Why would midlife be a better time to adopt a pet?
Perhaps you’ve always wanted a pet but something has been holding you back or maybe, all those commercials and PSAs about adopting rescue animals have slowly rooted themselves into your mind.
If you can’t get the idea of adopting a pet out of your head, you certainly shouldn’t let your midlife status keep you from doing it.
Sure, it’s a big undertaking for someone whose life has probably finally settled down compared to her younger years, but the effort is absolutely worth the reward.
In adopting a pet you’ll be doing something wonderful for a sweet animal and just as good for your own heart and soul.
Keep reading if you need even more justification for adopting a pet in midlife.
Pets are great companions
Many midlifers find themselves in the throes of loneliness.
It’s not uncommon to lose touch with partners, friends and even members of your extended family during midlife.
People pass away, people grow apart and people move to different parts of the country or world
Some retire early and suddenly have lots of free time on their hands while their peers are still working.
There are many, many reasons you might find yourself in search of a companion during your midlife years.
Adopting a pet can be a great salve for loneliness.
Pets — often especially rescues – are incredibly loyal and are almost always excited to see you and spend time with you.
Pets can ease empty nest syndrome
Similarly, many of us enter the empty nest stage of parenting during our midlife years.
Our children grow up and spend more time away from home and eventually go off to college, find their own place, travel the world, get married, etc.
Of course we’re happy for our offspring when these things happen, but that doesn’t make it much easier to emotionally cope with your suddenly quiet abode and lack of another living being relying on you.
We often dream of these things when our children are little and loud and messy and the peacefulness seems so far off, but then when it actually happens we find ourselves missing the chaos.
Well, let me tell you…a puppy will fix that problem.
Pets are good for your mental health
Pets can be real confidence boosters and a huge comfort to anyone struggling with their feelings and emotions.
When you adopt a pet, that pet needs you and values you unconditionally which can help you to truly understand your own worth.
Knowing that you’ve done something good by rescuing an animal, will definitely make you feel good about yourself and improve your spirits.
Typically, that pet will bond with you in just a matter of days and from then on will show you the kind of love and affection that will soothe you when your mental health struggles get the best of you.
Pet ownership can motivate you to exercise
Owning a pet — especially a dog – is a big responsibility. It will be up to you to meet that pet’s physical and emotional needs.
That means that along with all the snuggles, you’ll also have to get up and get moving with your pet so it can get the exercise it needs to stay healthy and release excess energy.
Your adopted dog will need to be walked regularly and since your kids are probably grown and out of the house, it’ll mostly be up to you to get out there and do it.
Before you know it, you might find yourself walking, jogging, biking, playing fetch and even wrestling with your pup and inadvertently burning lots of calories and getting fitter and healthier as you do it.
Pets are good outlets for your time and resources
By midlife many of us are well-established in our careers and our kids (hopefully) have jobs of their own, so we have more time and possibly more disposable income on our hands.
Perhaps a pet was out of the question in earlier years because you already had too many mouths to feed or you didn’t have the extra time it takes to care for one.
Now during midlife, you just might be in the perfect position to give your time and financial resources to a pet in need.