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Today is National Pet Day. Currently, almost 70 percent of households in the United States have pets. In 1988, when the North American Pet Health Insurance Association first began gathering this statistic, only 56 percent of households had pets.
National Pet Day was launched to spread public awareness about the struggles animals face as they await adoption in shelters and rescues all over the world. It also celebrates the love and joy pets can bring into people’s lives. In honor of National Pet Day’s mission, here are seven reasons to adopt a pet:
To save a life
Many animals in need of homes are kept at shelters. Often, as a method of population control, shelters will put animals to sleep if nobody chooses to adopt them by a certain date. Millions of animals die this way every year, so adopting a pet can very literally save an innocent life.
To decrease the world’s shelter population
Shelters often euthanize pets because there are simply too many pets brought to shelters. Adopting even one pet contributes to the unending fight to lower the global shelter. Adoption also brings a higher quality of life to both sheltered animals and the world’s abundant shelter workers.
To bring joy and extra purpose into your life
Scientific research has shown that pet adoption can increase a person’s happiness and overall health, both mental and physical. Pets are especially notable for helping to fend off feelings of isolation or loneliness in people who live alone.
To get extra exercise
There’s a reason studies have shown that pet owners may be more physically healthy than people who don’t have pets. Walking a dog is both a necessary part of dog ownership and a great way to get exercise, and playing with a cat can just as quickly burn calories.
To add structure to your life
Many people function their best when they maintain some sort of routine in their lives. Having a pet requires certain chores — walking a dog, cleaning a cat’s litter, making sure your pet gets plenty of exercise — and regularly committing to these tasks adds structure to a pet owner’s life.
To make new friends
If you bring your dog to the park, chances are you’ll start seeing some of the same dogs time and time again. Talking to their owners is a great way to make new friends — dog owners certainly share similar interests and concerns. Cat owners will also find no shortage of shared events tailored specifically to people who have cats.
To get out of the house more often
Even if you only step out of the house briefly to walk your dog, there are other ways that having a pet gets you out of the house more often. Any good pet owner will regularly make trips to the veterinarian, a pet groomer, a grocery store for pet food, or a local pet store for treats and toys.
What are some reasons you would adopt a pet? Let us know in the comments!