Almost everyone has heard that a dog is a man’s best friend. As a dog owner, I can attest to this phrase and believe that although I am a dog lover, the idea relates to all kinds of pets! If you happen to find yourself pondering whether to bring a pet into your life, here are five reasons to help sway you in favor of making this life-changing commitment.
One of the most popular reasons to have a pet is for company. My college girl-friends and I used to joke about how our dogs were more excited to see us when we got home than our boyfriends seemed to be.
For example, one of my favorite activities with my dog, Georgy, is taking long walks at the park and driving around town. Turns out that these activities almost became a daily ritual for us.
2. Health benefits
Research shows that pet owners report decreased stress levels, blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and feelings of loneliness. The truth is that every pet lover knows that our little friends are an important source of our well-being because they inspire in us a wide array of positive feelings such as laughter, love, and confidence.
Imagine the joy of taking a relaxing walk with your dog after a stressful day, or a cat softly purring on your lap.
3. Physical activity
Dogs are active beings that require a minimum of a thirty minute walk each day in order to release energy and stay healthy. Walking has also been found to have numerous health benefits for people and it is truly no wonder that having a dog can reduce your risks of heart disease and improve your overall sense of well-being.
4. Social benefits
Because I have to walk Georgy for a minimum of thirty minutes every day we have met many people and their dogs. As a result I have made friends with several other girls, and Georgy has befriended their dogs. My apartment complex neighbors and I even joked about how people start getting to know their neighbors because of the dogs they own.
Finally, one of my good college friends started dating a girl he met while he walked his dog down the street!
5. Emotional connection
I believe one of the most important aspects of having a pet in your life is the connection you form with it over time. Sometimes owning a pet is less of an “ownership” issue and more of an “emotional connection”. Having a pet in your life is about getting to know another living creature with its own personality, and its own likes and dislikes.
People often underestimate animals by reducing them to beings without an intellect, however, pet owners know that animals, too, can be very complex creatures and experience the same emotions as humans feel.
Is Pet Adoption Right for You?
Now that I’ve done my best to convince you in favor of adopting a pet, I would like to point out one final and very important issue: not everyone is “pet owner” material and having a pet is a long-term commitment that sometimes requires very specialized attention depending on the kind of pet you decide to get.
Before making any decision, you want to make sure you have the time and dedication required to watch over another living creature, for a pet is a long-term, unconditional friend and companion that deserves to be honored and treated as such. As a dog “owner”, I have learned to make Georgy my responsibility, and quite often I find myself going out of my way to make sure all of his needs are met.
Making such a long-term commitment might seem overwhelming at first and the downsides might seem very large in the beginning. In the end, however, having a pet in your life will provide you with a wonderful connection to another living creature that far outweighs the downsides. Most importantly, animals have the ability to inspire humans to return to our roots as part of the grand scheme of life in this planet.
What do you think? Are you ready to take on this wonderful challenge?
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