This article may be one of the ‘Pros’ to put on your list if you’re trying to decide on getting a family pet. Yes, there are PLENTY of responsibilities involved around getting and keeping a family pet, but the advantages far outweigh any concerns most families have when deciding on taking the plunge. In case you do need a little bit of a push in the right direction, we’ve conveniently listed the unique benefits your family will feel once you find that perfect family pet:

  1. Unconditional Love

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One of the most important qualities of family pets is that they come judgment-free, and ready to love. The love and relationship that forms between a family and their pet are immeasurable when it comes to the support, comfort, and companionship they provide. Not only will your family be providing your pet with the love it needs, but your pet is always there to provide love for your family too!

2.  Teaches Responsibility

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We’ve heard it time and time again, but family pets really DO teach children (and adults) all about responsibility. Children tend to gain confidence when tasked with responsibilities. Start small; when they are young task them with filling the pet’s water bowl and move onto grooming or walking the pet as they get older.

3.  Teaches Empathy

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Tied closely to responsibility, is empathy. Once children (and adults) are tasked with the responsibility of caring for a pet that is 100% dependant on them, it helps them distinguish between right and wrong and what needs to be done. Children learn that empathy is important and realize when their pet is hungry, tired or in pain – a crucial quality that helps children navigate the social world when growing up.

4.  Therapeutic

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Studies have shown that having a family pet can help lower blood pressure, speed up recovery time (when ill), and reduce stress and anxiety. Feeling down, pat your cat. Had a bad day, take your dog for a walk. There’s nothing like a wagging tail greeting you after a not so great day at the office. Once your family establishes this connection with your pet, they move on from being just a pet and become part of the family.

5.   Promotes Health

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Along with therapeutic qualities, family pets promotes activeness. Walking the dog can be a family activity and get everyone outdoors and moving; which we know is an essential part of our well being. Not only do pets improve our health physically but they also help keep us in check emotionally by providing feelings of love, comfort, and companionship.

6.  Saving a Life

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Adopt, don’t shop is always the motto! There are so many pets that are ready for a loving home. Make it a family day and head to your local shelter and give that special animal a forever home. It’s worth it.