What do you get when you combine unconditional love, lifelong companionship, and excellent health care? You get the joy of adopting your new pet! Whether you’re looking to become an animal lover or already have one at home, there are many reasons to consider adding a pet to your family through adoption from your local animal shelter or rescue organization. Here are 10 reasons to adopt a pet instead of buying one from a breeder or pet store.
1) Rescue animals make the best pets
There are tons of pets in shelters across America. When people get a new pet, they’re often looking for something specific – like a cat that loves children or one that stays small. But, if you’re adopting an animal, you can’t know exactly what you’ll get! That’s why rescue animals make great companions – they’re friendly and they come with personalities, quirks, and habits already formed.
2) Pets help improve your mental health
One study found that for people living with depression, owning a pet reduced their symptoms by up to 77 percent. This can’t be understated, because research has shown that having pets or interacting with animals significantly reduces stress and anxiety. We all need something—or someone—to care about, and our furry friends provide unconditional love without judgment or worry. Pets also provide companionship: According to the animal advocacy group Humane Society of The United States (HSUS), pet owners are more likely than non-pet owners to enjoy life and feel more socially connected. They also had less loneliness and isolation than those who don’t have pets. Pets provide therapy: Animal-assisted therapy is real therapy.
3) Save money by adopting instead of buying
Of course, there are plenty of reasons for adopting a pet, but one of them is financial. While buying your new best friend might seem like an easy way to welcome him or her into your home (and family), it can also be costly outside of a shelter. A pup from a shelter will set you back only $50 and will come with vaccinations and health checkups, while an animal purchased from any breeder may cost several hundred dollars in addition to those extra costs.
4) People are healthier with pets in their lives
Owning a pet can be beneficial for people’s physical and mental health. Dogs, in particular, are known to lower their owners’ blood pressure, according to research published in Applied Psychophysiology and Biofeedback. In fact, dog owners who walked their dogs at least twice weekly reported significantly lower blood pressure than those who did not walk their dogs regularly.
5) You’ll make new friends at animal shelters
Dogs and cats can be real companions. Visiting a shelter is an important step in deciding which kind of pet you want to bring into your home. You’ll find purebreds and cross-breeds there, as well as animals that have already been fixed and are ready for adoption. Plus, you’ll get to meet many interesting people at animal shelters—all of whom could also become new friends! Before adopting your new furry friend, remember that pets need plenty of love and attention.
6) The right pet can be good for your kids
Kids who live with pets have lower blood pressure and fewer instances of depression, according to a number of studies. When you get a pet, teach your children how to take care of it—and why it’s important that they do so. Besides teaching them responsibility, they’ll likely develop bonds with their new pet over time. Those kinds of deep emotional connections can help children cope with stress later in life.
7) Having a dog is like having an alarm system for your home
He’ll welcome you with his tail wagging when you return and bark when anyone new comes by. Plus, dogs are social animals that can make a great companionship during long workdays. Lastly, they help keep us in shape by encouraging us to take walks around our neighborhood.
8) Pets can change how you interact with other people
Studies have shown that we communicate more openly with our pets than with other people. We are more likely to talk about our problems, concerns, and emotions to them than we are to family members or friends. Our pets offer comfort and companionship when needed most. They can help bring stability in times of crisis and stress. Pets can even help you get through times of unemployment.
9) Pets are great company when you are home alone all day long
There’s nothing like coming home from work or school, sitting down on your couch, and getting some love from your cat or dog. Pets can even help keep us healthy by reducing our stress levels and providing us with unconditional love. Don’t have enough time to look for an animal? Consider adopting one! Millions of homeless animals are looking for homes every day, so you could be saving an animal that would otherwise be euthanized.
10) It feels good to give back to an animal shelter that has given so much already
Shelters are overcrowded and rely on donations of food, medicine, and time from volunteers. There are many animals waiting for a safe haven from abuse or neglect, and giving them what they need makes you feel better about yourself. Sometimes like an itchy sweater, pets can make you feel warm and fuzzy: Pets can lower blood pressure and reduce your stress levels as well as help you make new friends in your neighborhood who share your love of pet care.