The Benefits Of Owning A Pet…My Life As A Pet Parent

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Shortly after I was born my parents purchased a Golden Retriever puppy and in an instant the course of my life was altered forever.

I was now a pet person for life.  However, it took over thirty years before I became a single pet parent (taking care of a pet without the help of other family members) and it was at that time that I first realized the true benefits of owning a pet.

By the way, I do say “Pet Parent” and not “Dog Parent” because I’m not strictly a dog person.  In fact, as a kid I was a cat person (shhh…please don’t tell my boys) and throughout my life I’ve had the benefit of owning dogs, cats, guinea pigs, hamsters, turtles, fish, lizards, and birds.

Benefits Of Owning A Pet - My 3 Dogs: Linus, Stetson, Apache
Love my 3 doggies: Linus, Stetson, and Apache

5 Benefits Of Owning A Pet

I first brought home my very own rescue puppy, Linus nearly 8 years ago and since then I’ve enjoyed the many benefits of owning a pet.

If you visit the PAL (Pets Add Life) website you’ll find a list telling why your days are brighter and life is just plain better with pets in it.  Here’s the abbreviated version of their list:

  1. Pets Help To Reduce Stress
  2. Pets Help To Lower Heart Disease and Reduce Blood Pressure
  3. Pets Help To Fight Depression
  4. Add Joy
  5. Add Health

Check out the entire list with explanations at PAL (Pets Add Life) website.

My favorite benefit occurs nearly every day when I’m walking to the front door of my house after a hard days work I often ask myself (or whoever is with me at the time):

“I wonder if the boys will be happy to see me?”

Of course Linus always charges to greet me, grabs a plush doggy toy (if he can’t find a toy he grabs one of my shoes), and tries to get me to play with him.  Now if that doesn’t bring a smile to your face then I don’t know what will.

How Pets Add To My Life

I tell this to almost everyone who asks me a question on this site: “Every puppy is different, every puppy will have a different personality.

Don’t expect this puppy to be the exact same as your last puppy even if it’s the same breed or even from the same litter.”

That brings me to my 3 dogs.  They are each different and have their own personality.  I love them all to death, but they each bring a little bit something special to the table.

Linus – The Australian Shepherd Mix

Baby Linus - Australian Shepherd Mix
Little Linus The Aussie Mix

Linus was my first puppy.  We rescued Linus from the Carson Animal Shelter and you can actually read the entire story of how I adopted Linus…my very first blog post.

Linus has changed my life in many ways.  He was the reason I got involved in fostering and puppy raising.

He’s always excited to see me.  His enthusiasm and playfulness is infectious.

I just love his daily greetings when I return home from a hard days work.  Linus is also the one in tune with my emotions.

He know when I’m happy and gives me plenty of wags and kisses and he know when I’m sad and gives me much needed affection and a body to hug.

Stetson – The Black Labrador Retriever

Stetson Black Lab Puppy
Stetson The Black Lab

Stetson was my first guide dog puppy in training.  Stetson is a career changed guide dog and now lives permanently at home with me.

Stetson has an enthusiasm for 2 things: food and sleep.  He does love his sniffer training, but that’s all related to his love for food.

Stetson teaches me every day to slow down and enjoy life.  Do the things that make me happy!

He doesn’t have the same energetic greetings as Linus, but he’s a great companion when you need a pup to snuggle up to on the couch while watching a movie.

Apache – The Golden Retriever

Golden Retriever Puppy Playing With Dog Toy
Golden Retriever Puppy – Apache First Dog Toy

Apache is my current guide dog puppy in training.  It’s great always having a young puppy in your life as we puppy raisers always do.

Apache definitely has a youthful outlook on life.  He prances on walks, he sometimes gets overly excited, and he loves to play.

He’s still a puppy and is constantly learning when he can be excited and playful versus when he needs to concentrate on work.

Apache really brings out the kid in me and reminds me that we should always be learning and that it’s okay to act like a kid once in while.  Of course he also has that endearing affectionate side found in most Golden’s.

I’d be remiss to not mention my other 2 dogs.  Derby was my second guide dog puppy in training and ended up as a career changed too.

He went into the guide dog adoption program and went to live with a loving family.  He taught me that we’re not all made to do certain jobs.  If you don’t like what you do then try doing something else.

Finally there’s Dublin who has an entire series of videos right here on the blog.  Check out Puppy In Training TV.  Dublin graduated and is a working guide dog.  He taught me that if you work hard then you can reach your goals.

Pets add to all aspects of your life.  If you have not already experienced the joys and benefits of owning a pet it is something I definitely think you should consider.

If you have a moment I highly recommend you check out the PAL – Pets Add Life website or take a look at their Facebook Page.

The PAL – Pets Add Life campaign is designed to demonstrate the joys and benefits of pet ownership, thus driving increased adoption of pets and responsible ownership of pets. Produced by the American Pet Products Association (APPA).

We’ve always been a fan of pet adoption and responsible ownership and plan on continuing to work with our local animal shelters and rescues as volunteers and fosters.

So how about you guys?  How have pets added to your life?  What benefits have you experienced while owning a pet?  Tell us your story in the comment section below.

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by the Pets Add Life campaign and the American Pet Products Association. We are being compensated for helping spread the word about the benefits and joys of pet ownership.

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