Don’t worry, we’re not proposing legislation that would require every home to have a pet, although such a policy could have its benefits.
Instead, we’d like to explore our personal opinions when it comes to the ways in which pets can enhance daily life, on several different levels.
Not everyone is well suited to take care of a pet, and allergies can also limit an individual’s options when it comes to the kinds of pets they can have in the house.
We’re also not focusing solely on dogs and cats in this article. We believe there are benefits to having pets of any kind in the home, from lizards to fish to ferrets.
With that, we’d like to present our editorial piece on why every home should have a pet, along with some supporting evidence.
Helping Animals in Need
As many of us are already aware, there are thousands and thousands of domestic animals in desperate need of shelter and loving care.
Animal shelters around the country do their absolute best to take in as many stray animals as they can. They also do their best to avoid having to put pets down.
But unfortunately, there are many medical conditions as well as issues of space that may require animals to be euthanized.
And while it may not be possible for a society to responsibly adopt all the animals that need homes, pet adoption from a shelter helps alleviate the situation.
It’s a very simple exchange: animals need shelter, food, and love, and every one of us needs the love that pets can give.
So if you’re in a position where you could responsibly adopt a pet and care for it, we highly recommend looking into some local animal shelters in your area.
Even if you’re unable to adopt, you may want to volunteer with a shelter about once a week.
Some people may not be aware that having a pet in the home can have major health benefits.
After all, there’s a good reason that well-trained cats and dogs are often used as a form of therapy in hospitals, elder care homes, and college campuses during stressful times.
Petting a dog can lower an individual’s blood pressure. Even staring at fish in an aquarium has been proven to have mild destressing effects for many people.
And while pets in the home may cause brief moments of frustration, for the majority of their stay they can provide psychological relief and an excellent low-cost way to relax and destress.
Good Old Fashioned Fun
Having a pet in the home is just plain fun. Don’t believe me? Then maybe you aren’t familiar with YouTube and the (literally) thousands of videos showing just how much fun pets can be.
Best of all, each pet tends to have its own personality, making for specific quirks and habits that can be entertaining or even comforting.
And if you happen to have children as well, then playing with a pet can serve as a great recreational alternative to watching television or playing with various electronic devices.
It also helps that cats and dogs, in particular, have a built-in desire for play, especially when very young.
Practice for Raising Children
Remember the film adaptation of Marley and Me starring Owen Wilson? There’s a great scene in that movie where someone recommends that the couple get a dog as a way to practice for having a child.
While it’s not a foolproof plan, there’s something genuinely useful in the idea.
Of course, caring for a pet can never fully prepare you for raising a child. In fact, nothing can fully prepare someone for the challenges and joys of raising a child.
But owning a pet does introduce you to the idea of caring for something nonstop, and not always being able to tell exactly what they want.
A Connection to Nature
Human beings tend to be fairly self-centered, not just on an individual level but as a species. We tend to care most about other human beings, which is entirely justified.
But the environmental protection movement of the last 20 or so years has served as an excellent reminder that sometimes we need to think outside of ourselves.
Having a pet in the home can be a great way to step outside of yourself and connect with nature in a very small way.
It’s wonderful to observe the simple and immediate needs of pets, and the joy that they experience when meeting new people or exploring the outdoors when out on a walk.
A Social Facilitator
Another reason that every home should have a pet is that pets can serve as a great way to alleviate social anxiety.
For example, you may feel uncomfortable having family members over to your house. There’s a lot of preparation to be done and it’s almost inevitable that there will be some unpleasant topics of conversation.
But having a pet around can help alleviate some of the uncomfortable moments.
If there’s ever a lull in the conversation or an uncomfortable silence, everyone can just direct their attention toward the pet, who will almost always be doing something cute or entertaining.
Companionship and Love
This is probably one of the most significant benefits of having a pet, no matter what kind.
Pets can provide their owners with unconditional love and companionship for years at a time. Regardless of your situation and personal life, we can all use some more unconditional love in our lives.
And all you have to do is take care of your pet and do your best to provide well for them.
This is especially helpful if you happen to live alone. Every time you come home, you will be treated to a happy pet who’s just glad to see you.
Your current situation may not allow for the adoption of a pet, but it’s important to keep these benefits in mind for the future.
Even if you don’t own a pet, you can visit close friends who do and enjoy the rush of endorphins and fun that domestic pets can offer.