Pandemic pets – a companion to get you through winterPet adoptions have been on the rise since the start of the pandemic as families and individuals have found themselves with more time at home. Through the summer months, new pet owners have been able to take extra time for training and adjusting to the needs of these new family members.

For those who have not yet taken the plunge into pet ownership, the changing weather may be a reason to reconsider. Cold temperatures will be pushing us inside, yet with continued remote working and learning, as well as continued limits on travel, entertainment and gatherings, these winter months and holidays may be a lonely prospect, especially for those living alone. Adopting a pet from a shelter or rescue may be the perfect answer.

Pets—their company and unconditional love—have long been considered a stress reducer for people struggling with anxiety, social challenges, health issues, and isolation. A canine or feline companion during what is likely to be a long winter of social distancing could make a big difference for anyone frustrated by the simply lack of things to do.

New pet parents

If you have never had a pet, you may be uncertain how to choose the right companion for your home, lifestyle and other family members. Consider the following before making a decision:

  • Are you and/or family members active and anxious to get moving? A dog who will enjoy regular walks and fetching in the yard is a great choice, even if it means bundling up for the cold.
  • Are you looking for a cuddler on the couch? A dog or cat could fit the bill but look for an affectionate animal who is comfortable with people and receptive to a scratch behind the ears.
  • Does your family include young children? Consider adopting a younger dog or cat who will readily adjust to the attention and grow up with your kids.
  • Are you looking for a companion for an older adult living alone? An older dog or cat with a calm disposition is a great choice.
  • Worried about having the patience for training? Seek out a dog who is already house-broken or choose a playful cat. Litter box training is generally much easier than house-breaking a puppy.

Staff members at shelters and rescues are always available to discuss your needs and match you with potential pets that fit them. The price is right too, as adoption fees are very reasonable and typically include neutering/spaying and vaccinations.

Remember too that fostering is an option if you are hesitant to make a permanent commitment to pet ownership. Check with your local shelter about how to become involved in a fostering program.

If you have questions about taking in a pet, health concerns and responsibilities for that pet, or how owning a pet could help your family, contact the veterinarians at Lake Cable Animal Hospital. Our team has extensive experience keeping your pets healthy and happy.