According to statistics from the ASPCA, “70-80 million dogs and 74-96 million cats are owned in the United States.” What is it about man’s best friend or a cat that captures the heart of many Americans?
“Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions; they pass no criticisms.” George Eliot
The Benefits of Pets
- Unconditional love
After my mother’s death, I bought a Boston Terrier puppy. The times I needed comfort, I could rely on my dog to give me a slurp across the face. Her eyes seem to light up when I return from an errand. She jumps and whines as if she is saying “I love you, love you love you.” She rests beside me in my recliner and is always eager to play ball.
When my mother was in Hospice, she especially enjoyed visits from the pet therapy dog. Mother delighted in petting the dog and talking to her. A friend’s mom lives in assisted living with two cats. She thrives because of her pets.
Dogs offer protection. According to one study, intimidating and/or yapping dogs offer protection from burglars.
Pets teach children responsibility if they participate in the dog’s care. Children learn to respect animals instead of fearing them.
The Downside of Owning Pets
When buying a dog it’s important to consider the cost of vaccinations and preventative care. Vet bills can add up quickly.
Since I’d owned a Boston Terrier before, I knew some of the basics about the breed. They are lively, playful and a bit stubborn. Obedience training is recommended. My puppy completed 2 sets of classes, and to this day I’ve never had regrets.
If you live in an apartment, you probably need to consider a small dog, since larger dogs need space to romp and play.
Do the homework if buying a pet.
- investigate health record
- buy from a reliable breeder
- consider your living environment
Unfortunately, I didn’t research my puppy’s history and soon discovered she had a multitude of skin issues. Of course, when I made the discovery, I was already attached to the pup. No way would I demand my money back.
It’s a good idea to check your lease before buying a pet. One of the big reasons people are forced to give pets up for adoption is, restrictions in a lease.
“Good people take good care of their animals, but the wicked know only how to be cruel.” Proverbs 12:10 (ERV)
The beginning of Genesis, reminds us that God created the animals, and man has dominion over them. Pets are loyal and trusting. They are of great value to us in giving companionship and unconditional love. Do you own a pet? What benefits have you received as a pet owner? Any funny stories you’d like to share?