Whether they have fur, scales, or fins pets are a way of caring and sharing that can be deeply beneficial for both your physical and mental wellbeing, not to mention a means of offering love and attention to a life that can return that affection in ways that just can’t be measured. In addition to lowering blood pressure and stress, they can offer new ways of getting exercise and developing community with others.
Tips for owning a pet:
–Be responsible and know your limitations! Know the pet policy of where you live and what your ability to care for these little lives truly is. Hiding an animal in your dorm or studio apartment can not only be unhealthy for the pet but can also get you kicked out of your home. Before buying or (better yet) adopting, sit down and talk with someone in the know about what you’re getting into and what costs/responsibilities will be required.
–Get your pet to the vet! Just like going to the doctor to get your shots, your pet also needs protection from disease and sickness. In addition to keeping both of you warm, clean, and well-fed, health checks and inoculations are a necessary part of being a pet parent. Pet ownership can cost money, but be aware that there are many low-cost shelters and clinics that offer discounted treatments, care (like spaying or neutering), and medications that can significantly extend and enhance both of your lives.
–There are daycare and overnight stay options. If you’re heading out on a trip, remember that your pet needs care and attention while you are away. From having your pet cared for by a family member or trusted friend to stays at facilities that provide daytime and overnight care, there are several ways you can ensure your pet will be happy and healthy until you return. Be aware that costs and care can vary greatly, so plan ahead and shop around before you leave. Also, a two-foot by four-foot balcony is not a sufficient long-term care option. Not only is this unhealthy but can it be extremely dangerous for your pet.
–Know that your pet will someday leave you. We don’t want to think about it, but these precious lives often end before we are ready to part. Animals often age much faster than we do, so it’s important to understand that the day will likely come when you may have to give extra care and love and even, sadly, say goodbye.
“When we adopt a dog or any pet, we know it is going to end with us having to say goodbye, but we still do it. And we do it for a very good reason: They bring so much joy and optimism and happiness. They attack every moment of every day with that attitude.”-W. Bruce Cameron
For more information on the benefits and responsibilities of bringing a pet into your life visit the CDC webpage at: