Adopting an Animal Could Save YOUR Life

Rarely do we ever stop to consider the plethora of ways that an adopted animal can make our lives better, as well.Yet there is plenty of scientific and anecdotal evidence that proves rescuing a pet can save human lives as well.

Rescuing an animal that’s been abused, abandoned, or is just unwanted, is one of the most noble things a human being can do.

In most cases, we think of pet adoption as a good thing to do because it saves an innocent animal from being put down unnecessarily.
Animals have had an enormously positive impact in helping the physically or emotionally disabled.

People who for some reason have withdrawn into themselves naturally wish to reach out when introduced to a pet.

One of the many health benefits of adopting an animal is that when you pet an animal it releases serotonin levels in your brain (and the pets brain).

Serotonin is sometimes called the happiness or “feel good” hormone as it greatly influences an overall sense of well-being.

1. Serotonin helps to regulate moods, temper anxiety, relieve depression and it is also credited with being a natural sleep aid. It even plays an important role in regulating such things as aggression, appetite, sexuality, and makes you feel happy.

Serotonin can be released by getting exposed to sunlight, by eating foods rich in carbohydrates, exercising and also being close to a loved one – including animals.

2. Dogs and cats can detect and predict health problems. Due to their remarkable sense of smell, some studies show that dogs can perform what often seem like miracles, such as detecting cancer, predicting seizures and warning about low blood sugar.

3. They provide support and assistance. In the setting of a severe illness or prolonged hospitalization or nursing home placement, service dogs can provide great solace and distraction from unpleasant circumstances.

Therapy dogs can assist people with various disabilities in performing everyday activities, thereby greatly reducing their dependence on others.

4. Pets help you practice responsibility and compassion. Several studies have shown how pet ownership positively affects self-esteem and empathy in children.

Additionally, caring for pets teaches responsibility for pet owners of all ages. While pet ownership takes time, sacrifice, dedication and compassion, it can also be one of the most rewarding aspects of your life.

5. They’re good “medicine” for the elderly.  Pets encourage laughter, playfulness and physical activity, which can help boost the immune system and energy, along with lowering your blood pressure. 

For caregivers taking care of an elderly patient, cats can provide less of a burden when there is a pet, as cats generally require less care than a dog.

6. They improve your mood. Pets help reduce feelings of anxiety and depression, as their optimistic demeanor and devotion to you are natural mood enhancers. 

One study revealed that AIDS patients with pets were less likely to suffer from depression. Related research has shown similar trends with those who have cancer and other terminal illnesses, such as Alzheimer's.

Scroll through the info-graphic below, and learn more about all the different ways adopting an animal can help you become a healthier, happier being, both physically and emotionally!

If you’ve been thinking about getting a pet, there are clearly some great health advantages that come along with it. 

If you are unable to own a pet at this time, volunteering at an animal shelter or fostering a pet provides many benefits as well.

If you are ready to own a pet, consider adoption. 

On websites such as  PetHarbor or Petfinders, you can pick your preferences (breed, size, gender, age, etc.) and narrow down a search to find the perfect pet for you in your local shelter.

If you don't want to make a long term commitment, try fostering a pet. Shelters and Rescue Group information is listed below.

Sometimes the right animal finds YOU. So listen to your heart. Maybe that little dog doesn't need you. Maybe you need him! Puppy love after all, can be the very best kind of medicine.

Open up your home and heart to one of them, and invite better health, fitness and joy into your life.

If you've already adopted a pet, you might already be familiar with these benefits, but if you haven’t, I hope they’ll help to convince you that it’s a good idea.

Even if you’re not interested in adopting a pet, please consider donating your time and money to a local Shelter or an Animal Rescue Group that is working hard to find them loving homes.