Adopt a Pet

Hazel Barber, Contributor

Humans are social creatures and the pandemic has sort of crushed our social lives. In these difficult times, a great source of companionship can be found in a new furry friend. Adopting an animal has been proven to reduce loneliness, promote physical activity, increase socialization opportunities, and increase the quality of life for the owner.

Many people aren’t open to adopting pets because of the work that they would have to do in order to care for them properly. However, what they don’t realize is that, if you adopt an animal, you get as much out of the experience as they do.

People who tend to struggle in the state of isolation that the pandemic has put us in may strongly benefit from owning an animal. Pets are great companions. It’s been scientifically proven that petting a dog or a cat releases feel-good chemicals like Serotonin, a natural antidepressant, and Oxytocin.

An adorable animal by your side is also a great way to get yourself socializing again, safely, of course. People love to pet dogs they meet on the street and using your dog as a conversation starter could really make it easier for you to talk to people and make friends.

According to Time, hospitals and doctor’s offices have been hiring working dogs. Their job is to go around from room to room and comfort patients. For many people, having a dog in the room is very calming.

Taking care of an animal not only has positive effects on mental health, but also on physical health. As stated by Harvard Health Publishing, people are getting the recommended amount of daily exercise just by walking their dogs, and this could be the reason for the lower levels of cholesterol and stable blood pressure.

In a study done by The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, it was found that children who were diagnosed with diabetes were better at monitoring their disease when they were given a fish to take care of because it implemented routine into their schedules.

Research conducted by Animal Planet shows that having an animal in the home at an early age can help reduce the risk of allergies. This leads to a stronger immune system and fewer school absences.

According to Forbes, people with ADHD often find that it is easier for them to focus when a predictable routine is in place. Feeding and interacting with a pet is supplying that routine.

Taking good care of an animal takes a lot of responsibility, which is something that is good for children to learn early on. It also requires coming up with creative ways to understand their animal’s needs. In families with multiple children, working together to take care of a pet teaches them teamwork and collaboration skills.

There are so many benefits to having an animal in your life, that are both mental and physical. A new friend could be your savior in these strange times!