The adoption of an animal is an undertaking that millions of people across the world have done. With so many strays and animals kept in shelters around the globe, without someone to look out for their best interests and give them a ‘forever home’, the life of that potential pet will only be as good as the concrete walls and floors that make up their modest living spaces. So, there is always a drive and push for those who are on the fence about adoptions to make up their minds and choose to take a new pet (or a first pet) into their home. While many people want to be with an animal its entire life from the earliest of stages, there are a lot of benefits to choosing to adopt an older animal with life experience, and many of these benefits come to the owner exclusively. In fact, this article is going to divulge twenty different ways of how adopting a dog makes you a better person overall.
Sharing The Love
There is an undeniably warmth that comes with rescuing a pup from a shelter. Many of these animals have already had difficult lives up to this point, and you can show them what caring is actually all about. If your family already wants an animal that it can love right away and accept into the fold, adoption of a pet can really help each individual family member to show their love to this new addition to your home in their own unique way. Puppies sometime take a while to really love, because they cause significant messes, they aren’t house broken and in many cases, are very skittish around people. Pets that you can adopt from shelters are familiar with people and are looking for a place to call their home with people that want to love them just the way that they are.
Saving An Animal
As you may or may not be aware, a lot of the animals that end up in shelters are rescued from horrible conditions and awful pet owners that abused and mistreated them throughout their lives. While the knowledge of this occurring can be hard to stomach for many pet lovers out there, this is no doubt the backstory to many of the dogs that you will find at your local pet shelter. You may not have been actively involved in pulling the animal from their previous deplorable conditions that they were asked to live in, but you can be the final piece in their official rescue plan. Ultimately, the goal for every animal that is rescued is to find a place for them to live out their days with love, kindness and appreciation the likes that they never saw with the previous owner they had.
Filling A Void In Your Life
There is no doubt a point in which many families start to look around their home and realize that it can be a little fuller. Something is missing, and the only acceptable way to fill the void that everyone in your home seems to be noticing is to acquire a pet. Could you just go to a pet store and buy an animal? Yes, of course you could. But instead of doing this, or at the very least before you consider this to be the option that you want to try, you can very much benefit from checking out local animal shelters in your area. These creatures are well cared for, experienced in dealing with families with widely ranging ages, and will show you an appreciation that a pet store purchase simply never could.
Giving A Dog A New Purpose
There is a real science in the belief that dogs have active cognitive thought processes and feelings beyond physical responses to pain or other stimuli. If a dog has seen abuse and neglect throughout his life, he is going to understandably feel or instinctively assume that he has no real purpose. Many of the dogs coming into shelters that have been rescued embody conditions like depression and express that through their body language and interactions with staff. Over time this begins to fade as dedicated employees of animal shelters show kindness and compassion to animals coming in, and that opens up a part of the personality in dogs that show they are ready to fulfill a purpose in someone’s life again. If your family is already actively looking for a new pet to join into the family, help this rehabilitation process in your own way and choose a dog that has overcome mental struggles to find a new purpose in your life.
Being More Frugal With Your Finances
In case you didn’t know, buying a dog from a pet store can be incredibly expensive. Depending on the breed and pedigree of the dog that you are considering, you might be asked to spend well over 1000 dollars to bring a new puppy home. While for some this might be well worth the asking price, there are some that see this as a hard pill to swallow. Choosing a new pet from a local shelter, however, is easy to do and comparatively much cheaper than the alternative. If you are looking to be a little more frugal with your finances, especially considering that this kind of smart thinking with your money can roll over into new areas of your life, you should certainly consider choosing your next pet from a local animal shelter instead of purchasing one outright from a pet shop that might also be in your neighborhood.
Improving Your Emotions
You might not have been aware of this, but a dog that has been in your life (even for just a short time) can pick up on the emotional state of those humans that he lives with. This can help the dog to fill the role of soother and calmer to those that are having a tough day and still manage to bring a smile to your face even when you thought that you were very far away from one. Having an animal that is happy to see you each and every day when you come home, and just wants to be active in your life all the time, has been shown to be very beneficial to your overall mental wellbeing. The more stable and grounded you are, and less angry or sad, the better approach you will have to all of the other taxing areas of your life and be able to manage them more easily.
Someone To Depend On You
There is something to be said about having someone or something in your life that depends on you for survival, happiness, and overall health. When you have a new dog in your home, that animal is completely dependent on the kind of life that you provide for him. This added responsibility may seem like a chore to some people that are not pet lovers, but to actively avid owners out there, this is the kind of relationship that you cannot replicate. In many ways this kind of dependency even goes beyond having children of your own, because those children end up growing up some and making decisions for themselves. Your pet dog will always be in need of you to make decisions for him, care for his ailments and struggles, and that responsibility will be rewarded with love and loyalty.
Improving Your Communication Skills
Apart from some movies and television programs, it is widely understood that your dog cannot speak to you. What it can do, however, is communicate needs and wants using body language and their own form of communication in barking. Now, your ability to understand the needs of your pet might be a little fuzzy at first as you grow accustomed to the situations surrounding certain behaviors and sounds that they are making. After a short while though, you will be surprised at how much you and your dog are able to communicate with one another to reach shared common goals. You might not even take the time to appreciate that your dog has expanded your own brain capacity to communicate beyond the boundaries of the normal spoken language to ascertain specific requests or needs from your pet.
Pet Owners Are Often Nicer People All Around
Knowing that your animal is responsive to your emotions and kindness that you express to them every day, you will find that they can help you to be a nicer person in all of the areas of your life. By teaching you the value of kind gestures and calm words, your dog has in a way trained you in the age-old adage: “you can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar”. This is another reason that adopted pets exceed store bought options, because adopted animals can respond more adamantly to your kindness and generosity, showing you even more directly how you have the ability to change the mood of a person or creature just with your actions and words.
Form A Lasting Bond
While there is nothing quite as complex and enduring as the bond that parents will have with their children, something that can be nearly as involved and rewarding, is the relationships that pet owners inevitably have with their pets. Part of this relationship is based on the dependence of your animal, but through their actions to make your life better and more fulfilled, you will see a lasting partnership that can extend to each individual member of your household to the pet. This kind of relationship is one that can endure all kinds of bumps in the road, and carry you through some difficult periods in your life. This puts the importance of pets squarely into perspective as you make your decision to adopt a new pet for your household.
Show You The Value of Kindness
While adoption of a pet, at its core, is a uniquely kind gesture to perform on your own, this is only the tip of the iceberg to the value of kindness that you can learn from your pets. When it comes down to it, your relationship with the animal in your house can be correlated to how able you are to express your feelings and your appreciation. Showing kindness to your adopted animal will help them to see their worth and value in your house, and they will reciprocate that same kind of response back to you in a number of different ways. This lesson can extend to other areas of your life, showing you the value of kindness in various avenues of your daily life, from work to your personal obligations with friends.
Help You To Be More Physically Fit
There are no two ways about it: your dog needs to get outside and move around in the fresh air on a regular basis. Even if you take out the part of the equation where it is essential for them to head outside to take care of their business, dogs are very much in need of regular exercise to help them to remove anxious energy and live a healthier and fuller life all around. What you might not realize in the walks that your dog needs to take in the area around your house, that this need is also turning into more physical activity for you. In a way, your dogs need to be out and get rid of some of their energy from being cooped up in the house can translate to a fitter physique for you (especially when the daily walks slowly turn into jogs).
You Can Improve Your Skills In Soothing and Calming
Especially when you end up bringing home a dog from the shelter that has seen nothing but abuse and anger throughout their life with a previous owner, it might take a little time for them to get adjusted to life in a home where people actually care about them. Dogs can be very shy and reserved or very afraid and skittish when they are unsure of their surroundings, so you as a new pet owner have to be accommodating and soothing to their emotional state. While this response is often short-lived from the time of adoption to when the animal can relax and see that everything is okay, you will have to learn quickly how to communicate with your new pet that it will be okay and that you want to love them. This soothing nature is a valuable skill set to have in many other areas of your life as well.
Helps To Limit Unnecessary Shopping and Extra Spending
For most pet owners, owning a dog is not especially expensive. In fact, they can be one of the cheapest pets out there to own at a basic level. But when you consider how they can save you money, it really isn’t about what you may or may not spend on them, but rather what you are not spending elsewhere to get home and take care of your pet. Pets do not always require constant supervision and attention, but your dog does need to do things like go to the bathroom outside. So, in many ways, your responsibility to getting home to your new dog might very well keep you from extra spending elsewhere that you might have done instead. Ultimately, you can have more money for the things that you really want instead of spur of the moment purchases.
Help You To Live In The Moment
There is something about a dog with a new lease on life that can really help you to appreciate the life that you are living as well. Seeing how your new pet wants to explore everything it sees and can find joy in almost any activity that you do together can show you just how much you might not be living your life to the fullest right now. Taking a cue from how your dog responds to every thing it encounters in life can ultimately help you to do the same with situations far removed from being at the park with the family pet.
You Learn A Little About Patience
When you first bring a new pet home, there is a tense period of time in your house. This exists whether you got your animal from a shelter or whether you have purchased a puppy from the pet shop. Your new pet has to take time to learn his new surroundings and people, and until he/she feels comfortable in the new living space, things can feel a little awkward and strange. This is a great lesson that you might not have even realized you were learning in patience. This virtue that few people seem to have anymore is a common thread that ties many pet owners together.
Improving Your Self Esteem and Confidence
Have you ever noticed that when you are not feeling quite right in your own skin or you do not think that you are very attractive or enticing that your dog does not seem to notice? That is because dogs will always love you for who you are, and will help you to see your value and worth in a world that is very much judged on appearances and materialism. This kind of unconditional affection and care can go a long way to inspiring you to have more confidence and to improve your overall self-esteem to tackle some of the more challenging emotional battles that you might face throughout your life.
Learn More About Priorities
When you have a newly adopted pet, it very much requires a lot of your time. New pets are not clingy per say, but they do require your attention and your ability to make them feel comfortable and loved in the new area they are living in. This can help you to see the value in putting someone (or somethings) emotional wellbeing ahead of other non-important tasks or events that you might have otherwise undertaken. For example, choosing to go home and hang out with your new pet instead of going to the party that you had been invited to, simply because you can understand that it would help your pet to adjust better to life with you.
Gain Some Flexibility In Your Life
One thing that being a pet owner to a dog will show you is that you have to be willing to be flexible in your life. You never can account for the things that your dog might need, from the basics like going to the bathroom or taking walks up to medical needs when vets are required. Finding your new role in owning an adopted pet might be stumbling in the dark at first, but once you know your way around it, you will have a well-prepared plan in place to take on new challenges as they come and be able to work through potential hurdles in all areas of your life with flexibility and ease.
Learn To Appreciate The Humor In Your Daily Life
Life with a dog can be amusing to say the least. The things that excite them or upset them might be incredibly strange to you, which can allow for some truly funny situations to occur. As is the case with any pet when you watch them regularly, dogs are eventually going to do some very hilarious things to try and solve a problem or to overcome what they perceive to be a hurdle to a goal they might have. In any case, adopting a dog can help you to laugh a little more often at some of the amusing things that are sure to happen in your household.