As per statistics, people adopted a maximum number of pets during the pandemic. The main reason for pet adoption was mental distress. People got bored sitting at home and thought this to be the best time to get a pet.
That was one reason I also got my pet, as the complete lockdown was really heavy on my mental state. On top of that, when many of my family members became sick because of the novel virus, it added to the stress. There was nothing good to look forward to, which is why I adopted a pet to just give me company and help me get back to a normal mental state. So I find myself eligible to impart this knowledge to others about the reality behind adopting a pet, and will it really help you de-stress?
Well, honestly, within a few weeks of adoption, I started regretting my decision. I had been exploring different dog breeds and settled for mini Labradoodle puppies. The reason was I wanted a labrador retriever, but as I lived in an apartment, it was tough to raise a large breed dog. Also, I did not want to deal with shedding issues. Hence I decided to go for a hybrid Doodle instead.
Let me be honest, what you watch on social media about puppies being super cute is true, but that is not the complete reality. The truth is that they are definitely cute but also terribly annoying at times. Do not get me wrong, I love my baby to the moon and back, but she knew how to get on my nerves. The first few months were really terrible at times as I had to constantly monitor her, feed her 4 times a day, clean up after her, and stop her from chewing on my furniture. As I was the only caregiver, it was a bit too much at times, and I needed a break from it, but she could not let me out of her sight for a second. I had to go to the bathroom with the door open as well, or else she would yelp a lot.
I just wished at times I could give her back, but in a few seconds, I just felt like she was my baby, and I could never give up on her. This roller coaster ride played a lot with my emotions; hence, it was definitely not a mental de-stress for a few months. I was more stressed than ever. The constant need for attention while I was on calls was also challenging. But the slurps I got seemed like worth all the trouble.
Also read: Ways To Have a Good Day Every Day
Is Dog Adoption for Everyone?
Did you know the percentage of abandoned dogs after the reopening of nations is huge? This is because people could not handle their pets as they grew up or as offices made these people busier in life. This answers the question above. NO, pet adoption is absolutely not for everyone. If you love to watch Tucker Budzyn and find him super cute, then only follow all his videos. Do not run to get a Golden retriever till you are sure you can take care of all its needs.
Dogs are not toys; they are living beings needing care and attention. They fall sick like us; they are demanding and need care. It is not fun always. Every dog has a temperament, and at times they can disobey you or get on your nerves. If you are ready to handle all that, then get a dog for sure, but if it feels overwhelming, you should step away from this idea.
Also, it really helps if you are not the only one taking care of the pet. If there are many members in the house, the load can be distributed, which means responsibilities per head will reduce. More people also means the dog can get attention from many people, which is a great way to keep it engaged.
You should not just like the idea of having a dog but also be ready to deal with all the negative aspects of it. So you need to think about it thoroughly before making this critical decision.
A Few Things You Should Know:
If you think you are actually someone who can deal with all the aspects of adopting a dog, there are a few factors you need to keep in mind.
Firstly, decide upon the breed that will suit your home. If you live in a bungalow, you can think about getting a large breed, but people living in an apartment should definitely opt for smaller breeds. Understand large breed dogs have higher energy they need to burn, and if you have a backyard, they will happily chase a squirrel and exercise themselves, but in an apartment, they will be idle. This means the pent-up energy inside them will make them misbehave.
Also, analyze your lifestyle. If you are an active person, you can get active dog breeds, but if you are lethargic or have little time every day, stick to smaller dogs that need some exercise.
Another factor to consider is the temperament of the breed. Depending on factors like children in your house, choose a breed that seems best for your household situation. Understand if you are looking for a family dog or a guard dog and then choose the breed.
Choosing the wrong breed is one of the reasons why many pets are abandoned every year. As large breed dogs look cute as a puppy, many of them get adopted, but as they grow massive, it becomes tough to control them without proper training, and many people just decide it is too tough and give them up.
Also read: Tips to Always Be Happy and Healthy
So, did adopting a dog help improve my mental health? Well, initially no, but then with time, it is a ‘yes.’ As I trained my pet well, understood her temperament, and she started considering me as her pack leader, I did start enjoying her company and felt de-stressed after a tough day every time. It took some patience for sure, but we got there eventually. If you are a passionate dog owner, over time, you will also agree that dogs are really beneficial for your mental health, but they are definitely not everyone’s cup of tea.