As we shut our doors once again to other humans due to tightening government restrictions on socialising, the pandemic has prompted people, conversely, to open them up for our furry, four legged friends instead. Indeed, Battersea Dogs and Cats Home in London has seen a huge surge in interest recently, resulting in the rehoming of 86 dogs and 69 cats, which is a marked increase of over 100% from last year’s adoptions.
It’s no surprise that people are seeking companionship, especially those shielding, self-isolating and living alone. That said, the Dogs Trust have sounded a note of caution, and temporarily rebranded their famous slogan to ‘A dog is for life, not just for lockdown’.
While we don’t yet know what ‘the new normal’ will look like, there are concerns that pets will have to be rehomed later down the line when owners lose their enthusiasm. To help you contemplate the big decisions lying ahead when getting in a pet, but falling firmly on the side of positivity, here are our 7 IDEAL reasons why you should consider getting a pet.
YOU CAN DO A GOOD DEED
While there’s been a surge in demand for pets, there’s also been a worrying amount of pet’s being abandoned, with people realising that they are no longer able to afford them because of the deepening recession. This summer, the RSPCA reported that they have seen more abandoned animals since the start of lockdown – averaging around 40 a day. Adopting an abandoned animal means that you’ll be giving it a new home, a second chance, and a much better life.
PETS ENCOURAGE RESPONSIBILITY
Having a pet is a great way of keeping teaching children (or perhaps even yourself) accountability and nurturing empathy. You’ll have to pet-proof the house, take them to the vet for vaccinations, and consider what you’ll be feeding them, each and every day. Such decisions can foster a sense of compassion and care in the owner which will last a lifetime.
If you’re really keen to go that extra mile in your care, then you might even want to opt for personalised dog food, tailored to suit your animal’s needs and tastes, and the most efficient way to get maximum, tailormade nutrition into their diet.
PETS KEEP YOU ACTIVE
Most pets require some form of physical activity in order for them to lead a healthy life. Sometimes, you’ll have to join them, which ends up being beneficial for both your health!
Even something as simple as playing with your pets for a few minutes each day can increase your levels of daily exercise. Owning a dog will most definitely get you up and moving, since dogs are highly energetic animals and you’ll likely have to take yours for a walk daily. You’ll easily be able to reach your daily step target if you have a canine companion keeping you on your toes, that’s for sure.
Indeed, various studies show that owning a pet can improve physical health. Having a pet can lower your blood pressure, lessen your chances of getting a heart condition, and even boost your immune system.
We could all use a dose of daily stress relief right now, with a Global Pandemic, political uncertainty and civil unrest all raging beyond the four walls of home. Luckily, pets can help ease your stress, with research consistently indicating that pets reduce the levels of hormones, chiefly cortisol, that can cause stress and anxiety. Owning a pet can even alleviate depression, according to experts, with the companionship they offer also great for those suffering from isolation or loneliness.
Having a pet might just make you sleep a bit easier at night. Dogs can act as a guard against potential danger, and even other pets might be able to alert you if there is cause for alarm. Even if their burglar alarm tendencies aren’t switched on, pets can act as a simple deterrent against intrusion or trespass.
YOU’LL BE LESS LONELY
If 2020 has taught us anything, it’s that being stuck in your house for extended periods of time with only yourself for company can put a strain on your mental wellbeing. Pets are a great way of ensuring that your house will never be empty, and you’ll always have a companion to bounce ideas off and snuggle up with. There’s a reason that dogs are known as ‘man’s best friend’, after all.
PETS BOOST YOUR SOCIAL LIFE
While this might sound a bit far-fetched, it’s true. Owning a pet will increase your chances of social interaction and lead to a more active social life in general, ideal for those who have recently relocated and are looking to meet new people.
Since so many people have pets, and plenty of time is spent outside walking them, the chances are good that you’ll find common ground with strangers, and always have something interesting to talk about in conversations, should awkward silences fall.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Owning a pet has brought joy to the lives of so many. Though having one brings many benefits, it’s vital you first consider if you’re capable of giving a new pet the care it deserves. For beginners, here are 6 IDEAL tips on caring for your pet during lockdown. Do check it out.