Most of us know how much our pets can enrich our lives. They make us feel good, spiritually, mentally, and physically. And this isn’t just a feeling either, it is something that has been scientifically proven. It seems, therefore, that when we look after an animal, the animal also looks after us, which is a great gift they give us.

What Science Says:

There has been a lot of research into the benefits of having a pet. It is now known that:

– People with pets have a longer average lifespan.
– Pet owners experience far less loneliness.
– Pet owners enjoy greater overall health than those without pets.
– People who have pets experience lower levels of stress, and better capabilities of dealing with stress.
– Owning an animal has a positive impact on our fitness, immune system, moods, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
– People who have pets have lower health care expenses overall.

It is obvious therefore: owning a pet is better for your quality of life.

How to Find a Pet:

If this has convinced you that it is time to have a pet was added to your family, you need to think about where to get one from. While it may be tempting to get a baby animal, because it is so cute and because you can put your own stamp on it, the sad reality is also that there are thousands of cats, dogs, rabbits, and other animals in pet shelters, simply waiting for a loving home.

A visit to your local pet shelters will enable you to choose a fish, cat, critter, reptile, rabbit, dog, or any other animal. It is possible that those animals had previously lived in homes where they were neglected or abused. This means that, sometimes, it will take someone quite special to look after them, as they may have behavioral and emotional issues. However, the pet shelters are aware of this, and they will make sure that you are able to give a loving home to an animal that is just right for your needs.

Most pet shelters now also have websites. Here, you can see all the animals that are currently available for adoption. It will list their name and age, where they have come from, and who they would be suitable for. If you spot an animal that you believe will make the perfect addition to your family, do take the time to research its particular breed so that you know what to expect. Also visit the shelter to see the animal in real life and make sure you speak to the staff there, discussing what you have already learned and whether there are other things you need to know about the animal as well. In so doing, you will also show the shelter’s staff that you are really serious about adopting an animal. You must demonstrate that you understand the commitment you are making, or they will not allow you to adopt the animal. After all, they have already been through enough without having to go through more abandonment.

If you are accepted as an adopter, you have to prepare your home for the arrival of your new companion. If the animal is free rather than caged, such as a cat or a dog, you need to make sure that you have enough space for your new pet. It has to be able to move about, after all. If you are adopting a dog, then you should also research your local dog walking areas. Pet shelters will also ask you to confirm that nobody in your household is allergic to the particular animal you are planning to adopt. Remember, as well, that you will have responsibility over the animal for many more years. Dogs can live as long as 15 years and cats even longer, and you have to be ready for that. This also means being financially ready for them. Animals don’t cost a lot, but you do have to buy their bedding, toys, and food.

Indeed, before you bring your new member of the family home, make sure that your home is fully prepared. The animal will be quite scared and nervous about going to new surroundings, particularly if it has been abandoned before. Hence, make sure that everything in your home is calm and quiet before you bring it in. Do also make sure that you have the animal’s own space ready, whether that is a dog bed for a dog, a cat basket for a cat, or a cage for a critter or bird. Everything should be set up and ready, so that your new pet can get to know its new surroundings in a relaxed, comfortable, and calm way.

Do one last check of all your supplies as well. Make sure the food is there and ready, that the toys are easy to find, and that your pet has some comforting products as well. For instance, a dog may like to have a soft toy in its bed, and cats may want to have a post with the ability to sit up a certain height. When your pet arrives, give it all the time it needs to get used to its new surroundings. If your new animal is a dog, try to make sure that it has been to the toilet before it arrives, so you don’t have to take it out for a walk almost immediately after bringing it home.

Let each member of your family get to know the animal, and build their own special bond with your nee pet. If you have children, make sure that they understand the importance of being calm and gentle, particularly with soft animals such as critters, cats, and dogs. The animal is going to be an integral part of your family for a long time yet, and children in particular can build very strong bonds with it if it is supported in doing so properly. Most of all, make sure that everybody enjoys the company of the new member of your family.