How to be A Responsible Pet Owner
Approximately 65 percent of American homes have pets. The United States spends as much as $35 billion annually on our animal companions. Aside from the emotional, physical and mental benefits our pets can give us, a recent study by scientists has discovered cats and dogs can help fight disease and assist their human companions in coping with chronic conditions. It was discovered our four-pawed friends have a biochemical impact on our body chemistry.
Here are the health benefits of having pets:
- Pets decrease the risk of asthma and allergies.
It may sound counterintuitive, but it actually makes sense when you think about it. We used to think if someone from the family had a pet, someone was more likely to become allergic to the pet. But a variety of new studies say kids growing up in a household with cats and dogs, and even farm animals, will have less risk for allergies and asthma.
- Pets reduce stress.
One survey by Mindlab International discovered 55 percent of people were more relaxed after spending time with pets — and an additional 44 percent were also less worried about external causes of stress such as job security and finances. According to the survey, interacting with your pet is effective in reducing stress and increasing feelings of contentment and relaxation.
- Owning a dog lowers blood pressure and cholesterol.
A study published in the British Journal of Health Psychology says dog owners tended to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Taking care of a dog can often lead to an increase in physical activity. It also facilitates the development of social contacts and this may enhance a person’s physiological and psychological health.
- Pets can help people with serious medical conditions.
Since pets are good sources of companionship, it was discovered having a pet in the family can motivate chronically-ill patients to put forth their best effort in dealing with their illnesses. Having a pet to take care of can encourage an ill person to take better care of himself.
- Dogs can help you lose weight.
A research from the University of Missouri found people who frequently walked their dogs are more consistent about regular exercise and show more improvement in fitness compared to people who walk with a human companion.
But we also need remember having a pet requires commitment and a sense of responsibility.
Here are ways to be a responsible pet owner.
- Acknowledge that pets require a long-term commitment of time and resources.
- Talk to your family members. They should have an active role in caring for your house pet.
- Pets require an adequate amount of love, care, and affection. Take care of your animal companions because they cannot always take care of themselves.
- Spay and neuter your pets. This process can be done as early as four months of age. This will keep them from creating unwanted babies. Additionally, sterilized pets are healthier, live longer and behave better.
- Keep only the type and a number of pets for which an appropriate and safe environment can be provided — including appropriate food, water, shelter, health care, and companionship. You can also build a dog house out of pallets.
- Promote your pet’s well-being by training and socialization.
- Pet-proof your home before your pet’s arrival. Be sure to keep your medicines, household cleaners and breakables in a safe place.
- You should also have advanced preparation in ensuring the pet’s well-being in the case of an emergency or disaster. Include your pet in your family’s evacuation plan and keep an evacuation kit for your animal companions as well.
- If caring for your pets is no longer possible, you should make alternative arrangements.
- Learn to recognize declines in the pet’s quality of life. Plan ahead with your veterinarian regarding appropriate end-of-life care.
How about you? Do you have more tips on how to become a responsible pet owner? Feel free to share it with us here.