If you’re a “pet person”, you already know how much comfort you get having a pet. You may not be able to imagine life without your furry companion. If you’re trying to convince a “non-pet person” of this, however, you may welcome some evidence from recent research.
Scientists have shown that pets contribute to human health in a number of ways. From a physical standpoint, they help decrease our level of cortisol, a stress-inducing hormone. They also help lower blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. If we take them for walks, they increase our level of physical activity. The Power of Pets | NIH News in Health
From an emotional standpoint, pets help reduce loneliness and stress while bringing us companionship and feelings of contentment. This is why pets are brought to visit patients in hospitals and nursing homes.
Although pets can be a wonderful source of emotional support, getting a new pet on the “spur of the moment” may not work out for either you or the pet. Here are a few things to take into consideration before adding a pet to your household:
- Research how adaptable a particular type of pet will be to your living conditions. Is it high energy? Low energy? Does it shed a lot? Is it the right size?
- Consider any limitations you may have in your ability to care for it. Do you have time for a pet? Are you able to let it out during the day? Do you travel a lot and may need to board it frequently? Can you afford food and vet bills?
- Make sure you don’t have any allergies that will prevent you from keeping the pet.
- Ask the opinion of other household members. Will they welcome a new pet? Do they agree with your choice of pet?
If you decide that a pet is right for you, and you are right for a pet, try to bring the pet home when you have extra time for training and getting acquainted.
If you’re working from home now, this might be the best time of all.