3rd February 2015
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 like 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 likely 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 by helping towards the cost of vet fees - Animal Friends offer a wide range of pet insurance policies for you to choose from.