With National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day coming up on April 30th I have been thinking about how much joy my two rescue cats have given me. So many shelter animals are waiting to find permanent, safe, loving homes, so consider adopting if you can care for a pet. Giving an abandoned, neglected or abused animal in need a home is such a wonderful feeling that once you do it you will wonder what took you so long.
Why Pet Adoption
Pet adoption is just as good for people as it is for the animals. Not only do you save an animal’s life, but you improve the quality of yours – and possibly even prolong it – as well.
Just as your brain releases the hormone oxytocin when you care for your child, it floods your system when you cuddle with your pet. This natural “feel good” bonding chemical produced when you love on your pet helps you feel more generous and empathetic, decreasing depressive tendencies.
Consequently, when you’re having a bad day, a pet makes you feel more supported and less stressed, reducing anxiety levels and blood pressure. Bonus: You can vent and gossip as long as you want to them, and they won’t tell anyone or pass judgement.
Pets get you off the sofa, particularly if you have a dog. Even if you do little else in the way of exercise, walking your dog a couple of times a day will improve your health. In my case, chasing after my wandering cat and succumbing to the cries of my bored cat gives me frequent reasons to get up out of my chair.
Especially in older adults, pets reduce loneliness and make for a more meaningful life. If another living being depends on you for all its needs, then your sense of responsibility helps to keep you motivated to stay healthy and active.
Inspire others to take the pet adoption plunge by sharing your adopted pet pictures and story on social media using #AdoptAShelterPetDay around April 30th and #WhyIAdopt anytime of the year.