Is it time to adopt a pet?

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Shutterstock.com/ Victor Lafuente Alonso

There have been many negative outcomes from the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Yet sometimes we need to focus on the positive. One of the most positive things is that as people are spending more time at home, they have more time to look after their pets. In fact, shelters have seen a huge increase in adoptions during this time.

Pets can be a huge help while you are isolating. While many people are at home with their families, others are on their own. The loneliness that people can feel during this time is not good as there are few options to solve it. One way people can deal with this issue is by adopting a pet. One study has shown that pet adoptions have increased by 100% since this time last year. 

This is great news for all the pets who are stuck in shelters and need a home and fantastic news for those who are isolating at home and seeking a friend to stay with. Of course, before adopting a pet everyone should consider if this is a kneejerk reaction to the crisis or something that they can sustain for the long term. Adopting a pet may seem like a good idea now but if you return to work soon and find that you can no longer look after the pet then you should reconsider. Pets are also a huge financial commitment. The coronavirus has caused a lot of economic uncertainty and if you are unsure of your job or wage then it may be a good idea to hold off on adopting a dog until some certainty returns. If you can’t commit to adopting a dog you still may be in a good position to foster one. This would allow some dogs to leave the shelter for a short while and avoid the long term commitment of owning a new pet.

The benefits of having a pet during the isolation period are huge. The obvious benefit is that you are now living with another living thing, this will immediately reduce your loneliness. In addition, pets are a great reason to get out and exercise. While everyone has been advised to keep exercising during this time, some are finding it difficult. Whether people are afraid to step outside due to fear of catching the virus or are struggling to motivate themselves a pet can force you to do so. A dog needs to be walked every day and if you don’t walk him you will pay the consequences of a restless pet. One study has shown that those who own a pet walk an average of 300 minutes per week while those who don’t only walk around 100 minutes per week. Own a dog, exercise more.

A pet also offers comic relief as they are guaranteed to make you laugh with their antics. One of the most important things they offer is a stable routine. Many of us are failing to eat at the right times because we have lost structure in our lives. A pet will bring this back because if you fail to feed them, you will hear about it. While feeding them, you will think to feed yourself. 

Pets have been shown to help reduce stress. The fact that they have no idea that the coronavirus pandemic is ongoing means that they are a great companion to have right now as they likely won’t quote the latest statistics on death rates to you, they will settle for a hug. 

If you are interested in adopting a pet, do it. Just make sure you realize the financial and time commitments that you are taking on for the long term. A pet will do amazing things for you during this time but you must be there for them for the rest of their lives.