A pet can make a wonderful addition to any family. A pet can provide you with companionship and will often end up becoming another member of the family. Anyone who grew up with a family pet in their home will know just how special the journey of pet ownership is and the many benefits that it can bring to both individuals and families.
If you have been on the fence about adding a pet to your family, or you hadn’t considered the possibility before, then this article is for you. Below are just some of the many benefits to pet ownership for families.
They Can Keep You Fit
It is often said that dogs are man’s best friend and there is a number of different reasons why owning a dog has historically been so beneficial to humans. In earliest history, we were dependent upon our canine companions, or their ancestors, to provide us with protection and hunting assistance. We don’t have these same requirements of our dogs anymore, but they still have a lot to offer us as companions.
Dogs love being exercised and are always eager to go out with their owner. Owning a dog can therefore be an excellent way of giving your fitness routine a shot in the arm and getting back on track with your own exercise.
They Provide Companionship
Not all pets are suitable as exercise buddies, but even those that aren’t can still provide you with friendship and companionship. This companionship can have tangible benefits for your mental health, and this effect is observed in both adults and children¹. If you have children who are relatively quiet and withdrawn, introducing a pet into their lives can help them to emerge from their shells to some extent.
They Will Reduce Your Stress Levels
There is a wealth of scientific evidence to suggest that simply being around a pet can have a positive impact on mental health. For example, being around a pet on a daily basis can lead to a reduction in stress, anxiety, and feelings of depression². Just having a pet in your home seems to have beneficial effects on the mental health of you and your family.
We already mentioned how owning a dog is a great way of getting more exercise. Well, this exercise itself will also have a positive effect on your mental health. Getting more outdoor exercise is associated with better health outcomes³ in terms of both physical and mental health. Doing it with a pet compounds the benefits, and so frequent exercise with your dog is an excellent way of reducing your stress, improving your mental health, and increasing the amount of exercise that you are getting on an average day.
They Can Help You to Socialize
Owning a pet is a great way of meeting other people. If you take your dog out walking every day, then you will regularly bump into other dog walkers and will end up speaking to the owners of the other dogs that they come across. There are also a number of groups for pet owners. These include group training sessions for dogs, and group dog walks in some areas.
If you are looking for an excuse to socialize more and meet new people, than a pet is the perfect excuse. Needless to say, there are also a large number of online communities available for pet owners to exchange advice and ask questions.
They Can Live a Long Time
A dog can easily live for a decade or more, meaning that by the time your child reaches their 20’s, your dog may have been with them for half their life or more. The long lifespans of pets like dogs and cats are part of the reason that people are able to form such deep and lasting connections with them. Of course, this means that taking on dog ownership is a serious responsibility and not something that you can afford to take lightly.
If you want your pet to live for as long as possible, it is inevitable that they are going to need veterinary treatment at some point in their lives. Purchasing pet insurance through a company like Everypaw can offer some degree of financial protection against unexpected vet bills. They offer pet insurance for both cats and dogs, and they even offer a multi-pet discount for anyone insuring more than one pet. They offer different types of insurance, so research pet insurance before you commit so you know that you’ve got the cover your pet will need for its entire lifetime.
They Can Teach Kids About Responsibility
Getting your kids involved in looking after a pet is an excellent way of teaching them about responsibility. If you have a child who is eager to take on their first pet, something simple like a fish or a hamster is a great place to start. However, as children grow older and gain experience of looking after pets, they may want to get their hands on something more advanced. If your child is old enough to take on responsibility for walking and cleaning up after a dog, then this is a really good option for teaching them about responsibility and caring for other living things.
Any pet will be an effective teaching tool and will instill a sense of responsibility in your child. The best pet to choose depends on your child’s age and their capacity to take care of it. A pet that they can look after mostly or entirely on their own will be the most effective teaching tool.
Owning a pet is an enriching and enchanting journey for both individuals and families to undertake. You might be surprised by just how much you learn from the experience, not just about your chosen pet, but about yourself and your family. A pet can teach your children about responsibility and provide them with valuable companionship, especially if they are the more introverted type of child. The reasons above are just some of the many compelling reasons to introduce a pet to your family. Even Pigmy goats can turn out to be a perfect for anyone who can take care of and put an effort to raise them. If you are living on a farm or have a big yard, your kiddos will have a blast.