Essay on Having a Pet

Students are often asked to write an essay on Having a Pet in their schools and colleges. And if you’re also looking for the same, we have created 100-word, 250-word, and 500-word essays on the topic.

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100 Words Essay on Having a Pet


Having a pet is a joyous experience. Pets are not just animals; they become a part of our family, bringing happiness and companionship.

The Joy of Having Pets

Pets offer unconditional love and loyalty. They’re always there to cheer us up, making our lives more enjoyable. Playing with pets can also relieve stress.

Pets Teach Responsibility

Having a pet teaches responsibility. Pets need care and attention, teaching us about commitment and empathy.

Health Benefits of Pets

Pets can be good for our health too. Walking a dog encourages exercise, and stroking a cat can lower blood pressure.

In conclusion, having a pet is a rewarding experience that brings joy, teaches responsibility, and promotes health.

250 Words Essay on Having a Pet

The companionship of pets.

Pets have long been regarded as man’s best friend, providing companionship, loyalty, and emotional support. They are not just animals, but rather an integral part of our lives, enriching our experiences and teaching us about empathy, responsibility, and unconditional love.

Psychological Benefits

Research has indicated that having a pet can significantly reduce stress levels and improve mental health. The simple act of petting an animal can trigger the release of endorphins, creating a sense of calm and happiness. Furthermore, pets can alleviate feelings of loneliness, providing a sense of purpose and companionship.

Physical Health and Well-being

Pets, particularly dogs, require regular exercise, which inadvertently encourages their owners to lead more active lifestyles. This can result in improved cardiovascular health, reduced obesity rates, and overall better physical health.

Teaching Responsibility and Empathy

Having a pet is a long-term commitment that requires responsibility. Feeding, grooming, and caring for a pet can teach individuals, especially young adults, about responsibility. Moreover, pets can help develop empathy as we learn to understand and cater to their needs.

In essence, having a pet is a rewarding experience that offers numerous benefits. It is a relationship that goes beyond the physical realm, touching upon emotional and psychological aspects. Despite the challenges and responsibilities that come with pet ownership, the invaluable lessons and companionship they offer make it a worthwhile endeavor.

500 Words Essay on Having a Pet

The joy and responsibility of having a pet.

Pets, in many ways, can be considered as an extension of our family. They provide companionship, emotional support, and can even contribute to improved physical health. However, owning a pet also comes with significant responsibilities and potential challenges.

The Psychological Benefits of Pet Ownership

The psychological benefits of having a pet are well-documented. Research indicates that pets can help reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. Their constant companionship can alleviate feelings of loneliness and isolation, fostering a sense of belonging and purpose. For instance, the act of petting a dog or a cat has been shown to release oxytocin, a hormone associated with stress reduction and mood enhancement.

Physical Health Advantages

Beyond mental health, pets also contribute to physical health. Regular walks with a dog, for example, promote cardiovascular health and fitness. Pets can also help their owners maintain a regular sleep schedule, as they typically require feeding, exercise, and bathroom breaks at consistent times.

Life Skills Acquired

Owning a pet can also impart valuable life skills, particularly for young adults. The responsibility of caring for another living being can foster empathy, compassion, and responsibility. It also provides an opportunity to learn about the cycle of life and death, helping to develop emotional resilience.

The Challenges of Pet Ownership

Despite these benefits, pet ownership is not without its challenges. The financial costs can be significant, encompassing food, veterinary care, grooming, and potential property damage. Pets also require time and attention, which can be difficult for busy individuals or families. Moreover, pets can limit spontaneity, as their needs often require planning and cannot be easily delegated.

Choosing the Right Pet

Choosing the right pet is a crucial step in ensuring a positive pet ownership experience. This decision should be based on lifestyle, living situation, financial capability, and personal preference. For example, a dog may be a poor choice for someone with a busy schedule or limited living space, while a cat or a fish may be a more suitable option.

In conclusion, owning a pet can be a rewarding experience, offering numerous psychological and physical health benefits. However, it is not a decision to be taken lightly, as pets require significant time, attention, and financial resources. Prospective pet owners should carefully consider their lifestyle and capabilities before welcoming a pet into their home. Ultimately, the joy and companionship pets offer can greatly enrich our lives, making the challenges worthwhile.

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Home — Essay Samples — Life — Pet — Overview of the Benefits of Having Pets


Overview of The Benefits of Having Pets

  • Categories: Pet

About this sample


Words: 1413 |

Published: Oct 2, 2020

Words: 1413 | Pages: 3 | 8 min read

Table of contents

Introduction, works cited, improving health, making new friend, being more responsibility, having security.

  • American Pet Products Association. (2016). Pet Industry Market Size & Ownership Statistics. Retrieved from https://www.americanpetproducts.org/press_industrytrends.asp
  • London, K. B. (2018). The Physical and Psychological Benefits of Dog Ownership. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27(3), 187-191. doi:10.1177/0963721417748426
  • Kruk, J. (2018). How Does Exercise Reduce the Risk of Breast Cancer? Current Oncology, 25(3), e325-e327. doi:10.3747/co.25.4034
  • Oaklander, M. (2017). Science Says Your Pet is Good for Your Mental Health. Time. Retrieved from https://time.com/4728315/science-says-pet-good-mental-health/
  • Vieira, M. (2018). Pets and Mental Health: Enhancing Well-Being and Building Resilience. Frontiers in Psychology, 9, 514. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2018.00514
  • Dumain, T. (2019). Stroke Prevention: What You Need to Know. Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic. Retrieved from https://health.clevelandclinic.org/stroke-prevention-what-you-need-to-know/
  • Thakur, A. (2021). 10 Benefits of Having a Pet at Home. The Times of India. Retrieved from https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life-style/relationships/pets/10-benefits-of-having-a-pet-at-home/articleshow/82166879.cms
  • University of Western Australia. (2015). The Role of Pets in Human Societies: Implications for Human Health and Well-Being. Retrieved from https://www.perthnow.com.au/news/wa/pets-make-people-healthier-ng-864a670fd8740e063c71d9253e3d7751
  • Cowan, L. (2017). The Benefits of Pets for Children. Bright Horizons. Retrieved from https://www.brighthorizons.com/family-resources/e-family-news/2017-the-benefits-of-pets-for-children
  • Forma, A. (2020). Dog Saves Boy, 4, from Cougar Attack in Canada. National Geographic. Retrieved from https://www.nationalgeographic.com/animals/article/dog-saves-boy-cougar-attack

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essay on raising a pet

15 reasons why having a pet is good for you and your family

  • Owning a pet can positively impact not only your health but also your lifestyle.
  • Couples who own a pet together have lower blood pressure and interact with each other more than couples who do not own a pet.
  • Studies show that pet owners are more likely to get to know people in their neighborhood than those who do not have a pet.
  • Animals can help children by teaching them about empathy and responsibility, and can even boost their literacy skills.

Insider Today

  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories .

Whether you have a dog, cat, bird, or anything in between, pet ownership can be an adventure.

A furry friend can also keep you company through the stress or isolation of the coronavirus pandemic — this may be why pet adoption and fostering have spiked recently .

While people who adopt an animal usually think they're changing its life for the better, pets have just as much of a positive impact on the lives of their owners. If you're still on the fence about whether or not you should adopt a pet, here are 15 reasons why you need one in your life.

Having a pet can improve your mood.

essay on raising a pet

Owning a pet can help reduce stress you're feeling amid the pandemic. According to studies , spending time with your pet can trigger an increased level of oxytocin, also known as the "love hormone." This is responsible for the feeling of closeness and increased bonding with your pet. It can also increase your overall mood .

Pets can also improve your social life.

essay on raising a pet

Your pet could be the perfect conversation starter for your next Zoom call, but owning a pet could also help you make more friends once social distancing guidelines lift. 

Dogs are naturally curious about their environment, including other dogs and people, and they can be the catalyst for social interactions. If you own a dog, you might find strangers approaching you to ask about them.

But other pets like cats can increase your social circle  as well. According to a 2015 study conducted in Australia and the US, pet owners were significantly more likely to get to know people in their neighborhood than those who did not own a pet.

If you're looking for love, a pet can help with that, too.

essay on raising a pet

Pets can be a great way to increase your chances of finding love . According to a survey by Purina , 54 percent of surveyed pet owners said their pets helped them start a conversation with someone they were interested in. Nearly two thirds of people said they were likely to date someone who owned a pet, and one in three would want to meet someone who has pictures of their pet in their online dating profile.

And if you're in a relationship, a pet can make you both happier and less stressed.

essay on raising a pet

According to research cited by Psychology Today, couples who own a pet together have lower blood pressure and are happier on average than their peers. They also interact more with each other than couples who don't own a pet.

Owning a pet can make you a better person.

essay on raising a pet

According to a study by BarkBox , owning a dog can make you a better person (or at least make you think you are!). Of those surveyed for the study, 93% of pet owners said they could easily name at least one way their pet had made them a better person, including making them noticeably more patient or affectionate.

Bringing your pet to work can boost your morale and help control your stress levels.

essay on raising a pet

Showing off your pet can brighten those work-from-home video meetings, not only for yourself but also for your co-workers.

A 2012 study conducted at a North Carolina manufacturing company found that employees who brought their dogs to the workplace experienced lower stress levels throughout the day, reported being happier in their jobs, and had a higher opinion of their employer.

Pets can also help you unwind after a long day at work.

essay on raising a pet

Pets can give you comfort and a sense of relief. A 2003 study  found the act of petting an animal after a stressful situation reduced feelings of anxiety. "The anxiety-reducing effect applied to people with different attitudes towards animals and was not restricted to animal lovers," the study noted.

Having a pet nearby, especially a dog, can make you feel more secure.

essay on raising a pet

Large dog breeds like German shepherds and Rottweilers make for great deterrents from outside threats, allowing their owners to feel safer. The popularity of Rottweilers has risen in recent years thanks to " their loyalty, confidence and protective instincts. "

You always have someone to snuggle with on cold nights.

essay on raising a pet

While pets may disturb their sleep at times, some owners enjoy the comfort of curling up with their pet close by. They can make you feel at peace as you drift off to sleep.

Whether it's taking them for a walk or doing yoga, pets can make you more physically active.

essay on raising a pet

Dubbed the " Lassie effect ," taking your dog for a walk also makes you more physically fit and increases the chance you're going to get your daily exercise.

You'll find immeasurable joy in playing fetch with your dog, or teaching your pet tricks.

essay on raising a pet

Almost every dog owner knows the joy of playing fetch with them on a nice summer day. You can teach your dog to shake hands, roll over, and bark on command, but dogs aren't the only ones that can be taught tricks. Cats can also be trained to sit and high five on command. 

While they're not as fluffy as cats or dogs, birds like parrots can be life-long companions.

essay on raising a pet

Birds are social creatures and love to play games and perform tricks. But unlike other animals, parrots and other birds have the ability to learn and mimic human speech. They also have life spans on par with a human's, with some parrots living to be over 100, meaning you'll have a friend for life.

Owning a pet can help your child's learning.

essay on raising a pet

Having a pet at an early age can boost a child's confidence and empathy levels , according to Blue Cross. Pets are natural listeners, and your child may feel more comfortable practicing their reading skills aloud in front of a pet than another person. 

A pet can also teach your child about responsibility.

essay on raising a pet

According to a national survey by the American Pet Product Association, 58 percent of pet owners said their animals help teach their children to be responsible. From an early age, a child can help feed, walk, and bathe a family pet.

Pets can also be the inspiration for great creative works.

essay on raising a pet

Pets inspire people in various of ways. English actor Oliver Reed reviewed his movie script with his cat, Felix, nearby. When he was coming up with his theories, Albert Einstein would often watch his cat, Tiger, move about. It was an injured dog that inspired Florence Nightingale to become a nurse. 

  • A photographer captured photos of 15 pairs of dogs and their owners that look hilariously alike
  • This dog adopted an abandoned kitten after losing her own puppies, and the photos will warm your heart
  • 12 dogs with disabilities who are living their best life
  • Belarus the cross-eyed rescue cat has stolen the hearts of thousands online, and now he's helping other animals in need

essay on raising a pet

  • Main content

Pets Keeping: Benefits for Children Essay

Introduction, benefits of keeping pets for children, arguments against keeping pets for children, works cited.

Keeping of pets is very common in many families around the world. Different families keep pets for various reasons. According to Brayfield (73), many people do not understand the real benefits of some of the common pets that families keep. They only consider pets as companions that add some value to their families, but they cannot be able to identify these specific values. The research by Friedman (35) reveals that pets have massive benefits to children’s development. Different pets contribute differently to a child’s development. This means that some pets offer greater values than other, given the perspective that one takes during the analysis. It is necessary to note that some researchers have argued that pets pose dangers to people, especially to children.

These researchers have mentioned bites, scratches, allergies, and animal-human disease transfer as some of the reasons why it is necessary for children to stay away from pets. Although this argument has truth in it, Palmiter (56) says that when the right hygiene is kept and regular medical check-ups for the pets and family members is maintained, the risk of disease transfer can easily be eliminated. This means that these negative effects can be regulated, making the benefits to outweigh the dangers of keeping pets for children. This research focuses on analyzing some of the benefits of keeping pets for children.

There has been an extensive research to determine some of the specific benefits of keeping pets for children. According to Brayfield (41), keeping of pets help in promoting physical exercise of children. In the current society where technology defines the social life of human beings, children have become addicted to indoor games played in computer. The computer games have eliminated the physical games like skiing, riding, jogging, and even football which are very important for the physical growth of children.

Keeping a dog would make a child develop an interest to take it around the home for some physical exercise, just as they see their parents do. This makes them consider jogging as a game that also involves their favorite pets. Sometimes it may be necessary to have a close parental supervision if the child is below 12 years. This exercise will eliminate many health complications such as obesity, and enable these children to develop into healthy adolescents.

Pets play an important role in the social development of children. According to Dann (78), pets are some of the best social facilitators for children. Some children are always very shy, because of the parental neglect, parental abuse, or genetically reasons. Such children would always feel inferior before their peers or other members of the family. Such children are always withdrawn and will try to avoid the presence of other people.

This condition may become worse if the parents or guardians ignore it as a stage in life that such a child would be able to overcome. Dogs can play a pivotal role in helping such children overcome their conditions. According to Brayfield (89), every human being- irrespective of age or other demographical factors- needs someone to confide in and share some of the fears in life. Some of these children may find solace in some of the social pets like dogs. They may feel comfortable playing with dogs because the pet will not realize that the child is an introvert. From such games, an introvert child would become very active, always preferring to jog around with the dogs. Such physical exercise is very instrumental in helping them overcome some of the fears. This may boost their social development.

Pets are important in the development of a sense of responsibility by children when they are allowed to take care of them. In most of the cases, a parent would feed the pets, clean them, and give them medicine while children are watching. According to Friedman (123), children are good learners when they are allowed to observe how some of these activities are done. While parents teach their children a sense of responsibility, the pets act as a vehicle through which this learning process can be realized. Children get to know that as human beings, we have a responsibility in our lives. In some cases, a child would see a parent setting aside a portion of dog’s food or medicine for future use.

This makes them know that resources are scarce, and there is always a need to use them sparingly, storing some of the products whenever we have excess for the purpose of future use. This makes them grow up into responsible individuals who know how to take care of resources within their custody. According to Brayfield (82), it also helps children develop self-esteem when they are allowed to feed the pets. This makes them feel that they are of great value to the family. This is very important in helping them grow up into successful people in life.

Pets may be very helpful in enhancing a child’s cognitive development. According to Dann (115), a child may develop an interest in particular pet that may become its favorite. Such a child is always willing to learn more about their favorite pets in order to be able to take care of them in a better way. For instance, a child who is fond of the family dog will always try to find a way of making it feel comfortable. When a veterinary officer visits, such a child would want to ask so many questions.

The child would want to know why a specific medicine is used, the importance of the injection, the effect of the medicine in the body, if the injection will not kill the dog, and how he can help take care of the dog in the absence of the veterinary officer. When these questions are answered articulately and in simple languages that the child can learn, the information will stick. Such information can be very important in the life of the child other than when taking care of the dog. Such a child would be able to fight its fear towards injection because they already know that the pain of the injection is only short-lived, but its benefits last long.

The child would also be able to know why it is necessary to maintain a high level of hygiene when taking care of the dogs and this will be applied in their own cases. In class work, such a child would have a better performance because of the practical experience that it is subjected to when dealing with these pets. As Brayfield (90) says, pets may also evoke a child’s desire to do a research by reading books that talk about their favorite pets. When they find books with proper graphics and simple language about their topic, they get to understand the importance of conducting an independent research. This will improve their performance at school.

Pets may play an important role in the psychotherapy of a child. According to Dann (24), the relationship between a child and a pet is always non-judgmental. Children who are emotionally weak because of a mistake they have done would prefer going to a dog, holding it closely, and then confessing the mistake. This is so because they know that the dog would not judge them harshly. Instead, it would respond in a reassuring manner, something that may not be the case when the child confided in a person. According to Brayfield (92), it is normal that sometimes people may be interested in making some confessions to people they trust hoping that their confession will remain secret.

Such confessions always have the effect of reducing the burden of having to keep the information to oneself. However, most children do not trust their parents, guardians, or elders they stay with because of the harsh judgment or even a punishment that may follow. They also do not trust their peers because they can share the secrets with the parents or use it as a tool to frustrate them in the family. For this reason, they prefer keeping the information to themselves, which may be hurting. Pets such as dogs or cats always offer them the best solution. When they confess to these pets, they know that they will not be judged harshly, and that their secrets will remain safely protected. This makes these pets to perfect psychotherapy to children, making them appreciate the importance of some values in life.

Taking care of a pet improves the common bond among siblings within a family. According to Friedman (57), it is normal to find siblings fighting over various issues in the family. It could be a fight for the attention of the parents, fight over gifts bought for everyone, or many other factors. In most of the cases, these fights or differences may not be good for the development of a bond between the siblings. If not addressed within the right time, these differences may be entrenched in these siblings and they may end up growing to become sworn enemies. Pets may play an important role in eliminating these differences and bonding the siblings to grow up loving one another.

For instance, when these siblings are fond of dogs, they will always strive to take care of it by feeding it, giving it medication, or washing it. When one of the siblings takes care of the dog, the other will consider it a favor done to them because of their fondness to the dog. This pet will, therefore, act as a bridge between these two siblings that brings them together. It also becomes easy for the siblings to realize that they have more factors that bring them together than what sets them apart. This positive bonding in the family is very important in the positive development of these children. They will learn values such as sharing tasks, sharing their gifts and other properties, and the need to approach various problems as a unit in order to succeed in life.

Pets may also help in the reduction of stress and anxiety amongst children. The research by Brayfield (34) shows that cuddling of pets has an effect of reducing stress among children. Sometimes a child may develop anxiety because of a mistake done, or anticipation. Cuddling of pets such as a cat may help reduce anxiety. The pets may also help eliminate the feeling of loneliness. When a child plays with a dog or a cat, the feeling of loneliness is always eliminated. They get entertained, and this makes them forget the fact that they are lonely. Pets are also known to help children fight stress (Friedman 76). For instance, when a parent or a guardian scolds a child, a pet would be a perfect solution for the child. Playing with the pet may help the child forget about the scold.

A section of researchers have warned against allowing children to get into contact with pets because of the physical or psychological harm that these pets may inflict on them. McConnel (1240) says that some families keep snakes as their favorite pets. Although these snakes are always non-poisonous, this does not eliminate chances that they may bite, and in case this happens, it will affect a child in various ways. There will be a pain that the child will be subjected to because of the bite. Perhaps the worst effect will manifest itself psychologically. Such a child will grow up in fear of other pets or even people because of such incidents.

Ascione (56) says that dogs and other pets may also pass some diseases, such as rubies, to children. Such diseases may be fatal if immediate medical attention is not offered. McConnel (1245) feels that dogs or cats may cause physical harm to children. A cat may scratch a child during the play, and this may cause physical and emotional torture. Even after the wound is treated, such a child would fear cats, and their presence in the house would mean lack of freedom to them. It is also a fact that some children may develop allergic reactions when they come into contact with some of the pets. Keeping these pets may subject such children to constant health problems. Although these arguments have some truth, it is important to note that these scholars also appreciate that pets may be important in the development of a child.

Keeping of pets has become common in various societies around the world. However, the traditional reason why these pets were kept is very different from the reason why people keep them today. Dogs were meant to offer security, cats to take care of mice, and horse to help in transport. However, these animals are currently serving a different purpose. This study has revealed that pets can play an important role in the development of a child. Although some scholars have stated that some of these pets may cause physical or emotional harm, they also appreciate that with proper care and wisdom when choosing the pets, children stand to gain by interacting with them. Children will benefit physically, socially, emotionally, and cognitively. For this reason, parents are encouraged to choose the right pets for their children to help in their effective development.

Ascione, Frank. Children and Animals: Exploring the Roots of Kindness and Cruelty . West Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 2004. Print.

Brayfield, Amy. Your Child’s First Pet: A Parent’s Guide to Ensuring Success . Ocala, Fla: Atlantic Pub. Group, 2011. Print.

Dann, Bucky. Creating Children’s Sermons: 51 Visual Lessons . Philadelphia: Westminster Press, 1981. Print.

Friedman, Jacob. New Transcription Factors and Their Role in Diabetes and Therapy . Amsterdam: Elsevier, 2006. Web.

McConnel, Allen. “Friends With Benefits: On The Positive Consequences Of Pet Ownership.” Journal of Personality & Social Psychology 101.6 (2011): 1239-1252. Print.

Palmiter, Sarah. Pets As Healers: The Benefits of Animal-Assisted Therapy with Children . Pasadena, Calif: Pacific Oaks College, 2009. Print.

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IvyPanda. (2020, June 19). Pets Keeping: Benefits for Children. https://ivypanda.com/essays/pets-keeping-benefits-for-children/

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IvyPanda . "Pets Keeping: Benefits for Children." June 19, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/pets-keeping-benefits-for-children/.

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essay on raising a pet

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IELTS Essay, topic: keeping pets to live a more enjoyable life

  • IELTS Essays - Band 5

Some people believe that having a pet such as a cat or a dog helps old people to live a more enjoyable life and to stay healthier. How do you think old people benefit from having a pet? Do you think there are any problems related to old people who have pets?

essay on raising a pet

In conclusion, it is true that obstacles still exist for elderly people in adopting pets, but the benefits of this topic its . For such reasons, instead of , further support would be far more beneficial.

You have made an attempt to accomplish the task response. However, there are quite a few mistakes in the essay – the main problematic areas are grammar, sentence structure and word choice. In addition, the length of the task response could be reduced. This task response needs to be worked on and improved. Revise grammar and work on your sentence structure. Avoid writing more than 280 words to save time and reduce the number of mistakes, and remember to always proofread your work once you’re finished. Overall, this looks like a Band 5.5 essay

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My Pet Essay

500 words essay on my pet.

Pets are a blessing that only lucky people get to have. I have been lucky enough to have many pets since my childhood. My pet is a cat whom we call Mingi. It is white and grey in colour. Mingi is 3 years old and has been with me ever since she was born. Through my pet essay, I will make you learn all about Mingi and why it is so dear to me.

my pet essay

How Mingi Became My Pet Essay

Mingi has short hair and also a glossy coat. It is a female and love to have milk and chicken. Sometimes, I treat it with fish as it loves the taste of tuna. Moreover, Mingi is a very loving pet that stays with me at all times.

Ever since I was little, I liked cats. I love how clean and majestic they are. Although, there were no plans to keep a pet cat. My mother did not allow me as she would end up doing all the work for the pet.

However, she used to keep a bowl of fresh water in our garden to ensure no birds or animals remain thirsty during the summer season. A lot of pigeons and sparrows come to my garden to quench their thirst.

One fine day, a cat came to drink the water. It started coming regularly afterwards and gave birth to kittens in our garden. My mother gave them food as well and some milk every day.

However, one day all of them were gone except for a little kitten. I started to feed it regularly and became close to it. As the mother did not return, I decided to keep it as my pet.

After taking permission from my mother, I finally got to keep Mingi by promising to bear its responsibility. Ever since Mingi has been in my life. It was so little but now has grown into a big and beautiful cat.

Get the huge list of more than 500 Essay Topics and Ideas

A Clean Pet

Cats are one of the cleanest pets that do not require a lot of effort to maintain. I hardly have to worry about Mingi being dirty as it cleans itself regularly. I conduct a bathing session every month with my mother.

It is not easy but Mingi is now used to it. We also comb Mingi’s coat twice a week so no dead hair remains and her hygiene is intact. Moreover, it may sound rare but we also brush Mingi’s teeth every week.

During winters , Mingi gets cold so we have got her a warm coat to protect her from the cold. Mingi remains indoors mostly and never dirties our house. Ever since it was little, she knew where to relieve herself so she’s always been low maintenance and love.

Conclusion Of My Pet Essay

All in all, Mingi has been a blessing that happened by chance. However, she is now an inseparable part of my life. I love spending time with her and she manages to make my saddest days happier.

FAQ on My Pet Essay

Question 1: Why are pets important?

Answer 1: Pets like cats and dogs can reduce the stress and anxiety of a person. Moreover, they also help to ease loneliness and reduce depression. Children become more secure and active when they care for animals .

Question 2: What do pets need?

Answer 2: Pets needs food, water, shelter, exercise, and socializing. It is essential to give your pet all this so they can lead a comfortable and happy life.

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Why owning a pet is good for body and mind

Pet ownership should be recognised as a public health strategy due to the profound benefits for individuals, families and communities, says Steven Feldman

In his article ( Want to truly have empathy for animals? Stop owning pets, 4 February ), Troy Vettese discounts the significant benefits that pets bring to the lives of billions of people worldwide. Scientific research shows that human-animal interactions can have a powerful impact on mental, physical and social health for individuals, families and entire communities.

In fact, the benefits of pets are so profound that Vettese should consider making a full U-turn – we should have more pets and we should view them as a low-cost, high-reward public health strategy .

Pets can buffer stress and help address social isolation. Health professionals are increasingly recommending pets and incorporating them into the long-term management of mental health conditions. Think about the cost of heart disease and obesity. Research demonstrates that pet owners have lower blood pressure, are more likely to achieve the recommended levels of daily exercise and are less likely to be obese. In addition, children with pets are more likely to be physically active.

Pets benefit from their close relationship with people just as much as we do. Pet owners consider their pets to be an important part of the family, and are willing to make significant lifestyle changes for them. According to a survey , 61% of pet owners would change housing to accommodate a pet, and 45% would change jobs to have increased time with pets at home. Most importantly, international research conducted in nine countries shows that strong bonds result in better veterinary care for the pets we love.

Environmentally, pets help prevent waste, reducing agriculture’s footprint . Ingredients produced during human food processing that would otherwise be discarded are safely used in pet food.

Scientific research tells the real story. The right headline should be: “Get a pet for good health at both ends of the leash!” Steven Feldman President, Human-Animal Bond Research Institute

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NIH News in Health

A monthly newsletter from the National Institutes of Health, part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

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February 2018

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The Power of Pets

Health Benefits of Human-Animal Interactions

Illustration of people with different types of pets

Nothing compares to the joy of coming home to a loyal companion. The unconditional love of a pet can do more than keep you company. Pets may also decrease stress, improve heart health, and even help children with their emotional and social skills.

An estimated 68% of U.S. households have a pet. But who benefits from an animal? And which type of pet brings health benefits?

Over the past 10 years, NIH has partnered with the Mars Corporation’s WALTHAM Centre for Pet Nutrition to answer questions like these by funding research studies.

Scientists are looking at what the potential physical and mental health benefits are for different animals—from fish to guinea pigs to dogs and cats.

Possible Health Effects

Research on human-animal interactions is still relatively new. Some studies have shown positive health effects, but the results have been mixed.

Interacting with animals has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and lower blood pressure. Other studies have found that animals can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and boost your mood.

The NIH/Mars Partnership is funding a range of studies focused on the relationships we have with animals. For example, researchers are looking into how animals might influence child development. They’re studying animal interactions with kids who have autism , attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) , and other conditions.

“There’s not one answer about how a pet can help somebody with a specific condition,” explains Dr. Layla Esposito, who oversees NIH’s Human-Animal Interaction Research Program. “Is your goal to increase physical activity? Then you might benefit from owning a dog. You have to walk a dog several times a day and you’re going to increase physical activity. If your goal is reducing stress, sometimes watching fish swim can result in a feeling of calmness. So there’s no one type fits all.”

NIH is funding large-scale surveys to find out the range of pets people live with and how their relationships with their pets relate to health.

“We’re trying to tap into the subjective quality of the relationship with the animal—that part of the bond that people feel with animals—and how that translates into some of the health benefits,” explains Dr. James Griffin, a child development expert at NIH.

Animals Helping People

Animals can serve as a source of comfort and support. Therapy dogs are especially good at this. They’re sometimes brought into hospitals or nursing homes to help reduce patients’ stress and anxiety.

“Dogs are very present. If someone is struggling with something, they know how to sit there and be loving,” says Dr. Ann Berger, a physician and researcher at the NIH Clinical Center in Bethesda, Maryland. “Their attention is focused on the person all the time.”

Berger works with people who have cancer and terminal illnesses. She teaches them about mindfulness to help decrease stress and manage pain.

“The foundations of mindfulness include attention, intention, compassion, and awareness,” Berger says. “All of those things are things that animals bring to the table. People kind of have to learn it. Animals do this innately.”

Researchers are studying the safety of bringing animals into hospital settings because animals may expose people to more germs. A current study is looking at the safety of bringing dogs to visit children with cancer, Esposito says. Scientists will be testing the children’s hands to see if there are dangerous levels of germs transferred from the dog after the visit.

Dogs may also aid in the classroom. One study found that dogs can help children with ADHD focus their attention. Researchers enrolled two groups of children diagnosed with ADHD into 12-week group therapy sessions. The first group of kids read to a therapy dog once a week for 30 minutes. The second group read to puppets that looked like dogs.

Kids who read to the real animals showed better social skills and more sharing, cooperation, and volunteering. They also had fewer behavioral problems.

Another study found that children with autism spectrum disorder were calmer while playing with guinea pigs in the classroom. When the children spent 10 minutes in a supervised group playtime with guinea pigs, their anxiety levels dropped. The children also had better social interactions and were more engaged with their peers. The researchers suggest that the animals offered unconditional acceptance, making them a calm comfort to the children.

“Animals can become a way of building a bridge for those social interactions,” Griffin says. He adds that researchers are trying to better understand these effects and who they might help.

Animals may help you in other unexpected ways. A recent study showed that caring for fish helped teens with diabetes better manage their disease. Researchers had a group of teens with type 1 diabetes care for a pet fish twice a day by feeding and checking water levels. The caretaking routine also included changing the tank water each week. This was paired with the children reviewing their blood glucose (blood sugar) logs with parents.

Researchers tracked how consistently these teens checked their blood glucose. Compared with teens who weren’t given a fish to care for, fish-keeping teens were more disciplined about checking their own blood glucose levels, which is essential for maintaining their health.

While pets may bring a wide range of health benefits, an animal may not work for everyone. Recent studies suggest that early exposure to pets may help protect young children from developing allergies and asthma. But for people who are allergic to certain animals, having pets in the home can do more harm than good.

Helping Each Other

Pets also bring new responsibilities. Knowing how to care for and feed an animal is part of owning a pet. NIH/Mars funds studies looking into the effects of human-animal interactions for both the pet and the person.

Remember that animals can feel stressed and fatigued, too. It’s important for kids to be able to recognize signs of stress in their pet and know when not to approach. Animal bites can cause serious harm.

“Dog bite prevention is certainly an issue parents need to consider, especially for young children who don’t always know the boundaries of what’s appropriate to do with a dog,” Esposito explains.

Researchers will continue to explore the many health effects of having a pet. “We’re trying to find out what’s working, what’s not working, and what’s safe—for both the humans and the animals,” Esposito says.

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NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison Building 31, Room 5B52 Bethesda, MD 20892-2094 [email protected] Tel: 301-451-8224

Editor: Harrison Wein, Ph.D. Managing Editor: Tianna Hicklin, Ph.D. Illustrator: Alan Defibaugh

Attention Editors: Reprint our articles and illustrations in your own publication. Our material is not copyrighted. Please acknowledge NIH News in Health as the source and send us a copy.

For more consumer health news and information, visit health.nih.gov .

For wellness toolkits, visit www.nih.gov/wellnesstoolkits .

essay on raising a pet

MSU Extension

The benefits of a family pet.

Tracy Trautner, Michigan State University Extension - December 14, 2017

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There are many advantages to pet ownership, especially for young children.

essay on raising a pet

There are many benefits to owning a pet. Pets teach children valuable life lessons like responsibility, trust, compassion, respect and patience. While pets offer a lot of benefits to kids, kids also have a lot to offer the pet in your family as well. Both kids and pets enjoy high energy play as well as having a cuddle buddy during nap time.

If your child asks for a pet, talk with them about responsibility and the permanency of owning a pet. When the “newness” wears off or the puppy/kitten gets older, will they still want to care for the animal? Have they expressed a consistent desire for a pet and understand it will need daily care up and above play time?

Set up and discuss what your child’s pet responsibilities will be ahead of time. Remember, no matter how committed they are at the time of getting a pet, you will have to consider yourself as the backup plan if and when they cannot or will not continue to care for the pet.

One of the major reasons, and an important life skill, for owning a pet is to teach responsibility. Pets require food, water and love. Many, some more than others, require exercise. They also require grooming (brushing develops large muscles of the arm) and bathroom time (walking the dog develops large muscles of your child’s legs and is good for the development of their heart, brain and lungs).

Children over 5 years old can have developmentally appropriate responsibilities in regards to the care of the pet. Children under the age of 4 should be monitored with pets at all times, and children under the age of 10 should not be expected to take care of a dog or cat completely on their own.

A second skill children learn is trust . A pet offers unconditional support when a child (or anyone) is sad, angry or upset. They can teach your child to trust the pet, themselves and build trust in other relationships as well.

Compassion is the third life skill developed. When a child takes care of a pet, they learn to be kind to others through taking care of their furry friend’s basic needs.


  • Bereavement. When a pet passes away, a child will learn about the grieving process.
  • Respect. Requiring gentle touching and learning about boundaries when the pet is eating and sleeping will develop respect for others in young children, which is a difficult skill to learn at a young age.
  • Self-esteem. When pets show unconditional love, it boosts a child’s self-esteem. Being responsible also develops self-esteem in young children.
  • Loyalty. Pets are very loyal and a good example of how to treat others that are important to the child and family.
  • Physical activity. Walking and throwing a ball is great exercise.
  • Patience. Sometimes bonding with a pet takes time, as well as teaching tricks and learning good behavior.
  • Social Skills. Pets are great in helping “break the ice.” On outings, dogs encourage conversations with others and will improve a child’s social skills.
  • Motivation. Because of all the skills pet ownership provides, young children have a reduced risk of allergies and better grades at school because kids develop internal motivation while caring for their animals.
  • Empathy. Children growing up with a pet do so with more empathy towards animals and more empathy in general.

Research shows children who live in homes with a dog can possibly have fewer ear infections and respiratory tract infections and require fewer antibiotics, perhaps because the exposure to animals at a young age stimulates the immune system. Research found in the Time article, “ Why Dogs and Cats Make Babies Healthier ,” indicates that exposure to pet dander could prime babies’ still-developing immune systems and be able to fend off common allergens and bugs. Young children’s immune systems are more capable of facing them. Kids with a dog did better than those with a cat. The exposure has to happen very early in life. More information can also be found in the CBS News article, “ Babies with dogs less likely to develop colds, ear infections as infants .”


To learn about the positive impact children and families experience due to MSU Extension programs, read our 2016 impact report: “ Preparing young children for success ” and “ Preparing the future generation for success .” Additional impact reports, highlighting even more ways Michigan 4-H and MSU Extension positively impacted individuals and communities in 2016, can be downloaded from the  Michigan 4-H website .

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension . For more information, visit https://extension.msu.edu . To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit https://extension.msu.edu/newsletters . To contact an expert in your area, visit https://extension.msu.edu/experts , or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

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How Kids Benefit From Pet Ownership

Verywell / Alison Czinkota

It probably comes as no surprise to you that kids love pets—especially if your own kids have been begging you for a dog or a cat. After all, pets offer a special kind of companionship that children seem to instinctively know they won't be able to find anywhere else. Not only do animals love unconditionally, but they are always ready to listen without judgment.

In fact, studies show that pet ownership may benefit kids in a number of ways. Pets can help decrease stress and can even help children develop social and emotional skills. And although research on human-animal interaction is still relatively new, initial studies have shown that pets can reduce cortisol levels, decrease loneliness, boost mood, and increase feelings of social support.

Pet ownership can even have a positive impact on children diagnosed with autism or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

If you are considering getting your kids a pet—or if you are being lobbied relentlessly by your kids to adopt an animal—you may be wondering if all that added responsibility will really be worth the time and effort. After all, how much will your kids really benefit from having a pet?

The number of ways a pet can positively impact your kids—and you—might surprise you. Yet, pet ownership is not something that should be entered into lightly. Here we break down what experts have to say about the benefits of pet ownership as well as what you need to consider before making the decision to adopt a pet.

Benefits of Pet Ownership

If you're considering adopting a pet, you are certainly not alone. Around 70% of households have at least one pet and 90% of those people view their pet as a member of the family, according to Rustin Moore, DVM, PhD, the dean of the College of Veterinary Medicine at The Ohio State University.

"In fact, children are more likely to grow up in a household with a pet than they are their biological father," says Dr. Moore. "Children view pets as a member of the family. To them, it's not a pet but an extension of their family."

Even when kids around ages 7 and 8 are surveyed, they rank their pets higher than their family members as providers of comfort and as confidantes, says Dr. Moore. So, while you might see a pet as a lot of extra work, a child sees a pet as a potential best friend and family member.

Not surprisingly, all of this extra love and affection results in a number of benefits. Here are nine ways your kids might benefit from pet ownership.

Reduces Stress

Life can be stressful especially for kids and teens. With academic challenges, friendship struggles, and even pressures to succeed, kids are often dealing with a lot. But a pet can serve as a great stress reducer. Aside from the love and companionship they instinctively provide, there are physiological changes that take place within a child when they are petting or playing with their pet.

"Interacting with a pet has been shown to decrease the stress hormone cortisol and it increases the release of dopamine and oxytocin, which are anti-stress or feel-good hormones, particularly oxytocin," says Dr. Moore. "We see this happen when holding or petting or even just being around a pet."

Alleviates Loneliness

Pets often serve as built-in friends—except these furry friends are the best kind. They never do anything that hurts your child's feelings nor do they exclude them or ignore them. Consequently, having a pet also can alleviate loneliness, especially for kids who struggle to make friends or do not have many children in their neighborhood.

"During this time of increased social and physical isolation for many around the globe, having a pet can also reduce feelings of loneliness and stress through close contact," says Ann-Louise Lockhart, PsyD, ABPP. 

Pets not only provide companionship and friendship, but they also can become confidantes for kids who feel like they have no one else to talk to. In fact, it is especially common for younger children to talk through things or share secrets with their pets. When they have a pet, they feel like they always have someone they can talk to.

Builds Empathy and Compassion

Essentially, pets are dependent on humans to take care of them. They cannot make their own food or refill their water bowls. They even rely on others for exercise and entertainment. Because of their dependence on others to take care of them, this often sparks empathy and compassion in kids.

Kids learn to look outside of themselves and consider what it might be like to be in someone else's shoes, even if that someone is a pet. Parents can use pet ownership as a way to teach kids about the importance of respecting other forms of life, says Dr. Moore.

They can talk about how their pet might feel when it is ignored or forgotten. Or, they might discuss how it feels to be hungry or cold. Getting a child to stop and think about another form of life is the first step in building empathy and compassion and pets are a great way to impart emotional intelligence .

Improves Reading Skills

Learning to read is no easy task, especially for kids who are reluctant readers. Once a parent or another adult asks a child to do their nightly reading, they are often filled with a sense of dread. They worry about everything from identifying letters and sounds to pronouncing words correctly. But if you ask a child to read to a pet, some of that stress and anxiety disappears, says Dr. Moore.

Plus, kids get excited about reading to their pets because it doesn't feel like work. They will show their pet the book's pictures and talk about the story with them. Reading to their pet becomes something they look forward to.

"There are even programs where children will go and read to dogs or cats," explains Dr. Moore. "And of course, the animals can't understand what they're saying, but the act of reading to them builds [the child's] confidence and allows them to practice their skills."

Provides Unconditional Love and Acceptance

When a child grows up alongside a pet, there is no fear of judgment or rejection. Children know that their pet loves them no matter what. They don't care what they are wearing, how they look, or how popular they are. They love them exactly as they are, which is an important part of pet ownership.

"Dogs are called man's best friend for a reason," says Kevin Doyle, MD, a pediatrician with Muskingum Valley Health Centers. "Pets provide a big opportunity for companionship and comfort and allow kids to break away from their dependencies on mom and dad for comfort. Animals provide another level of comfort and acceptance for them."

Teaches Responsibility

Every parent knows that teaching kids how to be responsible is not an easy task. After all, it's hard to get kids to remember to grab their lunch before school, make their bed, or even brush their teeth. But owning a pet is a great motivator for teaching responsibility because now kids have another living creature depending on them to take care of them.

"[Kids] learn responsibility, maturity, follow-through, and motivation [from owning a pet]," says Dr. Lockhart. "When a pet relies on their human to learn new tricks or to be fed, the child will be encouraged to give their pet what they need in order to ensure a happy dog and a peaceful home."

Kids will also learn that owning a pet is not something that can be taken lightly and that it is a big responsibility. In fact, kids will learn quickly that there are a lot of tasks that come with owning a pet, says Dr. Doyle.

"Whether it's cleaning the litter box, walking the dog, or even caring for a gerbil, owning a pet provides an opportunity to teach kids responsibility," he says. "These lessons in responsibility will benefit them later in life as well."

Builds Self-Esteem and Confidence

Owning a pet takes a lot of work. But if you allow your kids to participate in the chores that come with pet ownership, they will develop a sense of accomplishment after completing each task. Taking care of a pet also can help them build a sense of independence and autonomy especially when your kids are mature enough to handle those extra responsibilities on their own.

"When kids care for a dog—or any pet for that matter—they may feel a sense of pride in getting tasks accomplished," says Dr. Doyle. "That helps build their self-confidence."

Additionally, the relationship they develop with their pet along the way helps them see themselves in a positive way and can even give them a sense of purpose. Ultimately, their relationship with their pet builds their belief in themselves and helps hone their social and emotional skills as well.

Promotes Exercise

There's no doubt about it: pets will get you out and about, especially if you opt for a dog or even a horse. So, if you are an active family or one that enjoys the outdoors, you might want to consider a pet that fits into that lifestyle. Pets also can help active kids burn off energy and get sedentary kids up and moving.

"Pets offer several benefits to children like high energy, which can help children burn off extra energy through play both indoors and outdoors," says Dr. Lockhart. "Having a pet can also encourage the child to exercise outside through activities such as walks and hikes."

Eases Anxiety

According to Dr. Moore, pets also can help ease symptoms of anxiety. For instance, researchers have found that when a child has been abused, having a dog there while talking to them about what happened can be calming and make it easier to share their experiences, he says. Likewise, attorneys will sometimes even have a dog in a courtroom because of the way it can calm and reassure kids and ultimately encourage them to share what happened.

If your child struggles with anxiety, you may find that being around a pet—even one that is not their own—can significantly reduce their anxiety levels.

Stroking the fur or holding the animal has an overwhelmingly calming effect on kids. For this reason, there is a growing movement toward emotional support animals, Dr. Lockhart explains.

"It has become clear that pet ownership impacts various mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, and autism," she says. "Individuals who are struggling with medical conditions, such as seizures, tics, chronic pain, and other conditions have anecdotally reported benefits from pet ownership. I know this from my own practice working with clients who present with various chronic medical conditions." 

What You Need to Consider Before Getting a Pet

Before taking that first monumental step into pet ownership, it's important to do some research about pet ownership, says Dr. Lockhart. It's also important to consider the factors that make pet ownership beneficial—and challenging—for your particular family. Think about your home life, the type of animal you want, the age of your children, and your overall lifestyle, she says.

"For example, do you live in a high rise or a home with a big yard?" Dr. Lockhart says. "Are you a physically active family or homebodies? Do you have only one child or several? Do you rarely go out or travel often? Answers to these questions can begin the dialogue of whether your family is ready for a pet and what type of pet would be best for your home."

It's also important to consider the level of responsibility the pet you're considering will require as well as the amount of time and energy you have to devote to pet ownership.

Aside from loving the pet and making room for it in your lives, you also need to be committed to its care which can include exercise, feeding, training, and vet care.

"Consult a vet in choosing the right type of pet for your family," suggests Dr. Moore. "If you live in a small apartment and have no room for exercise, getting a Great Dane is probably not the best idea. [Keep in mind, too, that if] you choose a pet and it's the wrong one and you have to relinquish it, that can be particularly hard on a child," says Dr. Moore.

He also suggests talking to a healthcare provider as well as a veterinarian to determine what type of animal is right for your family. They can help you determine what types of animals—including breeds if you are considering a dog—would be right for your family.

"For instance, if you have a child who is immunocompromised, you will need to take precautions," says Dr. Moore. "Talk to a vet as well as a pediatrician. They understand the diseases that can be transferred to a child or an adult. For example, ringworm can occur in both dogs and humans. Even though it's not that common, you need to know what types of things can be passed on and how to protect yourself and your kids."

Getting a pet also should not be an impulsive decision, adds Dr. Doyle. Deciding to adopt a pet should be something that the family researches and carefully considers.

"This is a big decision and parents need to make sure they are taking the right steps to keep everyone safe," he says. "Getting a pet also is not a substitute for good parenting. Whether it's a pet, a tablet, or an informational video, you still have to put the legwork in."

Yes, owning a pet offers some great learning opportunities but you shouldn't get a pet and then dump all the responsibility on your kids, he says. As a parent, you still need to come alongside them and make sure everything is going right between them and their pet.

A Word From Verywell

Whether you are one step away from adopting a pet or just beginning to consider the idea, you can rest assured that pet ownership comes with a number of benefits. The key, of course, is to talk with a healthcare provider as well as a veterinarian before making any lasting commitments. They can provide details that you may not have even considered.

You also should discuss your specific circumstances including any health concerns, your time limitations, and your environment before adopting a pet. They can help you determine what type of pet would be best suited for your family as well as advise you on any precautions you need to take.

National Institute of Health. Power of pets .

Hodgson K, Barton L, Darling M, Antao V, Kim FA, Monavvari A. Pets’ impact on your patients’ health: leveraging benefits and mitigating risk .  The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine . 2015;28(4):526-534. doi:10.3122/jabfm.2015.04.140254

The Harris Poll. Pets really are a member of the family .

Purewal R, Christley R, Kordas K, et al. Companion animals and child/adolescent development: A systematic review of the evidence .  Int J Environ Res Public Health . 2017;14(3):234. doi:10.3390/ijerph14030234

Marshall-Pescini S, Schaebs FS, Gaugg A, Meinert A, Deschner T, Range F. The role of oxytocin in the dog-owner relationship .  Animals (Basel) . 2019;9(10):792. doi:10.3390/ani9100792

Fine AH, Beck AM, Ng Z. The state of animal-assisted interventions: Addressing the contemporary issues that will shape the future .  Int J Environ Res Public Health . 2019;16(20):3997. doi:10.3390/ijerph16203997

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry. Pets and children .

American Kennel Club. The many ways kids benefit from having a dog .

Beetz A, Uvnäs-Moberg K, Julius H, Kotrschal K. Psychosocial and psychophysiological effects of human-animal interactions: the possible role of oxytocin .  Front Psychol . 2012;3:234. Published 2012 Jul 9. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2012.00234

Powell L, Chia D, Mcgreevy P, et al.  Expectations for dog ownership: Perceived physical, mental and psychosocial health consequences among prospective adopters .  PLoS One . 2018;13(7):e0200276. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0200276

Wenden EJ, Lester L, Zubrick SR, et al .   The relationship between dog ownership, dog play, family dog walking, and pre-schooler social–emotional development: findings from the PLAYCE observational study .  Pediatr Res.  2020. doi:10.1038/s41390-020-1007-2

By Sherri Gordon Sherri Gordon, CLC is a published author, certified professional life coach, and bullying prevention expert. 

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Understanding the Benefits, Challenges, and the Role of Pet Ownership in the Daily Lives of Community-Dwelling Older Adults: A Case Study

Nataša obradović.

1 School of Social Work, Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC J1K 2R1, Canada

2 Research Centre on Aging, Centre Intégré Universitaire de Santé et de Services Sociaux de l’Estrie—Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke (CIUSSS de l’Estrie—CHUS), Sherbrooke, QC J1H 4C4, Canada

Émilie Lagueux

3 School of Rehabilitation, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC J1K 2R1, Canada; [email protected]

4 Research Centre, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire de Sherbrooke (CRCHUS), Sherbrooke, QC J1H 5N4, Canada

Karine Latulippe

5 School of Physical & Occupational Therapy, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, McGill University, Montréal, QC H3A 0G4, Canada; [email protected]

Véronique Provencher

Associated data.

No new data were created or analyzed in this study. Data sharing is not applicable to this article.

Simple Summary

This qualitative case study explores the perceived benefits and challenges of pet ownership for a community-dwelling older adult and her miniature schnauzer, from the perspectives of the pet owner and her community healthcare provider. The findings suggest that the pet’s well-being is an important part of the pet–owner relationship for Violet, the older adult. Sharing her daily life with her pet, Jack, gives her a sense of safety, positively influences her mood, and motivates her to carry out her daily activities. In return, Jack benefits from her daily presence and care. The challenges of pet ownership included a low-risk potential of falling, pet-related concerns, and financial costs. Both participants agree that the benefits outweigh the challenges for both Violet and Jack. Findings of this study suggest that caring for the pet is a meaningful aspect of the pet–owner relationship. Future studies should explore how to support human–animal relationships for community-dwelling older adults via pet ownership. Improving the fit between characteristics of the elderly pet owners and their pets will maximize benefits and minimize potential challenges; thus, supporting both aging-in-place and the well-being of animals.

Human–animal interactions may positively impact the health and well-being of older adults. Considering about one third of community-dwelling older adults report owning a pet, better understanding the benefits, challenges, and the role of pet ownership may help support the relationships between older adults and their pets. This case study aims to better understand the role of pet ownership in the daily lives of older adults and explore the benefits and the challenges of owning a pet for this population. Interviews were conducted with Violet, a 77-year-old dog owner and her healthcare provider. Qualitative data were analyzed by two evaluators and validated by the participants. Both participants agree that the benefits outweigh the challenges for both the older adult and her pet. The benefits and challenges were the following: Violet, taking care of her dog (Jack), (1) could provide Violet with a sense of safety and positively influence her mood; (2) may introduce a slight fall risk; (3) includes financial costs to consider. Ensuring Jack’s well-being is important for Violet and her dog benefits from Violet’s continual presence and care. The findings suggest that improving the fit between characteristics of the owner and their pet may support the meaningful role of pet ownership within the context of aging-in-place.

1. Introduction

Older adults aged over 65 years account for 17.5% of the Canadian population; this percentage is expected to exceed 23% by 2036 [ 1 , 2 ]. Almost 20% of older adults report feelings of social isolation, which is known to adversely affect their psychological well-being and their physical health [ 3 , 4 , 5 , 6 , 7 ]. Human–animal interactions (HAIs) may be an avenue worth exploring to support the health and well-being of this population, as research about the positive psychological, social, and physical impacts of HAIs is promising [ 8 , 9 , 10 , 11 , 12 , 13 , 14 ]. Considering about one-third of community-dwelling older adults report living with at least one companion animal (CA) [ 15 ], pet ownership might play an important role in supporting aging-in-place.

Relating to psychological and social benefits, recent studies suggest that pet ownership may improve well-being, life satisfaction, and happiness, as well as decrease loneliness and social isolation, depressive symptoms, and anxiety [ 16 , 17 , 18 , 19 , 20 , 21 , 22 , 23 , 24 ]. It may also increase levels of physical activity and/or walking of older adult pet owners [ 25 , 26 , 27 , 28 , 29 ]. Other benefits include providing an overall sense of purpose and encouraging a daily routine [ 24 , 30 , 31 ]. Apart from these benefits for older adults, animal well-being is also important to consider in the pet–owner relationship. Providing daily care to a CA to ensure its well-being entails ongoing duties and responsibilities, regardless of the pet owner’s age. Pitteri and colleagues report that dogs owned by older adults have similar physical conditions to dogs owned by adult owners. However, the study suggests that the dogs’ quality of life may be influenced by contextual factors, such as older adults’ employment conditions, level of education, and type of dwelling [ 32 ].

Other potential factors to consider are health conditions and functional decline that may occur as part of normal aging and that affect older adults more frequently. These may exacerbate some challenges associated with pet care [ 9 , 33 ]. Furthermore, the companion animal’s health conditions and needs may change (e.g., needing physical assistance to use the stairs, more regular veterinary visits), which may modify their level of needed care as they, too, age [ 32 ]. Frequently reported challenges related to owning a pet by older adults include: grief related to pet loss and fear of outliving them, pet care being perceived as a chore [ 9 , 10 , 13 , 17 , 23 , 34 ], risk of falls [ 35 , 36 ], financial costs (especially fees related to veterinary care), and the fear of needing to leave a pet in the event of a relocation [ 34 ]. If such challenges become too great for the older adult pet owner, the well-being of the owner and the companion animal may be compromised if the owner struggles to fulfill the basic needs of both parties.

Therefore, considering these potential issues, it is essential to depict a realistic representation of the benefits, challenges, and the role of pet ownership in the daily lives of community-dwelling older adults. Optimizing benefits while minimizing challenges will ultimately support the health and well-being of both older adults and their CAs. However, there is little research on if (and how) the potential benefits outweigh the challenges of owning a pet for community-dwelling older adults and their CAs [ 11 , 14 ].

As most older adults prefer to age in their homes [ 37 ], community-based healthcare services may play a crucial role in enabling older adults and their CA to age-in-place. Indeed, besides promoting independent living and safety in their homes, healthcare providers may also support pet–owner relationships. Yet, few studies have simultaneously explored the perspectives of both healthcare providers and older care recipients on the benefits, challenges, and the role of pet ownership in their daily lives [ 14 ]. Combining these perspectives could provide a comprehensive and detailed view of how pet–owner relationships may simultaneously promote healthy aging-in-place of community-dwelling older adult pet owners, as well as the well-being of their CAs. For this study, community-dwelling older adults included older adults living in their homes or in an assisted living facility, but excluded those living in nursing homes (i.e., needing continuous medical care).

Thus, the purpose of this study was to further explore the role of pet ownership in the daily lives of community-dwelling older adults. More specifically, it aimed to: (1) describe the benefits and challenges of owning a CA for both older adults and their companion animals, as perceived by older adults and their healthcare providers; (2) explore the role of pet ownership in the daily lives of older adults; (3) examine the balance between the benefits and the challenges of owning a pet by this population.

2.1. Study Design

A qualitative, single-case study was conducted. The case involved (1) a community-dwelling older adult and her companion animal (CA); (2) her community healthcare provider for home care services. Case studies allow for in-depth, multi-faceted explorations of complex and emerging phenomena and issues [ 38 ]. In the current study, aspects of pet ownership were explored in relation to the characteristics of the person, their CAs, and the environments in which they evolve [ 39 ].

2.2. Recruitment

Participants were recruited by purposive sampling through a professional organization. The healthcare provider who participated in the study worked in a community health centre; she referred to the first author, (N.O.), an older adult from her caseload who she judged could meet the objectives of this study. This case enabled the examination of how an older adult pet owner managed the demands of pet ownership despite potential challenges, such as physical disabilities, and despite being the only caretaker of her pet. The study was approved by the CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS Ethics Committee (#2020-3336) and informed consent was obtained from both participants.

2.3. Participants

The older adult participant is a 77-year-old woman named Violet (pseudonym) who lives with her dog, an 8-year-old miniature schnauzer named Jack (pseudonym). Jack is Violet’s companion animal and has not received any training to acquire specific skills (i.e., he is not considered a service dog or emotional support animal). Violet does not receive any financial support or services related to her disabilities to help with Jack’s care. As for Violet, she has physical disabilities and moves around in a motorized wheelchair, which is the main reason that she receives community-based healthcare services. Violet’s community healthcare provider has more than 15 years of experience in the field and, at the time of the study, had known Violet for the past 17 years. She is also Violet’s healthcare coordinator, meaning that she plans and organizes her medical and health services. She reassesses Violet’s needs annually to ensure that the home care services are adapted to suit her needs.

2.4. Data Collection

The first author conducted semi-structured interviews with Violet and her community healthcare provider. Both interviews aimed to explore the perspectives of Violet and her healthcare provider about themes related to pet ownership (psychological, physical, daily benefits, and challenges of taking care of the CA, the role of pet ownership in daily life, the pet–owner relationship, and the well-being of the pet). Interview guidelines were developed by the research team and feedback was obtained by an experienced healthcare provider working with older adults in a clinical setting. Table 1 provides examples of some interview and follow-up questions for both participants. Prior to the interviews, both guidelines were tested with individuals who met the inclusion criteria, i.e., two community-dwelling older adult pet owners and a community healthcare provider. Two interviews were carried out in April 2020 via videoconference with the healthcare provider and by telephone with the older adult, due to the COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) pandemic context. Each interview lasted from 60 to 90 min. As it was not possible to conduct the interviews at the older adult’s home, as initially planned, the participants were questioned about the home environments and interactions with the CA, including its behaviour (i.e., does it jump up on the older adult, does it bark, etc.). Sociodemographic data about age, gender, education, years of clinical experience for the community healthcare provider and pet characteristics (age, species, number of years living with the older adult, pet care activities, health condition) were also collected during the interviews to provide contextual information. This information is reported in Section 3 to the extent that the confidentiality of the participant was kept.

Example of interview questions.

2.5. Data Analysis

Interviews were audio-recorded, and the transcripts were read numerous times to get a sense of the data. Each transcript was analyzed line-by-line independently using thematic content analysis (continuous thematization) by the first and third authors, who have extensive experience in qualitative analysis [ 40 ]. Units of analysis were the older adult and the healthcare provider’s perceptions about benefits, challenges, and the role of pet ownership in daily life. Themes emerged during the reading of the transcripts. The authors met to review and to compare themes for similarities and/or discrepancies. In the case of disagreements, a consensus was sought. The themes and their relationships were then categorized within a matrix containing categories pertaining to the person/companion animal, the environments, and the activities of daily living [ 39 ]. This matrix was used to determine the overall balance between the perceived benefits and challenges related to pet ownership. The content of written summaries was validated by conducting two additional interviews with the participants, lasting from 60 to 90 min. This step (member checking) increases the credibility and reliability of the analysis and interpretations [ 41 ]. In addition to the two perspectives of the participants, the independent identification of themes by two evaluators ensured data triangulation, and memos written by the first author further increased the credibility of the analysis [ 41 , 42 ]. Furthermore, the research team regularly discussed the findings to maintain reflexivity and to gain a deeper understanding of the participant’s characteristics, daily functioning, and context.

3.1. Case Summary

Violet and her dog Jack live in an urban area, in a one-bedroom rent-subsidized apartment. Her apartment is subsidized due to having limited financial resources. Jack was offered to Violet as a gift from her daughter, a couple of months after Violet’s former dog passed away. Violet is Jack’s sole caretaker, and she has raised him since he was a puppy. Jack is a small adult dog, weighing approximately 12 lbs, and he is sturdy, according to Violet. She reports that these characteristics are an adequate fit for her and enable her to maintain her balance while picking him up. Furthermore, Violet mentions that Jack is in good health and that she ensures that she meets his basic daily needs. Violet, divorced for several years, maintains regular contact with her children and grandchildren. Before the pandemic, she visited them and engaged in activities such as shopping with her daughter. Violet has loved animals since childhood and has had dogs as pets for all of her adult life.

Violet has physical disabilities, which are mainly due to a medical condition that resulted in having multiple amputations to her lower and upper limbs over the years. She wears below-the-knee leg prostheses and reports having daily lower back pain, which varies in intensity. According to the PRISMA-7, a screening tool that identifies older adults at risk for moderate to severe disabilities, she has significant disabilities [ 43 ]. According to her healthcare provider, Violet has adequate cognitive functioning, which was also the case during the interviews (i.e., she showed no signs of cognitive impairment according to the clinical judgement of the interviewer).

Regarding Violet’s functioning during daily activities, she carries out some activities independently and needs assistance for others. She has been receiving community-based home care services for several years, including help for self-care, housekeeping, and maintenance for her motorized wheelchair. However, she can prepare meals, manage her budget and appointments independently, move around inside and outside of the home, as well as carry out leisure activities. Inside her apartment, she walks with leg prostheses. She leans on surfaces, such as furniture or walls, to maintain her balance. According to her healthcare provider, her environment is adapted to her needs, which helps her to live independently and safely in her home with her dog. In the community, Violet always uses her motorized wheelchair for shopping with Jack or going to medical appointments. She reports feeling safer this way. For leisure, she enjoys playing games on her computer and spending time with Jack. Lastly, she takes care of her dog independently. Caring for Jack involves feeding him, brushing him, and taking him on daily walks. Violet reports that she has bathed him occasionally in the past, but she now prefers to take him to the groomer because she feels that it is safer than manipulating him in the bathtub, due to her back pain. Violet and Jack’s daily walks are adapted to the seasons (i.e., they stop during the wintertime and resume in the spring). As for Jack’s healthcare, Violet takes him to the veterinarian only when she deems it necessary. She reports that Jack has been healthy since he was a puppy, except for occasional ear infections. According to both Violet and her healthcare provider, people who meet Jack seem to appreciate him and they did not raise any issues regarding his behaviour, other than him occasionally being persistent when demanding affection.

3.2. Benefits and Challenges of Pet Ownership for the Older Adult

Several benefits and challenges were mentioned by both Violet and her healthcare provider. They are presented here according to psychological and physical benefits/challenges.

3.2.1. Psychological Benefits and Challenges

Sense of security and good mood. The main finding regarding the psychological benefits is that Jack’s presence in Violet’s daily life has a positive influence on her emotions—an aspect that both Violet and her healthcare provider agree on. Violet mentions that Jack makes her “feel safe” and helps her “be in a good mood”. She reports that without him she would feel “alone and abandoned”. Having a presence in her home and this sense of security is very important for Violet. This presence in her house became even more important to her since she has been living alone and after she turned 60:

“I feel safe, in the house. That’s very important for me because I don’t like the darkness, I don’t like when there is wind, when it thunders (laughter). So, Jack makes me feel safe, you know? […] At least I’m not alone in the house, there is a presence.”

According to both Violet and her healthcare provider, Jack also helps Violet channel stress and anxiety, which helps calm her down and weather difficult emotions. They both agree that caring for Jack is a direct factor that contributes to regulating Violet’s mood, since tending to her dog’s needs focuses her attention and takes her mind off negative emotions. Jack also provides feedback with his behaviour, which allows Violet to be more mindful of her emotional state and to regulate her emotions, for both her own and Jack’s well-being:

“When I’m not calm, when I’m under continuous stress, Jack feels it and he becomes bothersome. […] When I’m like that, he senses it and wants to cuddle, cuddle, cuddle. So when I see that I’m making him unhappy, I say to myself: Calm down, look at what you’re doing to him. He was happy before and now he’s feeling down because of you. So that’s why I have been telling you: Jack is a big part of my life!”

Source of pride. Besides positively influencing Violet’s moods, Jack is also a source of pride. Violet considers that taking care of her dog is akin to taking care of a child, and that, like a child, he needs “to go outside and get fresh air, […] needs someone to take care of him, to give him everything”. She therefore ensures Jack’s well-being and prides herself with her ability to appropriately care for him, despite her disabilities:

“I feel proud of myself! A lot of people ask me: How do you manage to keep a dog in your house—you have no hands or legs. And I answer: So what? Do you need hands and legs to take care of a dog? No! You manage and find ways to do it. I don’t have any problems with my dog. I brush him, I bathe him—you find ways to get organized. There are a lot of things that you figure out along the way.”

In a sense, providing care for Jack and being able to meet his needs gives Violet the opportunity to be a care provider, a role that she feels comfortable in and that she has carried out her entire life. This aspect was only mentioned by Violet.

Concerns about health and the future. Both Violet and her healthcare provider agree that concerns related to Jack’s health or his future are some of the main challenges. They both considered what would happen to Jack in the event of a hospitalization or a relocation, where Violet might have to part with her dog:

“If he’s healthy like he is now, and I leave for the hospital and they send me to a nursing home, I can’t bring him with me. What do I do then? My son said that he was going to take him in, and I agree that he won’t be neglected by my son! But I won’t have him beside me like I do right now…To get rid of Jack and give him to my son, my life would be over…that, would bother me.”

Both participants agree that being obliged to part with Jack under such circumstances would be difficult and would bring up negative emotions. In Violet’s words:

“I would tell myself: You’re abandoning him. […] Say I don’t have a choice and I can’t take care of him anymore…I’m quite scared to go there [nursing home] and not be able to bring him with me because there aren’t any [animals]. At my age, that bothers me a little more, [the] I think about it…”

In anticipation to departing with Jack, Violet even mentioned that he might be the last dog that she shares her life with, to avoid such difficult feelings.

3.2.2. Physical Benefits and Challenges

It is worth mentioning that the only benefit regarding pet ownership and Violet’s physical condition was reported by the healthcare provider. According to her, he may encourage Violet to be slightly more active in her home (e.g., bending down to feed him, walking around in the home to find him). However, as most of the walks are done with the motorized wheelchair, she reports that, in Violet’s case, benefits usually associated with walking are likely not significant. Nonetheless, Jack encourages her to go out into the community and get fresh air.

Risk of falls. A potential risk raised by Violet’s healthcare provider is the risk of falling. Although she assessed the risk as low, she acknowledged that it is still present. For example, in situations when Violet walks with her prostheses or bends down to pick up Jack:

“It could put her at risk of falling when she moves quickly like that […]. When she picks him up slowly to feed him, there is no danger, but maybe with the excitement, when she picks him up quickly and says: ok, you’re being a pest…she could fall.”

Violet reports that Jack has never been the cause of a fall and perceives the risk of falling because of him as being null. She points out that Jack has adapted his behaviour to her health condition. For example, he jumps up on her motorized wheelchair instead of her picking him up like in the past. Violet also mentioned that the dog’s size is well suited to her lifestyle and habits, that he walks in front of her, and stays out of her way when she walks around in her apartment. Lastly, Violet takes her dog outside only with her motorized wheelchair, weather permitting, and does not pick him up when she feels tired. Moreover, Jack uses puppy pads inside the home, which enables Violet to take care of her dog’s needs independently even when she cannot take him outside. She does admit, however, that you cannot predict the future and that it is not possible to assert that a fall will never occur.

3.2.3. Other Potential Challenges

Financial costs. Both Violet and her healthcare provider mentioned financial costs surrounding pet care as a potential issue, especially regarding veterinary fees. However, their perspectives differed slightly when reporting them. Her healthcare provider points out that veterinary costs could be “a financial burden for her […] maybe she sacrifices some things to be able to pay for the veterinarian services.”

For Violet, financial costs do not seem to be a current issue and she reports not having to sacrifice her own well-being to meet Jack’s needs. She explains that she takes him to the veterinarian only when he is sick and tries to find affordable care solutions, if necessary. For example, after many costly visits to the veterinarian to treat Jack for an ear infection, she followed recommendations from a previous veterinarian and instead bought less expensive eardrops for children, which helped treat him successfully. Violet’s cost-reducing solution does not necessarily confirm her healthcare provider’s assumption that “there is probably a part of her budget that is for the veterinarian”. However, it is an example of how she manages expenses related to pet care and how this enables her to take care of Jack despite her limited income.

Relationships with healthcare providers. Violet’s healthcare provider recalled a situation where there were tensions between Violet and a community home health aide. The home health aide was newly appointed to Violet and was not comfortable with Jack’s presence, even though he was enclosed in his cage, in another room. Both Violet and her healthcare provider agreed that Violet followed the home support organization’s regulations by confining her dog in another room. They also agree that it is necessary to follow these regulations if a healthcare provider is uncomfortable with Jack’s presence. However, her healthcare provider reports that usually the home health aides appointed to Violet appreciate Jack. Lastly, Violet mentions that she has never refused home support services and that she would not refuse them for this reason.

3.3. Well-Being of the Companion Animal

From both Violet and her healthcare provider’s perspectives, Jack received adequate care from Violet. One of the major advantages reported by Violet relating to her dog’s well-being is that Jack always has someone with him, since Violet spends most of her time at home. The healthcare provider suggested that perhaps Jack could benefit from going on more walks during the wintertime, which could, according to her, further improve his well-being. Nonetheless, both participants report that Jack’s basic needs were fulfilled according to them, and that his overall health and well-being were assured under Violet’s care.

3.4. The Role of the Pet–Owner Relationship and Owning a Pet in Daily Life

3.4.1. meaningful activity.

Both Violet and her healthcare provider agreed that the pet–owner relationship between Violet and Jack was significant; taking care of her dog is a highly meaningful activity for Violet, even central in her life. Violet considers Jack “like her baby” especially since her children have moved out of the home and that she lives alone. Her healthcare provider notes that Violet is not socially isolated and that, on the contrary, she maintains good relationships with her family members. In her opinion, taking care of Jack is not only an activity that Violet engages in due to social isolation or feeling lonely; he is a daily companion and, in Violet’s words:

“I have something to take care of. Me, I need something to keep busy, and well Jack, he’s that. I can watch television and then I say: Ok, we will go take a nap on the couch then watch television. I always need to talk to him. And then Jack jumps up on the couch […]. He sleeps, and I watch television, but he is right beside me. You know what I mean? I’m not alone in the house, there is another presence.”

3.4.2. Providing Purpose and Routine

In addition to these perceived psychological benefits, according to her healthcare provider, caring for Jack provides Violet with a purpose and a daily routine, and gives her a daily structure:

“Well the fact that she can’t decide to not get up one morning or take him out, it forces her to get up every morning—it gives her structure.”

When describing a typical day in Violet and Jack’s lives, as well as the daily activities that Violet carries out, clearly Violet and Jack’s daily routines are integrated. In Violet’s words, life without Jack would be, “boring, very boring! That wouldn’t be any kind of life.” She adds:

“What kind of life is that for an older person, always alone? I realize that even more since I turned 60.”

For Violet, taking care of her dog is an impetus for carrying out daily activities, such as eating, shopping, and going out into the community to take walks:

“Every day, we get out, and he walks 8 km per day. And I take him out on walks every day—otherwise I wouldn’t go outside, I would stay at home.”

The role of pet ownership in Violet’s daily life was clear when she spent five months living without a pet after her late dog passed:

“When I lost my other little dog to cancer, I didn’t do anything for five months. I didn’t feel like cooking—I loved cooking—I didn’t feel like it anymore. I didn’t feel like…oh the real word is living. I don’t know if I would still be here today, because after three months Jack entered my life and I started taking care of him. That’s when my smile and mood came back, everything came back!”

Her relationship with Jack significantly enhances her engagement in other daily activities, such as going out into the community, shopping, interacting with other people, and taking care of herself. Indeed, Violet and Jack go shopping together, and Jack facilitates social interactions as he can stay in her motorized wheelchair. Violet reports that engaging in these activities shows her “her independence.” When a life without Jack was mentioned during the interview, Violet promptly answered that she would not carry out some of her activities if it were not for his presence:

“I wouldn’t go, I wouldn’t be interested in going anywhere […] not even going to see my children. You know, Jack is kind of like my husband. You don’t go out without your husband—well I don’t go out without Jack. I wouldn’t go grocery shopping, I would ask my children to do that stuff, like they do now [during the COVID-19 pandemic].”

Besides going out for walks with Jack and into the community, Violet also describes how her relationship with her dog encourages her to take care of herself so that she is able to be there for him as long possible. For example, having to feed Jack everyday prompts her to have dinner as well, as they frequently eat together. Meeting her dog’s needs and his well-being are clearly important for Violet. Although she is sometimes concerned about Jack’s future if something happened to her, Violet reports that she “will focus on Jack” and that:

“I don’t want to get sick. I will be careful and protect myself in any possible way. I have about four or five years left with him, so I tell myself: Don’t fool around, you can tough it out five years!”

Her healthcare provider also illustrates the positive role of pet ownership and the pet–owner relationship in Violet’s life:

“For Violet I think it’s positive—because there could be a negative side to being obligated to follow a certain routine for the dog. If someone wanted to do other activities or wanted more flexibility…but for her it’s positive. She has the time to do it, and I don’t think it prevents her from doing things that she would do if she didn’t have a dog.”

3.5. Balance between the Benefits and Challenges of Pet Ownership

Both Violet and her healthcare provider agreed that the benefits of pet ownership outweigh the potential challenges for both the older adult owner and her companion animal. On one hand, in Violet’s case, the pet–owner relationship with Jack has overall psychological benefits, adds meaning to her daily life and enhances engagement in daily activities. On the other hand, Jack benefits from Violet’s daily presence and care. Both participants perceive that the potential challenges associated with pet care are manageable by Violet and that she can adequately fulfill Jack’s needs to ensure his well-being (e.g., feeding him, taking him on walks). They both agree that pet ownership is a positive experience in this case, despite factors that could have potentially increased the demands associated with pet care (e.g., Violet being Jack’s sole caretaker, having physical disabilities, limited financial resources). In other words, from their points of view, the pet–owner relationship is beneficial for both the older adult and her companion animal’s well-being.

4. Discussion

The aim of this study was to explore the role of pet ownership in the daily lives of community-dwelling older adults from the perspectives of an older adult and her community healthcare provider. To our knowledge, this is the first study that aimed to gain a comprehensive view of the interaction between the characteristics of a person and her CA, their environments, and their daily habits, to explore if (and how) the benefits and challenges of pet ownership outweigh one another.

One of the main findings in the current study is that the pet–owner relationship is highly meaningful for Violet, the older adult participant, and that pet ownership plays a central role in her daily life. Both the older adult and her healthcare provider concluded that, in Violet and Jack’s case, the benefits of the pet–owner relationship outweigh the potential challenges for both parties, despite the owner having physical and functional limitations. On one hand, they highlighted that Jack’s continual presence is beneficial for Violet’s psychological and physical health and that the responsibilities associated with fulfilling her dog’s needs keep her busy. On the other hand, Violet’s presence, and ability to provide adequate care to Jack is also beneficial for the companion animal. She takes pride in being able to meet her dog’s needs, which gives her a sense of independence. Jack is an integral part of his older adult owner’s daily life, which is in line with reported findings [ 23 , 44 ]. His companionship makes Violet feel safe and less alone—these aspects have gained even more importance for her over time. Daily companionship is indeed one of the main reasons reported by older adults for adopting pets [ 10 , 13 , 45 , 46 ]. CAs are often considered like family members [ 31 , 46 ], which is in line with the findings of the current study. Violet often referred to Jack as her “baby” or “like a child” that needs to be cared for. Both Violet and her healthcare provider acknowledge the importance of Jack’s daily companionship. Scheibeck and colleagues (2011) also acknowledged that dogs can be an important part of community-dwelling older adults’ lives, partners in life, and companions providing their owners with a sense of purpose and daily structure [ 31 ]. It is interesting to note that Violet’s healthcare provider does not consider Violet as being socially isolated and does not perceive pet ownership as a way to compensate a lack of social relationships, in Violet’s case. Such findings may indicate the importance of the human–animal bond that is formed through pet ownership, despite an older adult being socially connected. Human–animal bonds may fulfill different needs in daily life, even when an older adult maintains social relationships, which is an aspect that merits further research. Jack and Violet’s relationship has indeed some characteristics of the human–animal bond, in that it is continuous, reciprocal, and both parties mutually benefit from an increase in their well-being [ 47 ].

Regarding the challenges of pet ownership, a risk of falling while walking in her home was the main concern, considering Violet’s leg amputations. However, both participants assessed this risk as being low, and no falls related to Violet’s dog were reported. Violet and Jack’s case may be an example of how an adequate fit between the characteristics of the older adult, their CA and their environment may maximize the benefits related to pet care. Violet has adapted her routine or found solutions to minimize the challenges and to be able to meet Jack’s needs, despite her physical disabilities and limited income. Jack also seems to have adapted his behaviour to Violet’s health condition. According to Violet, her dog’s physical characteristics (i.e., small size, sturdy stature) fit well with her own characteristics. This may also play a role in managing the fall risk. In this case, the risk of falling is considered low, but as fall risk assessment is complex and multifactorial, it should be noted that it might not be the case for other older adults that share their lives with companion animals. Indeed, older adult pet owners may present different protective and risk factors (e.g., functional limitations, pain, depressive symptoms) [ 48 ], which may influence the fall risk. In a study conducted with 16 cases of pet-related falls involving older adults aged over 75 years, Kurrle and colleagues (2004) reported that some falls were related to the person’s behavior (e.g., climbing on a chair to catch a pet canary), while others were related to the animal’s behaviour (e.g., dog pulling on a leash or tripping over a cat in a dark hallway) [ 35 ].

However, to our knowledge, analyzing the fit between the requirements of pet care, the older adult pet owners, their companion animals, and their environments, has seldom been explored. Future research may further investigate contextual factors when assessing the fall risk of older adult pet owners. Such research may help to identify protective and/or risk factors, which managed, may decrease the risk of falling. Assessing such factors may be a way for healthcare providers to support human–animal relationships through pet ownership [ 48 ]. This could help determine if, how, for whom, and under which circumstances pet ownership may be beneficial for older adults with disabilities and their companion animals, in the context of aging-in-place. In cases where owning a pet appears to be harmful for either the well-being of the older adult or the pet, interventions could be implemented to reduce the challenges associated with pet care and enhance the well-being of both parties (e.g., helping find animal-friendly housing, offering assistance with pet care) [ 49 , 50 , 51 ]. Such interventions may be especially beneficial for older adults with disabilities, socioeconomically vulnerable, frail, or isolated older adults, for whom it may be more difficult to find affordable housing that accepts companion animals [ 52 , 53 ]. Addressing issues like the shortage of affordable pet-friendly housing may be helpful to prevent situations in which older adults are faced with difficult decisions that may compromise their own well-being or that of their pet (e.g., having to choose between options that oppose their own well-being to that of their CAs). In Violet’s case, these were not manly because Jack was permitted in her apartment building. Nonetheless, future relocation to a dwelling that may not accept her dog was raised as a potential concern, by both Violet and her healthcare provider.

Lastly, another important finding is that the pet–owner relationship developed through pet ownership led to enhancing the older participant’s engagement in activities of daily living. Being responsible for the well-being of a living being motivates Violet to take care of herself, to remain healthy, and to be able to take care of her dog as long as possible. Sharing her daily life with Jack encourages her to carry out other daily activities independently, such as going out for shopping or taking Jack for walks. Similar findings have been reported by Johansson and colleagues (2014) in their qualitative study that explored community-dwelling older adults’ experiences with their CAs after a stroke, as their pets motivated them to handle daily activities due to a feeling of responsibility. Responsible pet ownership also involved helping their pet’s daily routine, which contributed to adding meaning to the older adults’ lives [ 30 ]. Notably, in Violet’s case, she has loved and cared for animals since her childhood. It is possible that being Jack’s caretaker and the human–animal bond formed with her dog enables her to pursue a significant lifelong role. For her, the reciprocal relationship with her dog, as well as providing adequate care to him is an important part of her role as a pet owner. Maintaining roles may provide a sense of continuity by linking the past to the future, which may facilitate the adaptation to transitions and buffer hardships [ 48 ]. The continuity theory, indeed, states that pursuing habits and a lifestyle may be one of the strategies that help people to adapt to the ageing process [ 49 ].

On one hand, pet ownership may provide older adults with an opportunity to pursue a meaningful role such as being a caregiver and may even be a way to sustain their independence in later years. Direct and indirect activities associated with pet care may nudge older adult owners into engaging in daily activities or leisure activities, as responsibilities may support physical, emotional, and financial independence [ 23 , 46 , 54 ]. On the other hand, ensuring a companion animal’s well-being is also a crucial part of responsible pet ownership, and should be considered when examining the role of pets in the older adults’ lives. For example, although Jack’s well-being was not at risk, interventions such as assistance from volunteers (e.g., from organizations like ElderDog Canada) to ensure he gets regular walks all year long could further promote Jack’s well-being [ 55 ]. This was not explored with the participants of this study, as it was not the purpose. However, future research could examine acceptable strategies for older adults and their healthcare providers to optimize the well-being of older adults and their companion animals, in cases where the challenges of pet ownership outweigh the benefits. Collaborations between community health services, animal welfare organizations, and animal health professionals may be a way to encourage such strategies. Research should help create policies that support human–animal relationships through pet ownership in the context of aging-in-place, while ensuring the well-being of both older adult pet owners and their companion animals.

Limitations and Future Directions

This study has some limitations. First, although a total of four interviews were conducted with the participants, having more cases with older adults presenting different profiles would have increased their transferability to other community-dwelling older adults. Efforts were made to include more participants in the case, such as the older adult’s health aide, but this was not possible due to transfers of healthcare providers between health organizations, which were related to the pandemic. Second, the COVID-19 lockdown prevented direct observations of the participant’s home environment and interactions with her animal, which would have enriched the case. However, alternative ways were used to document this information and particular attention was taken to increase the credibility of the results (i.e., independent analysis, member checking). Although information related to the companion animal’s well-being was documented via the participants’ perspectives, the perspectives of an animal professional could have enriched the case. However, in the present study, the companion animal did not have an appointed health professional. Lastly, the single-case study approach does not establish causality. This should be noted, even though the aim of the study was to better understand and explore the benefits and challenges of pet ownership for older adults, rather than to find causality.

Future research should replicate this study with more cases to deepen the understanding of the role of pet ownership in the lives of community-dwelling older adults with disabilities. Such research is crucial to supporting human–animal relationships through pet ownership, for example by exploring how to strike a balance between the benefits and challenges of pet ownership (i.e., the demands of pet care vs. the older adult owner’s abilities). Interviews with healthcare providers, animal health professionals (e.g., veterinarians), animal behaviourists, and other community actors who are called to work with community-dwelling older adults may offer nuanced, contextually sensitive research.

5. Conclusions

Findings of this case study suggest that the benefits and challenges associated with pet ownership may be influenced by factors related to the characteristics of these individuals, their CAs, their environments, and their daily living activities. The perspectives of both older adults and their healthcare providers are important to gain a comprehensive understanding of the circumstances surrounding pet care. Being able to maintain human–animal relationships and to carry out meaningful roles, such as being a caregiver, may be an important part of healthy aging. Ultimately, future research should help develop strategies and/or policies that will aim to support pet ownership in the context of aging-in-place, while ensuring the well-being of both older adults and their companion animals.


The first author would like to thank the participants (Violet, Jack, and the healthcare provider) for sharing their experiences, as well as those who helped with the validation of the interview guides; the CIUSSS de l’Ouest-de-l’Île-de-Montréal for accepting that the study be conducted.

Author Contributions

Conceptualization, V.P., É.L. and N.O.; methodology, V.P., É.L., N.O. and K.L.; formal analysis, V.P., É.L., N.O. and K.L.; investigation, N.O.; writing—original draft preparation, N.O.; writing—review and editing, V.P., É.L., N.O. and K.L.; supervision, V.P. and É.L.; funding acquisition, V.P., É.L. and N.O. All authors have read and agreed to the published version of the manuscript.

Nataša Obradović received a scholarship for this research from the Fonds de recherche du Québec—Santé (FRQ-S) (#252659). Véronique Provencher is a Junior 1 Fonds de la recherche en santé du Québec (FRSQ) researcher (salary award, 2017–2021).

Institutional Review Board Statement

The study was conducted according to the guidelines of the Declaration of Helsinki and approved by the Ethics Committee of CIUSSS de l’Estrie-CHUS Ethics (protocol #2020–3336; 25 November 2019).

Informed Consent Statement

Informed consent was obtained from both participants in the study.

Data Availability Statement

Conflicts of interest.

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Publisher’s Note: MDPI stays neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Best Friends: You and Your Dog

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The benefits of pets

How pets can improve your lifestyle, the benefits of pets for older adults, the benefits of pets for children, owning a pet is a major commitment, how to find the perfect pet, choosing between a dog or a cat, alternatives to pet ownership, the health and mood-boosting benefits of pets.

Pets come with some powerful health benefits. Here’s how caring for a dog, cat, or other animal can help relieve depression and anxiety, lower stress, and improve your heart health.

essay on raising a pet

Most pet owners are clear about the immediate joys that come with sharing their lives with companion animals. However, many of us remain unaware of the physical and mental health benefits that can also accompany the pleasure of snuggling up to a furry friend. It’s only recently that studies have begun to scientifically explore the benefits of the human-animal bond.

Pets have evolved to become acutely attuned to humans and our behavior and emotions. Dogs, for example, are able to understand many of the words we use, but they’re even better at interpreting our tone of voice, body language, and gestures. And like any good human friend, a loyal dog will look into your eyes to gauge your emotional state and try to understand what you’re thinking and feeling (and to work out when the next walk or treat might be coming, of course).

Pets, especially dogs and cats, can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, ease loneliness, encourage exercise and playfulness, and even improve your cardiovascular health. Caring for an animal can help children grow up more secure and active. Pets also provide valuable companionship for older adults. Perhaps most importantly, though, a pet can add real joy and unconditional love to your life.

Any pet can improve your health

While it’s true that people with pets often experience greater health benefits than those without, a pet doesn’t necessarily have to be a dog or a cat. A rabbit could be ideal if you’re allergic to other animals or have limited space but still want a furry friend to snuggle with. Birds can encourage social interaction and help keep your mind sharp if you’re an older adult. Snakes, lizards, and other reptiles can make for exotic companions. Even watching fish in an aquarium can help reduce muscle tension and lower your pulse rate.

Studies have shown that:

  • Pet owners are less likely to suffer from depression than those without pets.
  • People with pets have lower blood pressure in stressful situations than those without pets. One study even found that when people with borderline hypertension adopted dogs from a shelter, their blood pressure declined significantly within five months.
  • Playing with a dog, cat, or other pet can elevate levels of serotonin and dopamine, which calm and relax.
  • Pet owners have lower triglyceride and cholesterol levels (indicators of heart disease) than those without pets.
  • Heart attack patients with pets survive longer than those without.
  • Pet owners over age 65 make 30 percent fewer visits to their doctors than those without pets.

One of the reasons for these therapeutic effects is that pets fulfill the basic human need for touch. Even hardened criminals in prison show long-term changes in their behavior after interacting with pets, many of them experiencing mutual affection for the first time. Stroking, hugging, or otherwise touching a loving animal can rapidly calm and soothe you when you’re stressed or anxious. The companionship of a pet can also ease loneliness , and most dogs are a great stimulus for healthy exercise, which can substantially boost your mood and ease depression.

Speak to a Licensed Therapist

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Adopting healthy lifestyle changes plays an important role in easing symptoms of depression , anxiety, stress, bipolar disorder, and PTSD. Caring for a pet can help you make healthy lifestyle changes by:

Increasing exercise. Taking a dog for a walk, hike, or run are fun and rewarding ways to fit healthy daily exercise into your schedule. Studies have shown that dog owners are far more likely to meet their daily exercise requirements—and exercising every day is great for the animal as well. It will deepen the connection between you, eradicate most behavior problems in dogs, and keep your pet fit and healthy.

Providing companionship. Companionship can help prevent illness and even add years to your life, while isolation and loneliness can trigger symptoms of depression. Caring for an animal can help make you feel needed and wanted, and take the focus away from your problems, especially if you live alone. Most dog and cat owners talk to their pets, some even use them to work through their troubles. And nothing beats loneliness like coming home to a wagging tail or purring cat.

Helping you meet new people. Pets can be a great social lubricant for their owners, helping you start and maintain new friendships . Dog owners frequently stop and talk to each other on walks, hikes, or in a dog park. Pet owners also meet new people in pet stores, clubs, and training classes.

Reducing anxiety. The companionship of an animal can offer comfort, help ease anxiety , and build self-confidence for people anxious about going out into the world. Because pets tend to live in the moment—they don’t worry about what happened yesterday or what might happen tomorrow—they can help you become more mindful and appreciate the joy of the present.

Adding structure and routine to your day. Many pets, especially dogs, require a regular feeding and exercise schedule. Having a consistent routine keeps an animal balanced and calm—and it can work for you, too. No matter your mood—depressed, anxious, or stressed—one plaintive look from your pet and you’ll have to get out of bed to feed, exercise, and care for them.

[Read: Coping with Depression]

Providing sensory stress relief. Touch and movement are two healthy ways to quickly manage stress . Stroking a dog, cat, or other animal can lower blood pressure and help you quickly feel calmer and less stressed.

Get a dog, lose weight

A number of studies have linked owning a dog to losing weight:

  • A year-long study at the Wellness Institute at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Chicago found that walking an overweight dog helped both the animals and their owners shed unwanted pounds. Researchers found that the dogs provided support in similar ways to a human exercise buddy, but with greater consistency and without any negative influence.
  • Another study by the Research Center for Human-Animal Interaction found that public housing residents who walked therapy dogs for up to 20 minutes five days a week lost an average of 14.4 pounds in a year, without changing their diets.
  • A third study, conducted by dog food manufacturer Mars Petcare, found that people with a dog walked 30 minutes more per week than they did before owning a dog.

As well as providing vital companionship, owning a pet can play an important role in healthy aging by helping you to:

Find meaning and joy in life. As you age, you’ll lose things that previously occupied your time and gave your life purpose. You may retire from your career or your children may move far away. Caring for a pet can bring pleasure and help boost your morale, optimism, and sense of self-worth. Choosing to adopt a pet from a shelter, especially an older pet, can add to your sense of fulfillment, knowing that you’ve provided a home to a pet that may otherwise have been euthanized.

[Read: Cultivating Happiness]

Stay connected. Maintaining a social network isn’t always easy as you grow older. Retirement , illness, death, and relocation can take away close friends and family members. And making new friends can get harder. Pets, especially dogs, are a great way for older adults to spark up conversations and meet new people .

Boost your vitality. You can overcome many of the physical challenges associated with aging by taking good care of yourself. Dogs, cats, and other pets encourage playfulness , laughter, and exercise, which can help boost your immune system and increase your energy.

How pets help adults with Alzheimer’s disease or dementia

As part of the disease, Alzheimer’s patients may exhibit a variety of behavioral problems, many related to an inability to deal with stress.

  • Research at the University of California at Davis concluded that Alzheimer’s patients suffer less stress and have fewer anxious outbursts if there is a dog or cat in the home.
  • Pets can provide a source of positive, nonverbal communication. The playful interaction and gentle touch from a well-trained, docile animal can help soothe an Alzheimer’s patient and decrease aggressive behavior —as can simply being exposed to bright aquariums or fish tanks.
  • In many cases a patient’s problem behavior is a reaction to the stressed response of the primary caretaker. Pets can help ease the stress of caregivers. Cats or caged animals may be more suitable than dogs, which generally require more care and can add to the burden of someone who’s already looking after an Alzheimer’s patient.

Not only do children who grow up with pets have less risk of allergies and asthma, many also learn responsibility, compassion, and empathy from having a dog or cat.

[Read: Raising Emotionally Intelligent Children]

  • Unlike parents or teachers, pets are never critical and don’t give orders. They are always loving and their mere presence at home can help provide a sense of security in children. Having an ever-present pet can help ease separation anxiety in children when mom and dad aren’t around.
  • Having the love and companionship of a pet can make a child feel important and help them develop a positive self-image.
  • Kids who are emotionally attached to their pets are better able to build relationships with other people.
  • Studies have also shown that pets can help calm hyperactive or overly aggressive kids. Of course, both the animal and the child need to be trained to behave appropriately with each other.
  • A pet can help develop a young and expanding mind by teaching a child empathy and understanding. Kids can talk with their pet without a fear of rejection, which enables them to build their confidence, and even their vocabulary.
  • Getting even a small, caged pet, such as a guinea pig or hamster, is a great way to teach a child responsibility.

Like adults, children can benefit from playing with a pet. It can be a source of calmness and relaxation, as well as a source of stimulation for the brain and body. Playing with a pet can even be a doorway to learning for a child. It can stimulate a child’s imagination and curiosity. The rewards of training a dog to perform a new trick, for example, can teach kids the importance of perseverance. Caring for a furry friend can also offer another benefit to a child: immense joy.

Children with learning disorders and other challenges

Some children with autism or other learning difficulties are better able to interact with pets than people. Autistic children often rely on nonverbal cues to communicate, just as animals do. And learning to first connect with a pet may even help an autistic child in their interactions with people.

  • Pets can help children with learning disabilities learn how to regulate stress and calm themselves, making them better equipped to overcome the challenges of their disorder.
  • Playing and exercising with a dog or cat can help a child with learning disorders stay alert and attentive throughout the day. It can also be a great antidote to stress and frustration caused by the learning disability.
  • Learning to ride a horse at a local riding stable can help elevate the self-esteem of disabled children, putting them on a more equal level with kids without disabilities.

Despite all the benefits, it’s important to remember that a pet is not a miracle cure for mental health issues. Owning a pet is beneficial and comforting only for those who love and appreciate domestic animals and have the time and money to keep a pet happy and healthy. If you’re simply not an “animal person,” pet ownership is not going to provide you with any health benefits or improve your life.

Even if you love animals, it’s important to understand everything that caring for a pet entails. Owning a pet is a major commitment that will last through the animal’s lifetime, perhaps 10 or 15 years in the case of dogs. And at the end of that commitment, you’ll face the grief and mourning that comes with losing a beloved companion.

[Read: Coping with Losing a Pet]

Other drawbacks to owning a pet include:

Pets cost money . Food bills, veterinary care, licenses, grooming costs, toys, bedding, boarding fees, and other maintenance expenses can mount up. If you’re unemployed or elderly, on a limited fixed income, it may be a struggle to cope with the expense of pet ownership.

Pets require time and attention . As any dog owner will tell you, there’s nothing therapeutic about coming home to a dog that has been locked up in the house on his own all day. Dogs need daily exercise to stay calm and well-balanced; most other pets require at least daily care and attention.

Owning a pet can curb some of your social activity . A dog can only be left alone for a limited time. By training your dog, you’ll be able to take him with you to visit friends, run errands, or sit outside a coffee shop, for example, but you won’t be able to leave for a spur of the moment weekend away without arranging care for your pet first.

Pets can be destructive . Any pet can have an occasional accident at home. Some cats may be prone to shredding upholstery, some dogs to chewing shoes. While training can help eradicate negative, destructive behavior, they remain common in animals left alone without exercise or stimulation for long periods of time.

Pets require responsibility . Most dogs, regardless of size and breed, are capable of inflicting injury on people if not handled responsibly by their owners. Even cats can scratch or bite. Pet owners need to be alert to any danger, especially around children.

Pets carry health risks for some people . While there are some diseases that can be transmitted from cats and dogs to their human handlers, allergies are the most common health risk of pet ownership. If you or a family member has been diagnosed with a pet allergy, carefully consider whether you can live with the symptoms before committing to pet ownership. Also consider that some friends or relatives with allergies may no longer be able to visit your home if you have a pet.

If you’ve decided that owning a pet is right for you, congratulations: you’re about to open your life to a unique and rewarding relationship. While people who have pets tend to be happier, more independent, and feel more secure than those without pets, it’s important to select the type of pet that best suits your needs and lifestyle.

[Read: Choosing the Right Dog]

Talk to other members of your household and agree on the qualities you want in a pet and those that you’d prefer to avoid.

Lifestyle considerations that influence your choice in a pet

Little outdoor activity . If most of your time is spent at home, consider pets that would be happy to stay with you in that environment. You may enjoy playing with or cuddling a cat or a bunny; taking leisurely walks with an older dog; watching fish or reptiles; or talking or singing along with a bird.

High activity level . If you’re more active and enjoy daily activities outside of your home, especially walking or running, an energetic dog might be right for you. Canine companions thrive on outdoor exercise, keeping you on the move.

Small children and the elderly . Families with small children or elderly living in their homes should consider the size and energy level of a pet. Puppies and kittens are usually very active, but delicate creatures that must be handled with care. Large or rambunctious dogs could accidentally harm or knock over a small child or adult who is unsteady on his or her feet.

Other animals in household . Consider the ongoing happiness and ability to adjust of the pets you already have. While your cat or a dog might love to have an animal friend to play with, a pet that has had exclusive access to your attentions may resent sharing you.

Home environment . If a neat, tidy home, free of animal hair, occasional muddy footprints and “accidents” is important, then a free-roaming dog or long-haired cat may not be the best choice. You may want to choose pets that are confined to their quarters, such as fish, birds, hamsters, or reptiles.

Landscaping concerns . With certain pets, your landscaping will suffer. Many dogs will be tempted to dig holes in your lawn, and dog urine can leave yellow patches—some say unaltered females cause the most damage.

Time commitment . Finally, and perhaps most importantly, keep in mind that you’ll be making a commitment that will last the lifetime of the pet—perhaps 10, 15, or 20 years with a dog or cat; as many as 30 years or more with a bird. You can, of course, consider adopting an older dog or cat from a shelter or rescue group and provide a deserving animal with a loving home for its senior years.

Ultimately, when choosing a pet, be honest with yourself about the lifestyle you enjoy and the kind of pet you’d like to care for. If you’re in doubt about caring for a larger animal, start small, get a fish or a smaller, caged animal. See how it fits and go from there.

Shelter and rescue animals

Whether mixed breed or purebred, dogs and cats adopted from a shelter or rescue group make excellent pets. For the most part, pets end up in a shelter through no fault of their own. Their owner may have died or moved to a place that doesn’t allow pets, or the pet may have simply been abandoned by irresponsible owners who bought them on a whim and later discovered that they were unable or unwilling to care for them properly. If any shelter or rescue animal exhibits aggressive behavior, it is typically euthanized rather than offered for adoption.

Rescue groups try to find suitable homes for unwanted or abandoned dogs, cats, and other pets, many taken from shelters where they would otherwise have been euthanized. Volunteers usually take care of the animals until they can find a permanent home. This means that rescuers are often very familiar with a pet’s personality and can help advise you on whether the pet would make a good match for your needs.

By adopting an animal from a shelter or rescue organization, you’ll not only be giving a home to a deserving pet, but you’ll also likely be saving an animal’s life.

Avoid puppies sold in pet stores and online

Puppy mills are like dog-making factories that churn out puppies for profit, ignoring the needs of the pups and their mothers. The mother dogs spend their entire lives in cramped cages or kennels with little or no personal attention or quality of life. When the mother and father dogs can no longer breed, they are discarded or killed. Dogs from puppy mills are often sick and unsocialized.

There are also more than 10,000 puppy mills in the United States alone, and they commonly sell online or via classified ads, flea markets, and pet stores. In fact, the majority of puppies sold in pet stores and online are from puppy mills—even though the sellers promote themselves as “responsible” breeders or promise “home-raised” puppies.

To help stop this cycle of cruelty, choose to adopt your next pet from a shelter or rescue group, or by purchasing a dog only from a responsible breeder who will show you where the puppy—and its mother—were born and raised.

Source:  The Humane Society of the United States

Dogs and cats are the most common household pets. While on occasion, you’ll see someone walking a cat on a leash or a dog that uses a litter box, typically the needs and natural behaviors of dogs and cats are different:

Indoors or outdoors

Cats: House cats do enjoy being outdoors sometimes, but can wander off.

Dogs: Dogs need daily exercise and walks outdoors. Even if you have a large, fenced backyard where they can run and go to the bathroom, they will still need a daily walk.

Cats: Essential training of cats usually includes using the litter box and not clawing furniture. Cats resist training.

Dogs: Dogs need much more training than cats. Most dogs enjoy training, because it gives them something to do. They also have an innate desire to please their people.


Cats: If you love serenity and independence mixed with playfulness, a cat is more likely to satisfy you.

Dogs: If you want to be greeted exuberantly every time you come home, a dog is a better choice.

[Read: Choosing the Right Cat]


Cats: Cats are often content to be left alone (except, of course, when you’d rather they leave you alone).

Dogs: Dogs tend to thrive on interaction with humans and other dogs.

If you don’t have the time, money, or ability to own a pet full-time, there are still ways you can experience the health benefits of being around animals. Even short periods spent with a dog or cat can benefit both you and the animal.

You can ask to walk a neighbor’s dog, for example, or volunteer at an animal shelter. Most animal shelters or rescue groups welcome volunteers to help care for homeless pets or assist at adoption events. You’ll not only be helping yourself, but also helping to socialize and exercise the animals, making them more adoptable.

Some animal shelters and rescue groups offer pet “rental” programs. Dogs and cats that are available for adoption can be taken out for walks or play dates. You can also foster an animal temporarily until a permanent home is found for him, or to decide if the animal is right for you.

A variety of different organizations offer specially trained therapy dogs and cats to visit children’s hospitals, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, hospice programs, shelters, and schools. During these visits, people are invited to pet and stroke the animals, which can improve mood and reduce stress and anxiety.

More Information

  • Christian, H., Wood, L., Nathan, A., Kawachi, I., Houghton, S., Martin, K., & McCune, S. (2016). The association between dog walking, physical activity and owner’s perceptions of safety: Cross-sectional evidence from the US and Australia. BMC Public Health , 16(1), 1010. Link
  • Clements, H., Valentin, S., Jenkins, N., Rankin, J., Baker, J. S., Gee, N., Snellgrove, D., & Sloman, K. (2019). The effects of interacting with fish in aquariums on human health and well-being: A systematic review. PLOS ONE , 14(7), e0220524. Link
  • Cracknell, D., White, M. P., Pahl, S., Nichols, W. J., & Depledge, M. H. (2016). Marine Biota and Psychological Well-Being: A Preliminary Examination of Dose–Response Effects in an Aquarium Setting. Environment and Behavior , 48(10), 1242–1269. Link
  • Fritz, C. L., Farver, T. B., Kass, P. H., & Hart, L. A. (1995). Association with Companion Animals and the Expression of Noncognitive Symptoms in Alzheimerʼs Patients: The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease , 183(7), 459–463. Link
  • Johnson, R. A., & Meadows, R. L. (2010). Dog-Walking: Motivation for Adherence to a Walking Program. Clinical Nursing Research , 19(4), 387–402. Link
  • Kushner, R. F., Blatner, D. J., Jewell, D. E., & Rudloff, K. (2006). The PPET Study: People and Pets Exercising Together*. Obesity , 14(10), 1762–1770. Link
  • Levine, G. N., Allen, K., Braun, L. T., Christian, H. E., Friedmann, E., Taubert, K. A., Thomas, S. A., Wells, D. L., & Lange, R. A. (2013). Pet Ownership and Cardiovascular Risk: A Scientific Statement From the American Heart Association. Circulation , 127(23), 2353–2363. Link
  • Martin, F., Bachert, K. E., Snow, L., Tu, H.-W., Belahbib, J., & Lyn, S. A. (2021). Depression, anxiety, and happiness in dog owners and potential dog owners during the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States. PLOS ONE , 16(12), e0260676. Link
  • Mubanga, M., Byberg, L., Egenvall, A., Ingelsson, E., & Fall, T. (2019). Dog Ownership and Survival After a Major Cardiovascular Event: A Register-Based Prospective Study. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes , 12(10), e005342. Link
  • Saunders, J., Parast, L., Babey, S. H., & Miles, J. V. (2017). Exploring the differences between pet and non-pet owners: Implications for human-animal interaction research and policy. PLOS ONE , 12(6), e0179494. Link
  • The Power of Pets | NIH News in Health . (n.d.). Retrieved April 6, 2022, from Link
  • Villafaina-Domínguez, B., Collado-Mateo, D., Merellano-Navarro, E., & Villafaina, S. (2020). Effects of Dog-Based Animal-Assisted Interventions in Prison Population: A Systematic Review. Animals , 10(11), 2129. Link
  • Westgarth, C., Christley, R. M., Jewell, C., German, A. J., Boddy, L. M., & Christian, H. E. (2019). Dog owners are more likely to meet physical activity guidelines than people without a dog: An investigation of the association between dog ownership and physical activity levels in a UK community. Scientific Reports , 9(1), 5704. Link
  • The Humane Society of the United States. “Stopping Puppy Mills.” Accessed March 28, 2023. Link

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essay on raising a pet

ELTEC English

Teaching ielts students., ielts essay task 2: pet ownership’s advantages and disadvantages.

pet owndership IELTS PTE

Many people keep dogs and cats as companions. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of pet ownership for the animals involved and for the community as a whole.

40 minutes, 250 words at least.

IELTS loves asking questions on ANIMALS/ Wild Life. Please go through the following links to go through more such essays.

Animal Species Facing Extinction .

Animal Rights

Introduction:   (Introduce the topic and MENTION a few advantages and disadvantages that you’ll EXPLAIN in the body paragraphs.)

Pets are a man’s best friend. Not only do they give a  company to a lonely person but also protect the owner as well as the property . However, keeping a pet has several disadvantages ranging from the threat of diseases in the event of non-vaccination to disturbance to the neighbors .

Body Paragraph 1: (Advantages)

Research has proven that the company of a dog or a cat keeps psychological problems such as depression away. These animals keep a person busy and give love and affection that increase overall happiness. These animals also help fight anxiety, inactivity and encourage exercise and playfulness. In many cases, people who did not own a pet reported better blood pressure and lower cholesterol once they owned a pet.  Moreover, dogs are extremely possessive of their owner as well as property. They guard the house against any external threat or interference.  Thus keeping pets is very helpful for households with children or old people.

Body Paragraph 2:   (Disadvantages)

However, pet ownership is not an easy job. Animals are often the source of many diseases such as asthma. The saliva and fur of a dog or a cat are a source of various diseases. Worse, a bite of a dog which is not properly vaccinated can cause life-threatening diseases as well. Keeping a check on a pet’s diseases is an extremely difficult job. Furthermore, dogs are sometimes a source of disturbance during the night. Many people have reported dog howling and barking at night as a severe form of stress. 

Conclusion   (Conclude with future and/or impact. You can state your opinion as well.)

In conclusion, despite several drawbacks of keeping a pet, animals such as a dog are extremely beneficial in dealing with stresses and insecurities of a modern lifestyle. They are not only good friends but also an excellent protector from any possible threat.

Please feel free to ask any questions in the comments section.

Here is a student’s essay on this topic along with corrections. Let us learn from each other’s mistakes.

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Essay on my pet rabbit

Essay on my pet rabbit 2 Models

Last updated Friday , 15-03-2024 on 11:04 am

Essay on my pet rabbit, raising pets is a nice thing, and I will present to you many models, a short essay on my little rabbit, a paragraph on raising rabbits at home, information about raising rabbits, how to take care of little rabbits, and what is their favorite feeding, topics suitable for elementary school Middle and high school, how to choose your favorite bunny, and what feeling you have when you take care of your cute bunny.

Essay on my pet rabbit

It is often necessary to take care of a pet, and today I am going to write an essay on my pet rabbit, in which I show the importance of raising and caring for a pet.

When you feel lonely or feel that you are not in harmony with others, the solution is to raise a pet such as a cat, dog or rabbit, as these pets are very entertaining, and they make you feel loved and compensate you for your friends.

They are loyal animals and know their owner well, play with him and run after him, and show their love for him.

My pet rabbit

I love pets, but I prefer raising a cute rabbit. Therefore, I chose a small rabbit, soft fur, and white color. He looks very beautiful, and he was a month old, so he can eat green plants.

I like the way he eats, he eats calmly and without fear. I give him green plants, and sometimes I give him concentrated feed for rabbits. I notice that he prefers to eat green vegetables.

My pet rabbit spends most of the time running and jumping, I play with him a lot, he’s so much fun. Often he jumps up for me to pick him up, and sits next to me while I am busy reading or studying. At night my cute bunny comes and sleeps next to me.

I love my pet rabbit very much, and he loves me too. I am happy when he is happy, jumping here and there.

I take good care of my rabbit so that he does not have any disease, and I also take him to the vet, to examine him and guide me on the correct method of raising rabbits.

It is important to find a creature that loves you, even if it is a rabbit. The mutual love between you and the pet makes you feel psychologically comfortable, and taking care of it makes you a responsible person. I actually got better when I bought this rabbit and took care of it.

Information about rabbits

The rabbit is a mammal, and it can be raised at home and it reproduces quickly, because it gives birth at one time from approximately 7-18 young, and its gestation period is one month (31-33 days), and it can become pregnant immediately after birth.

Therefore, many people raise rabbits as an investment. Rabbits are characterized by abundant production and rapid growth, and they are also easy to market, as they are a favorite food for many people.

Rabbit’s house

A suitable shelter must be provided for the rabbits, and it must be taken into account that the ventilation is good, and that the rabbits are not exposed to strong winds and rain directly, and the rabbits must be exposed to direct sunlight in the summer.

Rabbit housing can be designed to protect it from wind, rain, and high temperatures, using components from the environment such as wood panels or fabrics and plastic.

Rabbit food 

We will learn about rabbits’ food in our essay on my pet rabbit. Rabbits in the wild depend mainly on eating green plants, as their digestive system is compatible with plant foods. The rabbit’s stomach is small, and its large intestine is large, and this is suitable for food that contains fiber.

If green plants are not available, concentrated feed specially manufactured to feed rabbits can be relied upon.

Containers and places must be cleaned before food is placed for rabbits so as not to contract diseases.

Mostly, the young rabbit, after the end of its lactation, begins to eat 70 gm per day, and at the third month it eats 100 gm, and this amount gradually reaches 200 gm in the sixth month, while pregnant and lactating rabbits need a larger amount of 250-300 gm per day.

Breed selection

There are many breeds of rabbits, as a result of the movement of rabbits from one region to another, and their mating with new breeds.

The breeds differ in terms of their characteristics, there are types that have more meat than bone, such as the New Zealand white breed, and California rabbits.

Among the famous breeds of rabbits are the English spotted rabbit, the Flemish giant rabbit breed, which is distinguished by its colorful fur, the silver rabbit, and the Altex breed, which is a hybrid breed and characterized by its ability to withstand high temperatures and its rapid growth, as the weight of the rabbit of this breed ranges from 4.5 kg – 9 kg, It is considered one of the types of commercial rabbits.

At the end of my essay on my pet rabbit, I hope that everyone is keen on raising a pet, because it makes you feel happy and responsible, but you should read first about how to raise pets at home.

Rabbits have an easy and fun breeding method too. I take care of the health of my pet rabbit and go to the vet every month. He taught me many things about raising rabbits and how to feed them.

I hope you have benefited from this article.

To read more, click on the following link:

  • Rabbit topic
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Paws overpaying for pets on planes.

American Airlines is relaxing its policy for passengers who travel with pets.

The airline is now letting passengers bring both a pet and a regular carry-on bag or personal item into the cabin.

Young woman wearing a protective mask at the airport, holding her dog and carry-on bag, heading towards their flight

Under the new policy, pet carriers will no longer be counted as carry-on bags, meaning travelers may be allowed to board the plane with their precious pet cargo plus an additional piece for just the $150 pet fee, the Associated Press reported .

Previously, passengers who boarded with a pet were allowed only one additional personal item — a bag small enough to fit under the seat — for the $150, then asked to pay an additional $35 for checking carry-on luggage.

However, customers with pets are still prohibited from bringing more than two pieces on the plane, including the pet carrier.

Carry-on pets are dependent on breed and size and are limited to cats and dogs that meet the requirements, per the policy . Pets can also be put in American Airlines cargo.

“We made the change to provide a more convenient and comfortable experience to customers whose pets fly American,” a spokeswoman for American told the AP.

Red kitten sitting in a pet carrier, waiting to board an airplane at sunrise

The updated pet policy comes shortly after the airline announced they’re raising the cost of checking bags.

Now, checking a bag on a domestic flight on American Airlines will rise from $30 to $35 online and $40 if purchased at the airport. The fee for a second checked bag will rise from $40 to $45 both online and at the airport.

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essay on raising a pet

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Politics | In wake of canine respiratory disease outbreak,…

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Politics | In wake of canine respiratory disease outbreak, Colorado bill targets pet facilities

Pet facility staff raise questions about enacting, enforcing proposed bill.

essay on raising a pet

A canine respiratory disease outbreak that sickened Colorado dogs last fall is motivating state lawmakers to find a legislative fix, but some pet care facilities say the proposed bill needs a lot more clarification to work.

The bill, House Bill 24-1354, would require licensed pet facilities to “make every reasonable attempt to notify” pet owners of an infectious disease outbreak within 24 hours of the facility learning about that outbreak.

Rep. Leslie Herod, the Denver Democrat sponsoring the bill, said the bill was in response to the dog flu epidemic that hit Colorado in the fall . There was an outbreak at her dog Clinton’s pet facility, which she learned about after she called to ask about the respiratory illness.

“I was then able to go to my vet and get information about how to properly protect my pet so that he didn’t become sick. And that’s what I did,” she said. “I’m grateful that I did not have to go through the thousands of dollars of expenses and the possible death of my pet and instead was able to take the proper precautions to keep them safe.”

The bill passed in the House on Thursday is now headed to the Senate. It has no registered opposition, according to the lobbying report filed with the secretary of state’s office.

Workers at pet care facilities say they while understand the motive behind the bill, there’s still too much uncertainty about how it would be implemented and enforced.

Licensed pet facilities in Colorado are already required to follow cleaning and sanitation rules under the state’s Pet Animal Care and Facilities Act , said Jed Rosenberg, managing director at Beds-N-Biscuits in Wheat Ridge.

Beds-N-Biscuits staff take precautionary measures like requiring pet vaccinations and cleaning and disinfecting dog runs and water bowls daily or multiple times a day, Rosenberg said.

“We’re already doing the sorts of things to curb the spread of any virus or disease, and any reputable facility will notify owners of any sort of outbreak,” he said.

Rosenberg said he has a lot of questions about the bill’s current language, like what constitutes an outbreak – is it one dog or 10 dogs? Will testing be required to confirm a diagnosis with illnesses like kennel cough, where several different viruses or bacteria could be the cause?

“A dog could be sneezing because of allergies,” Rosenberg said. “All in all I think this bill is a good thing, but in order for it to be successful there needs to be more language in it.”

Amy Hillis, chair of the Professional Animal Care Certification Council, a third-party certification group for pet care providers, said she also understands where lawmakers are coming from by wanting owners to have better information to protect their pets.

But the current version of the bill is too vague, Hillis said, and would be hard to enforce.

Hillis also pushed back on the idea that the respiratory disease that spread this fall was mysterious or even novel.

Respiratory illness outbreaks are not uncommon, though state officials and veterinary experts are still determining why cases increased and dogs experienced worse-than-usual symptoms this fall.

Experts like Scott Weese, a professor at the University of Guelph Ontario Veterinary College, have suggested that factors like fewer pet vaccinations and less exposure to other animals during the coronavirus pandemic spurred the outbreak.

Other factors could include more dogs overall and changes in the types of vaccines used, Weese wrote in a December post on his website.

At the end of the day, getting sick is sometimes just part of being alive, Hillis said.

“If you send your kids to school they’re probably going to get sick at some point, and that’s the nature of being a living thing,” she said. “That’s not a result of a building or a place, it’s a result of leaving your house.”

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Guest Essay

Biden Is Breaking Campaign Rule No. 1. And It Just Might Work.

An illustration of an orange cat wearing a top hat and smoking a cigar. It has been shoved into a pet carrier, which is lumpy and misshapen from its body, being held up by a hand from offscreen.

By Felicia Wong

Ms. Wong is the president and chief executive of Roosevelt Forward, a progressive advocacy organization.

Should we have trillionaires? Should we even have billionaires? According to at least one recent analysis , the economy is on track to mint its first trillionaire — that is 1,000 billion — within a decade. Such staggering accumulations of wealth are made possible in large part by the fact that America’s federal tax burden is so comparatively light. After a long period of seeming to venerate the 1 percent, or the 1 percent of 1 percent of 1 percent, American sentiment is swinging hard against this imbalance.

Now President Biden, behind in many polls and with an economy that is objectively strong but politically unpopular, is hoping to boost his re-election bid with a policy idea that would once have been almost unthinkable: For this portion of the population, at least, he is vowing — almost gleefully — to raise taxes.

Even for a popular president, this would seem like a huge risk. For a Democrat with low job approval ratings and precarious poll numbers on his handling of the economy, it’s a shocking rebuke to conventional wisdom — and practically an invitation to critics to call him a tax-and-spend liberal. But on the politics as well as the policy, Mr. Biden is making the right call. Economic ideas that were once dead on arrival are now gaining traction on both the left and the right. The moment has arrived for changes in the tax code — and maybe beyond.

For at least the past half-century, raising taxes has been the third rail of American politics. Ronald Reagan rode the wave of the late-1970s tax revolt into the Oval Office. I was a kid in California then, and I remember how fierce the anti-tax sentiment was. Howard Jarvis and his followers, mostly older white property owners, pushed for the ballot initiative known as Proposition 13 because they were, in their words, mad as hell that their rising taxes would help educate immigrant families. The anti-taxers won by a nearly two-to-one ratio.

Time magazine put Mr. Jarvis on its cover and called Prop. 13 the “most radical slash in property taxes since Depression days.” The movement devastated schools and social services. But it was political gold and spread nationwide.

During his first year as president, Mr. Reagan cut the highest personal income tax rate from 70 percent to 50 percent. He cut taxes for low-income Americans, too, decreased the maximum capital gains rate from 28 percent to 20 percent and cut corporate taxes. These tax cuts caused such deficits that Mr. Reagan had to reverse some of them during the rest of his time in office, but that is not how history remembers his presidency. By the end of his second term, the top individual rate was only 33 percent.

Anti-tax activists made cutting taxes an explicit political litmus test . In 1988, George H.W. Bush famously pledged, “Read my lips: no new taxes.” Twenty-five years later, Barack Obama modestly raised taxes on the highest-earning Americans, but he kept quiet about it, instead touting middle-class tax cuts that, he said, left middle-income families with a lower tax rate than at “almost any other period in the last 60 years.”

Fast-forward to Mr. Biden, who is making $5 trillion in tax increases central to his re-election campaign. During his State of the Union speech this month, he even made fun of Republicans for favoring cuts. Getting the rich to pay their share is right up there with getting greedy companies to stop charging you junk fees and, he said, shrinking your Snickers bars .

What explains the pivot? The president is following the money. Over the past decade and even more since the pandemic, wealth concentration has shot up astonishingly. Elon Musk was worth about $25 billion in 2020 and at the end of 2023 was worth almost 10 times that. In 1990 there were nearly 70 American billionaires . Today there are nearly 700. To what earthly end are we encouraging trillionaires?

The trend toward extreme inequality has fueled tremendous populist outrage, like the tax revolt in reverse. It may have been the Bernie Sanders left that started the “billionaires are a policy failure” meme, but poll after poll shows that two-thirds to three-quarters of Americans want higher taxes on the wealthy and corporations.

It isn’t all outrage, though. A lot of it is common sense. As one of the wealthy nations with the lowest tax rates, the United States has put off investing in our families and children. This deferred maintenance is costly: Our child care, health care, family leave and higher education systems are, as a result, among the most expensive and least accessible in the world. Making these arenas a priority is affordable and effective, and they have waited far too long.

Raising high-end taxes can be good for business, too. In the 1960s, George Romney, Mitt’s father, regularly turned down his bonuses from his auto executive job, perhaps in part because his marginal tax rate would have been about 90 percent. It made more sense for companies then to invest excess profits back into their businesses rather than in C.E.O. pay packages. Today, C.E.O. pay at the largest companies has skyrocketed while businesses have invested less in research , physical plant and other capital assets.

“Tax and spend” wasn’t always an epithet. Reagan Republicans and 1970s-era right-wing populists weaponized the label every chance they got. “You could be talking about the Mets versus the Dodgers,” the former U.S. Representative Steve Israel of New York recalled , “and good Republican operatives would be able to weave in tax-and-spend.”

But the term, as Mr. Biden and his team clearly know, no longer stings in quite the same way, especially not if taxes are linked to a vision that would make Americans’ lives less anxiety-ridden and more stable. Donald Trump’s hallmark legislative achievement, the 2017 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which cut more than $1 trillion in taxes — mostly for the wealthy and corporations — has major provisions that are set to expire next year. A partisan battle will ensue. Mr. Biden’s 2024 push on taxes is a shot across that bow. Can we imagine an even bigger shift on taxation than the one Mr. Biden is making?

Could we get past the sense that taxes are what the government takes and toward an idea of taxes as a means of patriotism, a kitty we all pay into to build something for community use: a school, a library, a road, a college, a hospital? What if taxation could bring us all together? It’s not that wild an idea. As the political scientist Vanessa Williamson notes, both liberal and conservative Americans view paying taxes as a moral duty. Just think of the pride with which people refer to themselves as taxpayers.

Of course, taxes are a civic good only if the tax rules are perceived as being fair. Which is why Mr. Biden’s calculated risk could pay many dividends come November.

Felicia Wong is the president and chief executive of Roosevelt Forward, the advocacy partner of the progressive think tank the Roosevelt Institute.

The Times is committed to publishing a diversity of letters to the editor. We’d like to hear what you think about this or any of our articles. Here are some tips . And here’s our email: [email protected] .

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    We got him when he was a little baby and have watched him grow into a beautiful dog. All my family members love him with all their heart. We love his silly antics and cannot imagine our lives without him. We named him Sasha. Sasha - My Pet Dog. My father adopted Sasha when he was a little baby. His friend had given birth to puppies and they ...

  3. Overview of The Benefits of Having Pets

    Keeping pets definitely brings about many benefits so each person perhaps should raise a pet, apart from the drawback of keeping pet. Pets are one of the magnificent creatures, assisting human to improve both mental health and physical health. It helps human do more exercise, eliminate depress out life, fight diseases.

  4. Why Having a Pet Is Good for You and Your Family

    Owning a pet can help reduce stress you're feeling amid the pandemic. According to studies, spending time with your pet can trigger an increased level of oxytocin, also known as the "love hormone ...

  5. Why Should Kids Have Pets: 8 Evidence-Based Reasons

    Pets can teach social skills. Companion animals can be emotionally supportive and present with kids, but they also need things in return, such as love and care. That's why they can help the ...

  6. Pets Keeping: Benefits for Children

    According to Brayfield (41), keeping of pets help in promoting physical exercise of children. In the current society where technology defines the social life of human beings, children have become addicted to indoor games played in computer. The computer games have eliminated the physical games like skiing, riding, jogging, and even football ...

  7. IELTS Essay, topic: keeping pets to live a more enjoyable life

    Avoid writing more than 280 words to save time and reduce the number of mistakes, and remember to always proofread your work once you're finished. Overall, this looks like a Band 5.5 essay. Some people believe that having a pet such as a cat or a dog helps old people to live a more enjoyable life and to stay healthier.

  8. Benefits of Having a Pet: Why Keeping Pets Gives You ...

    Having uncommon, exotic pets has social advantages, too. If you don't know many people who have the same type of lizard or bird that you do, for example, this gives you a unique connection to others who do have that kind of pet. Even if you don't know anyone nearby, there are forums and online groups for people who own specific pets, and these can be great sources of both information and ...

  9. My Pet Essay for Students and Children

    500 Words Essay On My Pet. Pets are a blessing that only lucky people get to have. I have been lucky enough to have many pets since my childhood. My pet is a cat whom we call Mingi. It is white and grey in colour. Mingi is 3 years old and has been with me ever since she was born. Through my pet essay, I will make you learn all about Mingi and ...

  10. Why owning a pet is good for body and mind

    In fact, the benefits of pets are so profound that Vettese should consider making a full U-turn - we should have more pets and we should view them as a low-cost, high-reward public health strategy.

  11. Keeping Pets

    Discover the pros and cons of keeping pets in this comprehensive guide. Explore the emotional benefits, health advantages, and lifestyle impact of pet ownership. Make informed decisions and find the perfect companion for your life. Explore alternatives to traditional pet ownership. Embrace responsible pet ownership for a fulfilling and harmonious relationship.

  12. Benefits (and some surprising science) about owning a pet

    Getty Images. Pets offer the opportunity for different generations to connect, easing the way toward deeper communications, fostering healthy bonding and reducing loneliness. Getty Images. Pets ...

  13. The Power of Pets

    Some studies have shown positive health effects, but the results have been mixed. Interacting with animals has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol (a stress-related hormone) and lower blood pressure. Other studies have found that animals can reduce loneliness, increase feelings of social support, and boost your mood.

  14. Argumentative Essay on Why You Should Own a Pet

    Why to have a pet. Why not to have a pet. 1. Happiness is the key one of benefits of having a pet: 1. Happiness can easily fade when the time for a vet comes - not all people are morally ready for pet surgery or other veterinary treatment: 2. Supporting your mental health makes you physically easier: 2. Defending animal rights is morally challenging and can cost you your health either

  15. The benefits of a family pet

    Loyalty. Pets are very loyal and a good example of how to treat others that are important to the child and family. Physical activity. Walking and throwing a ball is great exercise. Patience. Sometimes bonding with a pet takes time, as well as teaching tricks and learning good behavior. Social Skills.

  16. How Kids Benefit From Pet Ownership

    Pets can help decrease stress and can even help children develop social and emotional skills. And although research on human-animal interaction is still relatively new, initial studies have shown that pets can reduce cortisol levels, decrease loneliness, boost mood, and increase feelings of social support.

  17. Essay on Pets

    Given below are two essays in English for students and children about the topic of 'Pets' in both long and short form. The first essay is a long essay on the Pets of 400-500 words. This long essay about Pets is suitable for students of class 7, 8, 9 and 10, and also for competitive exam aspirants. The second essay is a short essay on Pets ...

  18. Understanding the Benefits, Challenges, and the Role of Pet Ownership

    1. Introduction. Older adults aged over 65 years account for 17.5% of the Canadian population; this percentage is expected to exceed 23% by 2036 [1,2].Almost 20% of older adults report feelings of social isolation, which is known to adversely affect their psychological well-being and their physical health [3,4,5,6,7].Human-animal interactions (HAIs) may be an avenue worth exploring to ...

  19. The Health and Mood-Boosting Benefits of Pets

    Pets require time and attention. As any dog owner will tell you, there's nothing therapeutic about coming home to a dog that has been locked up in the house on his own all day. Dogs need daily exercise to stay calm and well-balanced; most other pets require at least daily care and attention. Owning a pet can curb some of your social activity ...

  20. IELTS Essay Task 2: Pet Ownership's Advantages and Disadvantages

    Thus keeping pets is very helpful for households with children or old people. Body Paragraph 2: (Disadvantages) However, pet ownership is not an easy job. Animals are often the source of many diseases such as asthma. The saliva and fur of a dog or a cat are a source of various diseases. Worse, a bite of a dog which is not properly vaccinated ...

  21. Essay On My Pet

    Essay on my pet, in this article we will talk about the importance of pets in human life and how to take care of a pet. And we will write an essay on raising a pet dog at home. And we will not forget to write an essay on cats. There are several types of pets that humans can train and raise with him inside the house. That is why we will learn ...

  22. Essay On My Pet Rabbit 2 Model

    Essay on my pet rabbit, raising pets is a nice thing, and I will present to you many models, a short essay on my little rabbit, a paragraph on raising rabbits at home, information about raising rabbits, how to take care of little rabbits, and what is their favorite feeding, topics suitable for elementary school Middle and high school, how to choose your favorite bunny, and what feeling you ...

  23. The Dogs Helping the Covenant Children Find Their Way Back

    First came Chip, a Cavalier King Charles spaniel. Then, after Owen succumbed to old age, came Birdie, a miniature poodle and Bernese Mountain dog mix.

  24. American Airlines is relaxing its pet policy and making it cheaper to

    The updated pet policy comes shortly after the airline announced they're raising the cost of checking bags. Now, checking a bag on a domestic flight on American Airlines will rise from $30 to ...

  25. In wake of canine respiratory disease outbreak, Colorado bill targets

    A canine respiratory disease outbreak that sickened Colorado dogs last fall is motivating state lawmakers to find a legislative fix, but some pet care facilities say the proposed bill needs a lot more clarification to work.. The bill, House Bill 24-1354, would require licensed pet facilities to "make every reasonable attempt to notify" pet owners of an infectious disease outbreak within 24 ...

  26. Opinion

    Raising high-end taxes can be good for business, too. In the 1960s, George Romney, Mitt's father, regularly turned down his bonuses from his auto executive job, perhaps in part because his ...