Adopting a Pet Can Be Incredibly Rewarding
Humans have enjoyed pets for thousands of years. Pets provide friendship to ease loneliness and stress. They cheer people up, increase sociability, and give nonjudgmental support through hard times.
Well-beloved pets come in many forms, including birds, fish, horses, reptiles, and even insects. Some are more cuddly than others, but a pet is any animal its owners keep to love and care for.
That said, dogs and cats are far and away the most popular pets. These 'fur babies' truly bond with their owners: over 60% of US owners consider their pets to be family members. There are over 140 million dogs and cats in the US, and millions more worldwide.
Purebreds and exotic lines can be astronomically expensive. It's possible to spend thousands on a puppy. Ashera cats cost upward of a $100,000. Of course, inexpensive pets don't know they are cheap … and they love their owners just as much.
In seeking this rewarding relationship, many people choose to adopt. This does a good turn for a fellow life-form, and can save money too.
Rewards of having a Pet
Friendship is a major benefit of pet ownership, but they also improve their owner's well-being in other ways. These wellness factors include improvements in depression, anxiety, and even blood pressure. Here are some additional benefits:
- Coping with Stress - Pets help people deal with stressful situations; they can be a constant, gentle presence when others cannot.
- Pain management - Pets can help sufferers of chronic pain by lowering stress and anxiety.
- Lower cholesterol - Pet owners normally have lower level of cholesterol and triglyceride levels than those without, possibly because they encourage an active lifestyle.
- Improve mood - Pets promote emotional balance.
- Childhood development - Pet ownership teaches young people responsibility, helps build immunity and even reduces allergies.
Steps to Pet Adoption
To adopt a pet from a shelter or an animal adoption agency is an especially positive way to come to ownership. It's even possible to adopt service dogs. Adoption offers the same experience as owning an expensive purebred, while helping out an animal in need. It's a great way to offer love and tender care.
Before reaching for a phone to find ASPCA dogs for adoption, however, think about personal restrictions and needs. It is very easy to be carried away by loving eyes of a needy animal, so it's vital to know the size and age of a pet that can be well cared for. It's important to have a clear idea of the home situation before deciding.
Living quarters should be suitable for the breed. Puppies require more care and room, but many adoptable pets are past the destructive baby stage. An older pet will need less exercise and playtime, and so are much easier to care for in a small residence.
Also consider the expense. It's possible to adopt a puppy for free and still end up paying a lot in vet work and upkeep. The worst outcome would be having to return the pet, forcing it through another cycle of finding a home. Owners should do research about taking care of a pet before its adoption.
Questions & Answers
Q: Will an adopted pet bond with its new owner successfully?
A: Yes, and some animals seem to know and cherish an owner who saves them through adoption. It's important to find out as much as possible about an adoptee's history to avoid issues, but re-bonding is natural.
Q: Is it better to adopt a young or older animal?
A: This is an individual decision. A puppy is a lot of work--it makes no difference whether they are brought home from a shelter or a fancy breeder. Older dogs are typically calmer and easier to maintain.
Q: Which are the best breeds or types to adopt?
A: There isn’t a "best" breed for adoption. Mutts are great pets too. The main rule is to fit the selected pet to the available situation.
Q: Were older pets rejected for bad behavior—is it buying trouble?
A: Dog adoption sites and other facilities are filled with potential pets who have simply met with mishap. Some were lost and never found, others may have been "dumped" by the side of a road.
Q: What should I look for in an adoption site?
A: The most popular option is to visit a local SPCA pet adoption center. Check out how clean the animals' cages are, and the effort taken to learn the history of an animal. Also review the veterinary care given to incoming (and outgoing) adoptees.
Q: How can I find a facility for ASPCA adoption near me?
A: The ASPCA has a nationwide database of adoption animals which can be searched by zip code.