For hundreds of years, pets have been humans’ best friends.
Whether you love snuggling with your cat, playing catch with your dog, or talking to your parrot, any pet owner knows the happiness that having a domesticated animal in your life brings.
If you have ever wanted to adopt one of these bundles of joy but have always been on the fence about it, here are nine reasons to convince you that now more than ever is the perfect time to adopt a pet in Lebanon.
In the aftermath of the COVID-19 lockdown and quarantine, people understand now more than ever how important it is to have companionship within the home as much as outside of it.
Don’t limit yourself to only having your family to lean on at home: pets are known for being the best companions. They never argue with you, they’re never too busy to give you company, they’re not demanding, they are loving, and they are always their cute, innocent selves.
And hey, they are good and trustworthy listeners for when you feel like venting.
For many families, especially those living in more isolated areas, security and protection is often an issue.
Guard dogs are your perfect solution: breeds like dobermanns, shepherd dogs, and bullmastiffs, if trained correctly from a young age, will fiercely protect you and your family.
Just make sure to remember that while these dogs will be amazing guards for your home, that doesn’t mean they are vicious by nature.
They are still innocent souls and deserve your love and affection like any other pet.
#3 To help fight animal cruelty
Lebanon has a huge problem when it comes to animal cruelty: there is a general lack of legislation in place to effectively protect animals. The first domestic animal protection law was barely passed three years ago. Crimes against animals are still rarely taken seriously or punished.
Many Lebanese mistreat animals. The case of animals being poisoned due to the baseless fear that they could pass on Coronavirus is just one example.
This mistreatment and fear often stem from ignorance, but through adopting pets and treating them well you will be able to set an example and hopefully help influence the mainstream treatment of animals within Lebanon.
Remember, change doesn’t come from one person or place but rather society as a whole progressing.
Your hypothetical relationship with your pet could be the needle in a haystack that helps to eventually change the way animal rights are viewed in Lebanon.
#4 To help you get in shape
If you decide to adopt a dog, you’ll be compelled to do some daily healthy exercise since you have to take him or her to walks, depending on the dog’s needs.
Rather than viewing this as something time-consuming or detrimental to adopting, take it as motivation. Those walks will help you get into better shape and health all while enjoying your time with your pet.
It is often said that raising a pet is akin to the trial version of raising a baby.
While undoubtedly easier and less stressful, it is true that your pet will be fully dependent on you for its needs, meaning you will have to be responsible when it comes to making sure they are eating and drinking water, taking them out to go potty, playing with them and walking them, setting up veterinary appointments, etc..
Taking on the responsibility of another life may at first seem like a daunting task, but with time it will become second nature to you and will also give your life a sense of structure and stability as you take care of a life other than your own.
#6 To better your mental health
The advantageous aspects of having a pet for your mental health are well researched and documented.
Pets have been found to help reduce anxiety, depression, stress, loneliness, and much more. Many people have therapy pets for these reasons to help them battle these issues.
Researchers have even found that children who grew up with pets tend to be more secure and active.
#7 To help save animal life
Pets bring joy into your daily life, that’s basically what they do. Recognizing that, it’s important to remember to adopt instead of shopping.
By adopting a pet from a shelter, you will be saving him or her from the possibility of being euthanized in the future.
#8 To help shelters free up space to rescue more
Another great reason to adopt is that you will help often overcrowded shelters free up space to rescue and take in more pets from the streets.
#9 It’s more cost-efficient to adopt
Finally, adopting is the best choice because it will be much easier on you and your wallet.
Puppy and animal mills breed these creatures for profit, often treating them inhumanely prior to selling them for huge prices.
Meanwhile, the aim of shelters is to save and protect animals, and the prices they place on adoptions are usually as low as possible in order to have just enough funds to keep the shelter running and provide the animals with everything they need.
Rescues around Lebanon include Beirut for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (BETA) in Baabda, the Mount Lebanon Dog Shelter, and the large shelter in Chouf.
There are also people of goodwill who are rescuing stray dogs and look for people to adopt them, like Mahmoud Youssef, an 88-year-old man in Tripoli, and Anthony Abihanna.