet bills for seniors, it's important for all dog owners to know that animals can surprise you at any age with expensive medical conditions—youth is no guarantee of good health.) This is what “dog years” really means.
If you have your heart set on bringing a specific breed of dog into your life, you can still start by checking local shelters. “In my ten years of experience, I've seen full-blooded bulldogs, Chihuahuas, and Labradoodles available for adoption!” Chavarria says.
If you don't find what you're looking for, check out breed-specific rescue operations—the American Kennel Club's website has links and contacts for organizations that re-home dogs from Affenpinschers to Yorkies. These are the 18 best dog breeds for kids.
Although responsible breeders have had success in recent decades with reducing and eliminating some breed-specific genetic problems from their dogs (including one disorder that led to blindness in border collies and another that caused anemic disease in beagles), purebreds are still slightly more ly to have genetic disorders than mixed breeds, according to a 2018 study published in PLOS Genetics. “In general, mixed-breed shelter dogs tend to have fewer inherited genetic health problems compared with dogs from breeders,” Chavarria says.
Many shelters need volunteers to host dogs temporarily, which can both make space in the facility and also give those dogs a chance to show how they'll behave in a home environment.
“It can also provide an 'out-of-the-shelter' option for a dog that is not doing well in a shelter facility, or that has special behavioral or medical needs,” Berliner says, adding that many volunteers come to love fostering dogs.
In the process, you might just find the dog you want to adopt permanently. Even if you're not interested in fostering, many shelters will let you spend significant amounts of time with a dog you're interested in.
“Folks can come and 'check out' a dog for four hours during the day and have a Doggie Date,” Chavarria says about the Nashville Humane Association. Check out these 50 things that make your pet tick.
Don't rely solely on your own instincts when you're meeting dogs—staffers and volunteers at shelters and rescue organizations will have lots of information to share with you about their personalities, health, and behavior quirks.
“Many shelters work hard to ask questions about adopter expectations and lifestyles and endeavor to match adopters with dogs that would seem to do well in their homes,” Berliner says.
They'll also have information about the dogs' past situations and if they have lived in homes before (with previous owners or in foster care).
Staffers might also have some idea about how they get along with kids and cats, and about whether they get anxious when left alone or bark when they're stressed. Don't hesitate to ask lots of questions. These before-and-after dog adoption photos will melt your heart.
15 Amazing Benefits of Adopting a Pet
When you adopt a pet, a funny thing happens. You don't become a pet owner. You become a pet parent. (All you pet parents out there know exactly what we're talking about.) It's not as high-stakes as being an actual parent, of course, but the onus remains the same. This little bundle of joy? You are now solely responsible for its health and wellbeing.
But guess what? Your little furry friend is just as responsible for yours—and it goes beyond just greeting you king when you come home from work. In fact, dishing out a few pets a day can keep the doctor away. Here's how. And if you're thinking of going out and picking up a pet of your own, be sure to brush up on the 10 Things You Need to Know Before Adopting a Shelter Dog.
The trope of a “crazy cat lady” is a pervasive one. But as it turns out, it's entirely untrue. According to a study in PLoS One, pet parents are 40 percent more ly to form friendly human connections in their neighborhood than non-pet parents. And for more ways to make friends, here's How To Build A Bromance As Strong As Your Marriage.
According to research in the American Journal of Cardiology, pet-owning victims of cardiac arrest are ly to survive at least an additional year after the heart attack. In fact, dog ownership may be the most helpful medicine for a post-heart attack life. the the dog-owning group of heart attack survivors in the study, just a single study participant passed away.
Coming home to a loving pet is a personal paw-print paparazzi. (It's amazing!) But there's a reason coming home to a bundle of fur feels you just took a load off—and the research dates back a long time.
According to a 2002 study from SUNY Buffalo, being around your pet significantly reduces stress levels while doing a stressful task, trying to meet a deadline at work. In fact, being around your pet reduces stress more than being around a family member does.
For more ways to slash stress, be sure to avoid the 20 Mistakes That Are Only Compounding Your Stress.
For parents of kids with ADHD, there may be a solution to the “medicate or not to medicate” question.
According to a study in the Journal of Attention Disorder, kids who undergo canine-assisted intervention (CAI) go on to have better social interaction—a bump in prosocial behaviors and a reduction in so-called “bad behavior”—than kids who undergo traditional cognitive behavioral interventions.
Gluten. Nuts. Pollen. It seems everyone's allergic to something.
But, per a study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, growing up around pets alters your body on a microbial level, so you're less ly to develop allergies as you age.
As far as pet allergies, well, they'll simply never develop in the first place. A subset of study participants grew up on farms—none of them had allergies to pets.
Everyone knows and loves the solider-reunited-with-dog videos. (One top compilation on has amassed more than 50 million views.
) But there's more than just literal puppy love to these heartwarming clips; being around animals helps soothe PTSD.
In fact, in 2012, Walter Reed Memorial Hospital approved a pilot program for using trained therapy dogs to rehabilitate soldiers suffering from PTSD.
Here's your three-step plan for reducing cholesterol: Cut back on red meat. Eat more omega-3s. And pet your cat.
Yes, according to the CDC, consistently being around a household pet will significantly lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels.
(The CDC is sure to note, however, that their research is inconclusive on if Fido himself lowers your figures, or if pet parents just happen to live healthier lives than non-parents.)
According to the American Heart Association, pet parents have a significantly lower risk of developing heart disease, especially if their fur child is a dog. Dog owners are apparently 54 percent more ly than non-owners to get the daily recommended amount of physical activity. This checks out; after all, dogs need to be walked—all the dang time.
But, despite how annoying walking Fido may be, going for a dog walk is immeasurably helpful. In addition to maintaining a healthy blood pressure level, 10 minutes of daily walking, according to the Mayo Clinic, can help prevent diabetes, can improve posture, and can strengthen your bones.
For folks suffering from addiction, stress is a major catalyst for relapse. Pets, as mentioned, reduce stress.
But, per the folks at Promises Treatment Centers, a series of rehabilitation facilities in southern California, those pets can have even more benefits for people struggling with addiction.
In fact, the doctors at PTC encourage most of their patients to adopt a pet once they're discharged. The existence of a furry friend provides the social support necessary for “avoiding [the] stress and depression that can lead to relapse.”
Surgery is terrible. But there's one a silver lining. According to a study in Anthrozoos, pet-owning patients recovering from surgery have a 28-percent less need for pain medication, valium or Vicodin. So pet away. It'll keep the doctor away.
Reach for the tissues, folks: Each year, according to the ASPCA, 1.5 million shelter cats and dogs are euthanized each year. (The good news: This is a reduced number from the recent high, 2.6 million, in 2011.) By deciding to adopt a pet, you get to adopt something else: The moral high ground.
You regularly see “seeing-eye dogs” on the street. (Don't pet the pups without express permission.
They're working!) But there's an entirely different type of service animal: Emotional support animals, which are meant to treat everything from anxiety and depression to chronic panic attacks.
And if anyone tries to bar your emotional support animal from an airplane or apartment, know this: You're protected by the Fair Housing Act and the Air Carrier Act.
Yes, as mentioned, seeing-eye dogs are service animals. But these hardworking fur-balls can do more than serve as a substitute pair of eyes; service animals can help with a variety of ailments, including deafness, diabetes, and epilepsy. You can register both service animals and emotional support animals at the U.S. Service Animal & Support Animal Registry.
Or so we've heard.
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Top reasons to adopt a pet | The Humane Society of the United States
Thinking of adding a pet to your family? Here are ten reasons to adopt your new best friend.
1. Because you'll save a life
Each year, it's estimated that more than one million adoptable dogs and cats are euthanized in the United States, simply because too many pets come into shelters and too few people consider adoption when looking for a pet.
The number of euthanized animals could be reduced dramatically if more people adopted pets instead of buying them. When you adopt, you save a loving animal by making them part of your family and open up shelter space for another animal who might desperately need it.
2. Because you'll get a great animal
Animal shelters and rescue groups are brimming with happy, healthy pets just waiting for someone to take them home. Most shelter pets wound up there because of a human problem a move or a divorce, not because the animals did anything wrong. Many are already house-trained and used to living with families.
3. Because it’ll cost you less
Usually when you adopt a pet, the cost of spay/neuter, first vaccinations (and sometimes even microchipping!) is included in the adoption price, which can save you some of the up front costs of adding a new member to your family. Depending on the animal, you may also save on housebreaking and training expenses.
4. Because of the bragging rights
No one needs to see another selfie—unless it’s a selfie of you with the adorable pet you just adopted! Adopt a pet, post those pictures and let the well-earned s roll in.
5. Because it's one way to fight puppy mills
If you buy a dog from a pet store,online seller or flea market, you’re almost certainly getting a dog from a puppy mill.
Puppy mills are factory-style breeding facilities that put profit above the welfare of dogs. Animals from puppy mills are housed in shockingly poor conditions with improper medical care, and are often very sick and behaviorally troubled as a result.
The moms of these puppies are kept in cages to be bred over and over for years, without human companionship and with little hope of ever joining a family.
And after they're no longer profitable, breeding dogs are simply discarded—either killed, abandoned or sold at auction.
These puppy mills continue to stay in business through deceptive tactics — their customers are unsuspecting consumers who shop in pet stores, over the Internet or through classified ads. Puppy mills will continue to operate until people stop supporting them. By adopting a pet, you can be certain you aren't giving them a dime.
6. Because your home will thank you
Many of the pets from shelters and rescues are already house-trained, which means you’re not only saving a pet’s life, you may be saving your rug. Adopting a mature pet not only gives older animals a second chance, it often means introducing them to your family will be much easier.
7. Because all pets are good for your health, but adoptees offer an extra boost
Not only do animals give you unconditional love, but they have been shown to be psychologically, emotionally and physically beneficial to their companions. Caring for a pet can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment and lessen feelings of loneliness. And when you adopt, you can also feel proud about helping an animal in need!
8. Because adoption helps more than just one animal
Overburdened shelters take in millions of stray, abused and lost animals every year, and by adopting an animal, you’re making room for others. Not only are you giving more animals a second chance, but the cost of your adoption goes directly towards helping those shelters better care for the animals they take in!
9. Because The Shelter Pet Project makes it easy
You can go to the Shelter Pet Project to find pets near you, of every size, color, temperament and breed. Purebred and mixed breed animals a are waiting for their forever homes!
10. Because you'll change a homeless animal's whole world
And get a new best friend the deal. Seriously, what could be better than that?
About Pets & People
There are many health benefits of owning a pet. They can increase opportunities to exercise, get outside, and socialize. Regular walking or playing with pets can decrease blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and triglyceride levels. Pets can help manage loneliness and depression by giving us companionship. Most households in the United States have at least one pet.
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 triglyceride levels
- Decreased feelings of loneliness
- Increased opportunities for exercise and outdoor activities
- Increased opportunities for socialization
However, pets can sometimes carry harmful germs that can make us sick even when the pet appears healthy. The diseases people get from animals are called zoonotic (zoe-oh-NOT-ic) diseases. Below are some tips to help you and your family stay healthy while enjoying pets.
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?
Children 5 years of age and younger, people with weakened immune systems, and people 65 years of age and older are more ly to get diseases spread between animals and people (also known as zoonotic diseases). Pregnant women are also at a higher risk for certain animal-related diseases. Before getting a new pet, keep the following in mind:
- Households with children 5 years of age and younger should not have pet reptiles (turtles, lizards, snakes), amphibians (frogs, toads), or backyard poultry because of the risk of serious illness from harmful germs spread between these animals and young children.
- People with weakened immune systems should take extra precautions when choosing and handling pets. Talk to your veterinarian for help picking the best pet.
- Pregnant women should avoid adopting a new cat or handling stray cats, especially kittens. Cats can carry a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis—a disease that can cause birth defects. If you are pregnant, you do not need to give up your current cat, but you should avoid changing cat litter.
- Pregnant women should avoid contact with pet rodents to prevent exposure to lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, which can cause birth defects. If you’re pregnant and have a pet rodent, avoid direct contact and have someone else clean its habitat.
Wash Your Hands
Whether you are playing with, feeding, or cleaning up after your pet, it is important to wash your hands to help reduce the risk of getting sick from germs pets can carry. If you or a family member are concerned about illness, talk to a doctor and mention the animals you’ve had contact with recently.
Always wash hands:
- After touching or playing with your pet
- After feeding your pet or handling pet food
- After handling pet habitats or equipment (cages, tanks, toys, food and water dishes, etc.)
- After cleaning up after pets
- After leaving areas where animals live (coops, barns, stalls, etc.), even if you did not touch an animal
- Before eating and drinking
- Before preparing food or drinks
- After removing soiled clothes or shoes
Running water and soap are best for hand washing, but you can use hand sanitizer until running water and soap are available. Adults should always assist young children with hand washing.
Keep Your Pet Healthy
Whether you have a dog, cat, horse, parakeet, gerbil, bearded dragon, or other fun pet, providing regular, life-long veterinary care is important for keeping your pet and family healthy. Regular veterinary visits are essential to good pet health. Talk to your pet’s veterinarian about how to keep your pet healthy.
Provide your pet with a good diet, fresh water, clean bedding, and plenty of exercise. Keep up with your pet’s vaccines, deworming, and flea and tick control. Some pets can carry ticks that can spread serious diseases Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever to people.
In areas with plague—including some rural areas in the western US—fleas can be a risk to both animals and their owners.
By keeping your pet healthy, you help to keep yourself and your family healthy. Contact your veterinarian if you have any questions about your pet’s health or if you think your pet may be sick.
Practice Good Pet Hygiene
In addition to hand washing, practicing good pet hygiene can help prevent the spread of germs between pets and people.
Keep pets and their supplies the kitchen, and disinfect pet habitats and supplies outside the house when possible. Never clean supplies in the kitchen sink, food preparation areas, or the bathroom sink.
Pets can contaminate surfaces in your home with germs—you don’t have touch pets to get sick from their germs.
Always remove your dog’s feces (poop) from your yard and public places by using a bag, and dispose of it in proper areas. Dog and cat poop can contain parasites and germs that can be harmful to people.
Keep children away from areas that might contain dog or cat poop to prevent them from getting roundworms and hookworms. Cover sand boxes so cats don’t use them as a litter box. Clean the cat’s litter box daily to lower the chances of exposure to harmful parasites.
Remember, pregnant women should avoid changing a cat’s litter box if possible.
Teach Children How to Interact with Animals
Pets can teach children compassion and responsibility. However, children 5 years of age and younger should be supervised while interacting with animals to ensure the safety of the child and the pet.
Teach children to wash their hands right after playing with animals or anything in the animals’ environment (cages, beds, food or water dishes).
Don’t let children kiss pets or put their hands or other objects in their mouths after handling animals.
Adults should supervise and be extra cautious when children 5 years of age and younger have direct contact with farm animals, including animals at petting zoos and fairs.
Keep Wildlife Wild
Although they may look cute and cuddly, avoid touching wild animals to reduce the risk of illness and injury.
Don’t encourage wild animals such as raccoons, prairie dogs, or wild rodents to come into your home by feeding them.
You might find a young animal that appears to be abandoned and want to rescue it, but often its parent is close by. If you are concerned about the safety of a wild animal, contact a local wildlife rehabilitation facility
The health benefits of adopting a dog
Almost everyone loves a dog, but did you know having a pet also has health benefits? Read on for four wonderful benefits of sharing your life with a canine companion.
Get more exercise
Dogs to – love to – go for walks. What’s good for Fido is also good for you. There are very few days when I do not meet the recommended 10,000 steps per day and often greatly exceed that number. Plus I’ve seen so many areas of the city and happened upon some great concerts in the park only because I was out walking my dog.
I’m not the only one. A study of 5,200 Japanese adult dog owners were found to be 54 percent more ly to get the recommended level of walking and physical activity – significantly more than non-dog owners. Escape the back yard and get out and enjoy the beautiful sunrises and sunsets with your canine companion.
Make new friends
I moved to Chicago nearly three years ago, and I’ve met all my friends in the city because of the dog factor.
Dogs are a natural ice breaker to begin a conversation, and you cross paths with people, and fellow dog owners, more when you are out and about daily. And, friends are important to your overall health.
A study from Brigham Young University suggests social relationships lead to longer and more fulfilled lives.
Even on a bad day, coming home to a dog readily greeting you will put a smile on your face.
“Petting your dog is relaxing, but more than that, it can help lower your blood pressure and cut down on levels of a stress hormone,” says Dr.
Marc Silver, a cardiologist at the Advocate Heart Institute at Christ Medical Center, and a dog owner. “And, exercising is another way to reduce stress, which is something you are more ly to do when you have a dog.”
Help your heart
According to the American Heart Association, dog ownership could help to decrease your risk of heart disease. While no study to date offers definitive proof that having a canine companion is good for your heart, it could be because dog owners potentially walk more, have a good social circle, and have lower stress, which are all important to heart health!
“While no study leads to a concrete reason, the evidence is strong enough to allow the American Heart Association to issue a Scientific Statement on Pet Ownership and Cardiovascular Risk,” says Dr. Silver.
He explains the statement reviewed the available research on the influence of pet ownership on improved blood pressure, cholesterol and other cardiovascular disease risk factors and concluded that “pet ownership, particularly dog ownership, may be reasonable for reduction in cardiovascular disease risk.”
A word of caution
While dogs can help improve your health and give you unconditional love, make sure you have the time and resources to train, socialize, care for and spend time with your dog.
If your dog will spend long hours alone because of your work, travel or social schedule, a dog is not the right pet for you.
Consider volunteering for your local animal shelter and pet sitting for friends and family instead.
Adoption is an option
If you do decide that a dog fits your lifestyle, consider adoption. Shelters and rescues all over the U.S.
are filled with dogs – from mixed breeds to purebred dogs – just waiting to be wonderful companions.
In Chicago, you may want to check out PAWS Chicago, ALIVE Rescue, The Anti-Cruelty Society, Chicago Canine Rescue, Animal Welfare League and City of Chicago Animal Care and Control.
Kate’s dog, Abby, enjoying a walk in Chicago
10 Benefits of Adopting a Pet | Animal Friends Pet Insurance
Adopting a pet has many benefits, some of which you may have not considered. Here are some reasons why adopting a pet would benefit you and your family.
1. You are saving a life
By adopting from a shelter, you are providing an animal with the second chance they deserve. Many have been rescued from horrific circumstances such as cruelty, neglect and abandonment, or quite simply their owners were no longer able to look after them due to illness or a change in situation.
Shelter staff work tirelessly to nurse animals back to health, rehabilitate disturbed animals and do everything they possibly can to ensure they are prepared to go to a new home. Sadly, not all of them are as fortunate.
Some shelters have to euthanise due to lack of space, meaning many healthy animals lose their lives.
By rehoming a pet you can give an animal that has been abandoned through no fault of their own a loving, stable home, and help to stop overpopulation.
2. You will save money
Shelters often microchip, spay, neuter and vaccinate the animals that come into their care. This saves you a lot of money because you don’t have to pay for the procedures yourself and it ensures the pet you are taking home is healthy. Also, the prices of adopting a pet from a shelter are often a lot lower than the rates charged by breeders.
3. Helping to eradicate puppy farms and pet shops
A puppy farm, or mill, is the illegal practice of breeding puppies for the sole purpose of maximising profit, without any regard to the dogs’ health or wellbeing. Dogs at puppy farms are forced to breed several times to their detriment and they are often kept in terrible conditions without basic necessities.
People who run such places are not concerned with producing healthy dogs, so they can be born with severe problems that emerge over time. The dogs usually don’t receive any veterinary care, and will often be destroyed once they can no longer reproduce.
Additionally, dogs at pet shops are often products of puppy farms.
Adopting from a shelter aids in stopping dogs from being subjected to such horrific circumstances, because rather than funding this illegal trade you will be rehoming a pet from somewhere reputable that supports animal welfare.
4. Can improve your health and make you happier
Various studies have shown that a having pet can elongate your life, whilst improving your overall happiness and health. It also helps people with depression, stress, anxiety and many other ailments. The affectionate and loyal nature of dogs as pack animals that form close relationships with their owners can help sufferers of depression, who may feel they don’t have anybody else.
Stroking your pet can reduce your blood pressure and stress levels, and playing with them can increase the levels of serotonin and dopamine your body produces, making you feel calm and relaxed.
Walking the pet is a way to exercise and provides sufferers of anxiety and depression with a reason to leave the house. It also creates opportunities for socialising with other dog walkers.
The animal you have helped through rehoming can help you.
5. Can benefit children
Children can be taught valuable life skills through pet ownership, such as the importance of maintaining responsibilities.
Rehoming a pet will also encourage empathy by making them think about how they have helped to give an unwanted animal a loving home.
Pets can help children with separation anxiety and provide them with security, as they can be safe in the knowledge that someone will always be there. As well as this, they can be a loving companion and playmate.
6. Many of the animals are housetrained
Animals at shelters have often been housetrained in their previous home, particularly if they are older. This saves you a lot of time and extra effort when training your new pet where to go to the toilet.
7. Unconditional love
A pet is a companion that will never judge you, will love you regardless of whatever happens and will always be there. As well as making you feel great, their unconditional love raises your self-esteem because of the affection they show you. It is said that animals know when they have been rescued, so the bond between you and your rehomed pet will be especially strong.
8. You could get a pet you never expected
Although you may have an idea of what you are looking for, there are a wide variety of animals waiting to be adopted from shelters. This may mean an animal you would never have imagined could turn out to be the best match for you. Therefore, it is always important to have an open mind when visiting shelters.
9. Older animals can prove to be the best companions
Many people want to adopt puppies and kittens without considering the advantages of having an older pet. If trained in their previous home they will be less ly to destroy furniture than a younger pet, and as such, will probably require less supervision.
Older pets are often calmer and quite happy to sit in your company rather than demanding constant attention.
They also have more developed personalities than puppies or kittens, so it may be more apparent when visiting them at the shelter whether or not you are suited.
10. Adopting supports spaying and neutering
Spaying and neutering animals is important in controlling the animal population. Many pets that aren’t spayed or neutered often contribute to the problem of unwanted animals, which can lead to more being left at shelters. Adopting an animal from a shelter means that your new pet has been spayed or neutered where possible.
Insuring your pet gives you peace of mind that you and your pet will be covered if anything were to happen. Animal Friends offer a wide range of policies for you to choose from.