It’s no secret that pets provide humans with all kinds of proven benefits. Pets offer companionship, support, and stress relief, and God knows we could use anything to de-stress right now. Because we know of their remarkable ability to improve the mental and physical health of their owners, it may surprise you to find out that people in their 20s and 30s are the ones who make up the majority of pet owners in America. A lot of empty nesters fear the responsibilities that come with owning a pet after finally getting their kids out of the house, but empty nesters and people over 50 would be the ideal pet owner since many of them have the time, the patience, and the focus to add a furry companion to the household.
There is so much chaos and uncertainty in the world at the moment, that waking up to the unconditional love of your pet can make everything a bit more bearable. During difficult times, it not only benefits anyone considering adopting a pet, but it is even more critical for the animals! Recessions, natural disasters, and pandemics lead to shelters being severely overcrowded and many workers and volunteers are struggling with the necessary resources to care for the animals. Whether it be fostering or adopting, animal shelters are desperate to find a home for the influx of animals being brought in.
Benefits of Pet Adoption
Adoption helps fight against the existence and expansion of puppy mills, it helps fill the void of children being out of the house, and it even helps prepare you for becoming a grandparent. Many dogs available are already spayed/neutered, some are already housebroken, and all of them make great companions! Adopting a dog will require regular exercise for you and your pet, and will open doors to be more involved in your community through dog parks, dog meetups, daily walking, etc. Adding a dog or cat (or any other type of pet) also helps with creating a daily routine, adding structure to your life. According to a ten year study from researchers at the University of Minnesota’s Stroke Institute in Minneapolis, owning a cat could reduce your risk of a heart attack by nearly one third. If these benefits still aren’t doing it for you, consider this: a pet will never talk back to you, at least not in English.
Why I Chose To Foster
Though I don’t make up the demographic of someone over 50, or an empty nester, I recently decided to foster a dog. I have a few weeks at home due to COVID-19, so I wanted to do something productive, beneficial, and something that could bring a little joy to my life.
I already have a dog, so I figured he would benefit from a companion too. I found Baja Animal Sanctuary through a craigslist ad. They house over 400 animals in their rescue and work tirelessly, even during this pandemic, to find the best homes for their dogs.
I chose to foster one, so that I could be sure it was the best fit for me and my current dog. As predicted, I became a foster failure after 24 hours and decided to just adopt the dog. It feels good to help an animal in need during these stressful times, and it provides me with a welcome distraction from all the chaos. My sister and her roommate also decided to foster a four year old cat and are loving it! No matter your age, fostering or adopting a pet can not only save a life, but make yours even more amazing. Visit your local shelters to find out how you can help!