Pet adoption improves – and sometimes saves – the lives of millions of furry friends each year. However, the benefits of adoption are not a one-way street. Research continues to emerge supporting the positive impact pets add to owners’ lives, as well as the benefits pet adoption has on communities as a whole.
“Pets are good for our physical and mental well-being,” said Mark Johnson, President of Mars Petcare North America. “Supporting pet adoption from local animal shelters is one of the most important things we do; not only does it support our global ambition to end pet homelessness, but we’re also helping improve the lives of the people in our community who are going home with a new best friend. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”
Consider these ways pet adoption can transform communities, and to take the first step toward helping a pet, contact local animal shelters for upcoming adoption events. For more information, visit BetterCitiesForPets.com.
1. Forever Homes Improve Quality of Life of Pets – Each year, 4 million pets end up in shelters, according to PEDIGREE Foundation. Adoptive individuals and families can significantly improve a pet’s life, offering him or her a loving family, warm home and reliable source of food, necessities and companionship. Adopted pets can benefit from the consistency offered outside of the shelter, gaining regular exercise and a heightened sense of comfort in a more predictable home environment.
2. Pet Ownership Benefits Owners and Families – As much as pet adoption can improve the quality of pets’ lives, the tangible benefits can also carry over to pet owners. According to research from the Human Animal Bond Research Institute and Mars Petcare, 80% of pet owners reported their pets made them feel less lonely.
Pet ownership has been associated with lower blood pressure, lower heart rate and faster recovery during mental stress. Increased exercise could be a potential cause, with research also revealing older adults with dogs walked a surplus of 2,760 steps a day, compared to their non-dog-owning counterparts. These walks allow owners to spend more time outdoors, bonding with their pets and interacting with neighbors and the community around them.
3. Pet Adoption Supports Community Health – Shelters often rely on citizens for adoptive and foster families, as well as volunteers. Citizens’ willingness to volunteer and attend adoption events allows community members to connect over a common cause and cultivate relationships. Once adopted, pets can also provide an icebreaker and encourage friendships among their neighboring pet parents.