According to the American Humane Association, there are approximately 3.2 million dogs and 3.3 million cats that enter U.S. shelters each year. And while there are many loving families out there looking to adopt a pet, the sad reality is that not all of these animals will find a forever home. If you’re on the fence about adopting a pet, here are a few reasons why you should take the plunge:
For one, studies have shown that owning a pet can have health benefits. For example, pet ownership has been linked with lower blood pressure, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels (indicators of heart disease). Pets can also help to reduce stress and anxiety, and can even boost your mood and sense of well-being. In addition, pets provide companionship and can help to combat loneliness and isolation. And for seniors, in particular, pets can offer much-needed physical activity and social interaction.
Of course, before you adopt a pet you’ll want to do your research to make sure you’re ready for the responsibility. But if you’re up for it, adding a furry (or scaly) friend to your family could be one of the best decisions you ever make.