The importance of companion animals has been revealed as an important aspect in those emerging into adulthood. We take a look at why pet ownership is so important during the transitional stage of adulthood, and how you can help your children become pet owners.
Every pet owner knows first-hand the important aspect their four-legged companions bring to their everyday life. Interestingly this journey has never been more important to one particular age bracket – Millennials. A recent paper produced by the Canadian Journal of Family and Youth has shown that pet ownership in young adults offers stability to those recently leaving home. This powerful research is proving that pet ownership in early adulthood has led to healthy routines and added responsibility.
As more children choose to stay at home for longer periods of time, the transition from home life with mum and dad, into a life of 100% independence has certainly been delayed over the past 10 years. Known as the ‘emerging adult’, those then looking to begin their journey into their own home environment come with a whole host of responsibility and new routines.
But how can a pet help this transition?
The reach showed that owning a pet during this age bracket can help provide a stable routine, shift the focus from the ‘self’ and even influence the type of people millennials choose to spend their time with.
Having a pet at home can also help with;
- Reduce loneliness
- Give feelings of compassion
- Add responsibility
- Encourage solid routines
- Ease the hard times
- Reduce stress
- Increase focus on study
- Shift focus from ‘self’
There have even been cases where young adults have cut out bad habits, like gaming and other addictions in favor of their pet. While others have shown to reduce the bad influences in their lives and choose more sensible friends. Young pet owners have also attested to leaving parties early to ensure they were home at a reasonable hour for their beloved pet.
Based on a US survey, college students believed that having a pet at home also reduced loneliness and allowed them a feeling of companionship during difficult times. With the rise in stress and periods of isolation during the COVID-19 outbreak, the desire to own a pet is higher than ever.
Enabling Young Adults to Own a Pet
With all these wonderful positives for young adults to become pet owners, how hard is it for them to be able to facilitate this journey? In the real world, many millennials struggle to afford their education, rent, and food. Considering a pet into this budget can seem impossible, despite sources claiming you can care for a cat for as little as $162 per year.
Most young adults leaving home are also mainly looking for rental accommodation. Sadly, with so many bans and bylaws that exist, to prevent pets from living in apartments and housing, it seems the world is against the Millennials becoming successful pet parents. However, with a little creative thinking and patience, and solid budgeting, many have been hugely successful in finding the perfect accommodation beside their furry-friend.
Tips to Find Pet Friendly Accommodation
- Make a resume for your pet (training, behavior, etc)
- Get in early and ask the real estate representative to keep an eye out for you
- Be patient
- Offer a special pet rental bond (carpet cleaning, damage, etc).
- Ensure your pet is rental proof – get rid of the bad habits before you rent (barking, scratching, toileting issues).
With all this great information about how beneficial pets are to young adults, it’s a wonderful idea for parents and families to encourage this journey. Offering to help with taking care of the pet if they decide to go away, or even contributing towards costs for pet insurance and helping out with rental bonds.
For many emerging adults the pressure of balancing money can be huge. Being able to provide good veterinary care is basic for any pet owner, and research has shown that having pet insurance offered a sense of relief for those Millennials who had active policies for their pets.
Getting a real understanding of how much pets can help a young adult adjust to adulthood is a great reason for parents to jump on board with support. Allowing families to help facilitate this transition and encourage pet ownership can possibly have a huge effect on the level of wellbeing through the adjustment period into adulthood.
Pets are simply good for our health!
Pet ownership has been shown over and over again to bring so many benefits to all age brackets.
Many studies have proven that interacting with animals has been shown to decrease levels of cortisol and lower blood pressure. While others have found that having a pet around can reduce the feeling of loneliness and help you feel good.
Some additional benefits of pet ownership include;
- Reduce stress
- Reduce blood pressure
- Reduce anxiety and depression
- Increasing social skills
- Increasing self-esteem
- Increasing communication skills
- Increasing motor skills
- Encourages movement and stretching
- Decreasing boredom
- Decreases feelings of isolation and aloneness