Adopting a pet from the local shelter is not only the responsible thing to do if you want a companion pet, but the right pet is also good for your health.
Unfortunately, there are many millions of pets that enter shelters because they were lost, their owners moved, could not afford them or simply were bored with them. Through no fault of their own they end up discarded. Nearly all of these pets would do very well in a new home and the stigma of adopting a pet from a shelter is unwarranted. My family has adopted and fostered many shelter pets and every time it has worked out marvelously. When you are thinking of adopting a companion pet, consider a shelter pet.
But first, do you homework and read the many articles we provide on how to select and what type of pet is best to adopt. Then your new relationship will start off right and you will have the knowledge you need to forge a wonderful long term bond with your new pet. Only adopt if you are prepared, have the space, time to devote and will provide the pet with a life time commitment.
Pets are good for our health and well being. Sitting with your pet and the simple act of petting them actually improves certain hormones, neurotransmitters and chemicals in your body and diminishes stress hormones.
Studies have repeatedly demonstrated the positive effects of companion pets to our health. One study measured bloodstream levels of certain chemicals, hormones and neurotransmitters immediately prior to interaction with a pet and afterwards. Cortisol, the stress hormone is lowered; Oxytocin the happiness hormone and Prolactin the bonding hormone are elevated afterwards. In addition certain neurotransmitters, and serotonin associated with anti depression are elevated, after petting a dog. (Only dogs were used in the study.)
Pets provide companionship, keep us busy, entertain us and prevent loneliness. Another study documented improved weight loss over other weight loss methods when walking a dog as a form of exercise. Pets can provide these benefits and more to humans. It seems we have been “hot wired” in our biochemistry through eons of companionship and close proximity. Return the benefits that pets provide and adopt a companion pet into your home.