(Family Features) More than 23 million American households added a four-legged family member over the last three years, according to data from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Through these trying times, pets have been a key source of comfort and joy – even improving pet parents’ overall wellbeing.
It’s no wonder that – according to Mars Petcare’s “Pets for Better Wellbeing” report – more than one-third of non-pet owners are considering adopting a pet in the next 3-5 years, and 61% of them said they’ll turn to shelters or rescues. It’s a major decision for families, but also for pets, as there are still hundreds of thousands of cats and dogs waiting in shelters to find their forever homes.
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To learn more about the positive impact of pet ownership, and to find out how you can support animal shelters and pets in your community, visit
. If you’re still deciding whether to add a four-legged family member, consider these four benefits:
Improve Your Wellbeing
Few things compare to the joy of coming home to a loyal companion. Whether it’s a dog greeting you at the door or a cat purring contently in your lap, your pet is there to offer unconditional love. In fact, the survey revealed 92% of pet owners feel their relationship with their pets have improved both their mental and physical wellbeing over the last three years.
Serve as Your Social Sidekick
More pet owners are including their pets in their everyday routines, whether at work or during their leisure time. In fact, 85% of pet owners working from home all or part of the time said it’s important to spend at least part of their workday at home with their pets. People are also looking to hit the road with their pets by their side as 52% said they’re likely to bring their pets while traveling.
Provide Companionship for the Whole Family
A dog is more than just “man’s best friend.” The research indicated more than 9 in 10 pet owners agree their pets complete their families or households and they are a key part of how the family spends quality time together. When it comes to children, adults said they feel pets make a positive impact by providing companionship (75%) and teaching children about responsibility (69%).
Support Your Local Shelter
If you’re ready to add a pet to your family, consider adopting from a local shelter. Eighty-four percent of pet parents who adopted from shelters felt a boost in mental wellbeing from doing so. Adding a pet to your home can also support shelters in your community that are struggling to care for all the cats and dogs in need of forever homes.
Photos courtesy of Adobe Stock