The Many Benefits of Adopting Your Pet

Not only is being a pet parent good for your physical and mental health, if you adopt your next pet, you are making a difference in animal welfare and in the world. If you’ve been thinking about getting a new dog or cat, read on to learn more about the benefits of adoption.

Studies have shown that pet owners overall are less likely to suffer from depression, have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, are more calm and relaxed after playing with a pet and also have a reduced risk for heart disease. Retired pet owners have been found to visit the doctor less frequently and live longer as well. Believe it or not, you get these benefits from pocket pets and aquariums as well. Any pet will fulfill the basic human needs of companionship and touch.

Additionally, adopting certain pets will help you make positive lifestyle changes. Exercising a dog, riding a horse and chasing around kittens will all give you a reason to get in some exercise yourself. Taking your dog out and socializing him or her at dog parks will give you the opportunity to meet new people and make new connections. Having pets also adds routine to your day; pets need a regular schedule for feeding, exercise and other care.4.7.14

Now that we know pets improve your health and lifestyle, let’s talk about how adopting a pet changes the world and helps you financially.

The most important benefit of all is that you’re saving two lives. The first is the life of the pet you adopted that would otherwise have possibly been euthanized or in foster care for the rest of its life. The second life is that of the next dog that can be rescued because now you’ve opened a spot for an organization to spend their resources on another.

When you adopt a pet, you’re getting a healthy pet. Most all rescues and organizations ensure that their pets are all up-to-date on vaccinations, spayed or neutered and receive a wellness check from a veterinarian. Some adoptable pets may have special needs, but you’ll know this in advance because each pet gets evaluated.

Don’t let yourself believe the myth that all rescued dogs were abused, mistreated and have behavior problems. Many of these pets are surrendered because the owner died, the owner moved or the pet was lost and the owner didn’t claim it. The majority of pets in foster care and at rescues are evaluated for behavior problems and in addition to training these pets the volunteers work with them if they do have any issues. So in the end you’re getting a pet that is most likely already house trained and knows a few tricks too.

As a result of adopting a pet from a rescue or organization you are going to save money. Every organization has adoption fees to help cover their costs but these fees include spay or neuter, vaccinations and anything else the pet may have needed. All of this is much less than the cost of adopting from a pet shop or breeder and taking your pet to a local vet to start from scratch. By adopting instead of ‘shopping’ for your pet at a pet shop or breeder you’re supporting animal welfare and not inhumane businesses like puppy mills.

Now if you have your heart set on a specific breed, size of dog, age or male/female these are all search criteria you can use when checking out what’s available through is a great website that rescues and organizations across the United States use to keep an updated list of their available animals.  You can also search for organizations that only rescue one specific breed.

The fulfillment you will get from adopting a pet in need is like no other. You will have made a positive lifestyle change that will improve your wellbeing, you will have saved two lives, you will have adopted a healthy pet that is up-to-date on vaccinations and will be spayed/neutered, your pet will most likely already have some training or be fully trained and you’re going to save money in the end.

To check out a list of available pets across the United States, click here. If you come across a pet that you really would like to adopt but it is in another state, many rescues and organizations will ship it to you for a small additional fee to cover airfare.

– Brenda