Since the COVID-19 pandemic started in the US, many people are staying at home. Some are working or studying, while others lost their jobs as many companies had to lay off employees due to the pandemic. Living during the time of a global health crisis can be stressful and causes anxiety to many people. 

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), social isolation can increase someone’s risk of dementia by 50 percent. Loneliness caused by social isolation also contributes to higher rates of depression, anxiety, and suicide.

During this trying time, people want to feel positive energy to help them cope with the situation. One way to do that is getting a pet.

More Than Just A Companion

Having a pet at home, be it a cat or a dog, is fun. Many households consider their pets as part of the family and treat them like so. They are excellent companions, especially while you’re social distancing which can make you feel alone. A pet will be there for you to cheer you up.

Having a pet is not only a companion you can play with. They can also make you feel better and healthy. The CDC explains bonding with your pets can increase fitness, bring happiness, and lower stress.

family with dog

They are not only good for your mental health, but they also provide several health benefits, including

  • Lower blood pressure

  • Lower cholesterol levels

  • Lower triglyceride levels

  • Encourage exercise and outdoor activities

  • Provides opportunities for socialization

Research also suggests kids who grow up around animals are likely to be immune to bacteria and pet allergens. Children’s exposure to pets can ease anxiety, as well. The National Center for Health Research (NCHR) explains children exposed to a dog had lower blood pressure, lower heart rates, and less behavioral distress.

The effects of having a pet may vary, depending on the companion animal you choose. Your pet can trigger health problems, so it’s important to pick one properly.

What Pet Should You Get?

If you’re planning to get a pet, it’s worth noting that being a pet owner be stressful and expensive. You need to make sure your pet eats right and gets the medical care it needs when necessary. Some animals require regular grooming, while others need a specific environment to thrive. Despite all these, owning a pet is still worth it.

There are a lot of animals you can adopt to be a pet. But dogs and cats are the most common among households. Some families invest in a puppy training program to help their pets adjust to their new homes and teach them how to behave well.

kid with rabbit

Other animals you can look after include fish, hamsters, geckos, iguana, rabbits, parrots, and even snakes. Make sure to get an animal that is safe for you and your family’s health.

You should also consider your living situation. Your house might not be suitable for a certain animal. Some apartments and condominiums, meanwhile, only allow certain types of pets or not at all. Take these considerations before adopting one.

Not all animals have the same needs, even if they are in the same species. Conduct research before adopting to ensure you can provide and sustain their specific needs in the long run. Learn about the animal’s diet, how large it will become, the cost of veterinary care, its lifespan, and the habitat it needs to stay healthy.

It’s also important to consider whether you have enough time to properly care for your pets and clean up after them. Keep in mind that being a pet owner is a commitment, and it’s your responsibility to keep them healthy.

If you’re living with children five years old and below, it’s not ideal to adopt pet reptiles, amphibians, or backyard poultry. They are likely to spread harmful germs that can cause serious illness. Adopting a new cat or a stray cat, meanwhile, is not ideal for pregnant women. Felines can carry a parasite that causes a disease that can lead to congenital disabilities. This doesn’t mean you have to give up your current cat.

When handling your pet, make sure to wash your hands after touching or playing with it, feeding, touching its habitat or equipment, and cleaning up after them. Use soap to remove any germs and bacteria to prevent spreading potential diseases.

Pets are fun and adorable companions, be it a dog, a cat, or a fish. They are great stress relievers and will provide you with a stable relationship. But being a pet owner comes with a responsibility. Before getting a pet, make sure you’re ready to provide for their needs, look after them, and keep them healthy. They can be frustrating sometimes, but all your efforts are worth it.

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