Last Thursday, I wrote a post about how having pets can hold you back. That is only half of the story though! The other half of the story is how pets enrich your life. They may be expensive little boogers that prevent you from doing all the things, but they are worth it!
How Pets Enrich your life
Pets enrich your life in so many immeasurable ways. It’s way easier to discuss how they hold you back, because you can put a price on it. You can’t always put a price on the benefits of pet ownership, but I’m going to try!
You know what’s a great feeling? Having someone super excited to see you when you get home, no matter what. They are always there, either wagging their tails (dogs) or pretending that they don’t care even though you know they do because why else would they have interrupted their nap (cats)? And welcome home time isn’t even dinner time, so the only reason they are there is to great me. It’s great to feel that kind of unconditional love from something.
Did you know that the simple act of petting a dog or cat reduces stress? It’s true! Studies have shown that giving your beloved Fido or Tabby belly rubs releases oxytocin, which is a stress reducing hormone. Researchers also found that people who own cats have a thirty percent lower chance of dying from a heart attack! I guess I can deal with those midnight howls if I get to live a longer, healthier life.
Another way pets enrich your life is by being freaking hilarious. People wouldn’t spend all day watching cat videos on YouTube if they weren’t entertaining! And you know what’s better than YouTube? The live show! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve laughed hysterically because one of my babies missed his jump, fell off the bed, or got a little too crazy with the laser pointer. They are such goofy little guys who provide countless hours of entertainment.
My dogs provide tons of entertainment as well. Coyote is such a little jerkface, and Malaki, although only five, acts like a grumpy old man. He is always tired of Coyote’s shit (but to be fair, we all are). Watching these two interact is fantastic.
But Also Cuddly
If you aren’t in the mood for laughs, they are always available to be cuddle buddies – even when it’s inconvenient. And somehow, they always know when you are in a bad mood and offer cuddles to make it better. Having a warm kitty snuggle up next to you, purring it’s little head off because it loves you so much, is guaranteed to lift your spirits after a rough day. It also lifts mine!
In fact, my babies are all so adorably cuddly and entertaining that I started an Instagram account to document their antics. Check it out here.
Pets enrich your life by being an awesome excuse to exercise! Sometimes I don’t want to leave the house, but Mr. Coyote has way too much energy so I need to either walk him or take him to the park. Sometimes he settles for a little game of tug of war or fetch in the house, but either way, he always keeps me moving!
My cats give me a work out too! Caesar, the darlingest of the little angels, absolutely loves being chased around the house. It’s his favorite thing ever. He will run up to me and run away trying to get me to chase him. And he chases me back too! We run circles around the house giving each other a good chase. It’s great fun. I’m not sure how we started this game (my other cats aren’t as into it) but I’ve been playing chase with him since he was a baby, and we both love it.
Did my cats actually make me money?
I know I said that pets hold you back because it’s difficult to find rentals that allow them. And in many cases, this is absolutely true. It was true in my case as well, but it ended up making me money! One of the main reasons why I decided to purchase a home in California was because of my cats. I couldn’t find many landlords who were willing to accept so many darlings, so I decided to buy a house so that my cats would have a place to live.
That decision ended up being one of the best decisions of my life! I bought my house near the bottom of the market in 2011, and sold near the peak in 2017. I made a pretty decent profit on the house, and that really kick-started my journey to financial independence. Don’t just get a cat so you have to buy a house though, as your results may vary.
Part of the Family
But the main point of this is that pets are part of the family. They enrich your live in so many ways, offering unconditional love, warmth, cuddles, and entertainment. They are worth the price and the sacrifice.
However, before getting a pet, please make sure that you are willing to make these sacrifices. Pet ownership is a long-term commitment (I’ve had my oldest baby for 11 years, and I hope to have her for at least 11 more!). She’s outlasted four boyfriends and three different houses. She’s going to be with me until the end of her life, and it’s my job to make sure she’s healthy and happy for as long as possible. If you aren’t ready for that type of commitment, maybe you should wait on getting a pet.
Do you have fur babies? Tell me about how your pets enrich your life in the comments!
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.