Keeping a pet has many ups and downs, however, the ups usually tend to outweigh the perceived struggles of owning a pet. Pet care is one of the biggest parts of diverting your attention off yourself and onto something much more fulfilling. Pets are a great source of companionship and can bring simple pleasures and excitement to one’s everyday routine- especially if it is repetitive and monochromatic. Within the disabled community, pets can also act as a source of network for individuals, allowing people to meet others with pets and increase their social circle. Below are 5 excellent reasons why you should all own pets, dogs, cats and all the uncommon choices as well.
1. Pets serve as a form of companionship
If you are someone who does not particularly enjoy going out and socializing with others, and instead prefer the comfort of your own home, owning a pet takes the loneliness out of that! Animals, particularly dogs are extremely fond of their owners’ presence- trying to involve themselves in their owners’ lives and even assisting them with their day-to-day routine! Whether you want someone to watch TV with, or to wash the dishes with, your dog will always be by your side, ready to provide emotional or even just physical support at that moment! However, it doesn’t go that it must always be a dog. Cats, although more introverted and quiet, they are still able to provide a form of comfort and reassurance at any time of the day. Whether they are there at your feet or next to you in bed, you will always have company that you cherish.
2. Pets will extend your networking circle
By having a pet, you will be more likely and more willing to join a group with others who have the same pets. Therefore, you will be more inclined to connect with these people, talking about your struggles and what you love most about your pet. Furthermore, social gatherings will not be far from these groups, as it is also vital that you let your pet meet some of their companions. Simply by doing this, your networking circle will have extended to other like-minded individuals and carers. Disability or no disability, it is always special and exciting to have a strong and tightly bonded networking circle.
3. They will force you to get fresh air
This again, is more aimed towards dog owners, as they require lots of walking and exercise. Hence, this will force you out of your home and into nature, to walk your dog. Nature is vital for positive mental health, as it allows you to connect with the world around you and takes away the stressors of life for a while. Although it might be tough at first to leave the comfort of your own home, take it from me- you will not regret it!
Furthermore, by walking your dog around the neighbourhood, especially if you have not been out so much- you will be able to explore new areas and find a place that is right for you.
4. Gives you a sense of purpose other than yourself
By keeping a pet, there will always now be a sense of responsibility placed upon you. This is simply due to the fact that pets are unable to fend for themselves, and require your love, care, and compassion to thrive in their lives. This provides owners with a heightened sense of purpose and motivation every day to provide the best care possible. For example, research shows that by simply caressing and talking to a dog- for example, it is shown that the owners release neurochemicals in the brain, which slows down the heart rate and creates a sense of calmness.
Having a routine and responsibility to take care of pets can also mean that owners must stick to a routine or structure for the purpose of the pet, which can also be very beneficial for the owner.
5. They can improve your immune system
This may be a strange one, but owning a dog can also improve your immune system! This is because dogs are active animals, and as a consequence tend to roll around in the dirt and then come home to you. Hence, these additional germs- although may seem quite a put-off at first, can improve your immunity to the common cold and mild viruses. This may be very beneficial in the long run, as it will decrease your chances of developing a more serious illness later on in life.
What should I do now?
After reading this article, you may be more deeply considering adding a dog to your family home! However, the decision is all yours to deeply weigh up the pros and cons before making such a huge decision! However, there may also be some changes you would have to make in your lifestyle (for better or worse) to give your dogs the best possible life.