How To Convince Your Spouse to Get a Pet

Feb 1, 2017 by

I love pets. But my husband isn’t a fan. In fact, I’ve learned that most people who have never experienced the unconditional love of a dog simply don’t understand the appeal of having a little animal live with you in your house.

Man with Dog

I’ll admit, when you think about it, the concept of a pet is a strange one. These animals aren’t workers, the way they used to be. Most of us don’t use our dogs for herding, or rely on our cats to keep mice out of our grain storage. But that doesn’t mean that we’re not getting any benefits out of the relationship.

I know I’m not the only one out there petitioning for a pet. So here’s a list of pro-pet arguments that I’ve gathered over the years.

You Live Longer, and the Quality of Life is Better

Pets extend your life an average of two years, and cat owners are up to 30% less likely to experience a heart attack. How does this happen? Many studies have found that simply being in the same room as your pet lowers cortisol levels. Petting and cuddling an animal releases oxytocin, boosting happiness and lowering stress, which reduces the risk of heart disease.

Pets also minimize loneliness and depression. In fact, the mental therapeutic benefits of pets are so well-documented and trusted that pets are commonly used in various medical aspects, for anything from raising the morale in a children’s ward, to minimizing anxiety at the dentist, to helping patients recovering from addiction. If you’re interested, you can read more about the therapeutic benefits of pets here.

But wait! There’s more! Children raised in homes with animals are less likely to suffer from allergy problems, like asthma and eczema. Originally, people thought that just meant that people without allergies were more likely to have pets around, but it’s recently been shown that the presence of the allergens early on actually vitalize our immune system and make us better able to respond to allergens.

Pets also increase your opportunities for play and exercise. Families with dogs are more likely to be active and spend time outdoors, and pet owners are 54% more likely to meet the daily recommendations for exercise. This, of course, has direct impact on your fitness level and happiness.

Woman playing with Siamese kitten

Safety and Security

One of my biggest arguments for a pet is security. I like to take jogs in the evening, but that’s not always safe once it starts getting dark earlier in the winter. Having a protective dog by your side helps.

Dogs are also the #1 deterrent for home burglaries. Even if you know, practically, that the safety risks for your home, or around your home, are really low, it’s better to be safe. And even a pet that’s not very fierce can be a great alarm system or comfort when you’re feeling anxious about being alone.

Great for Practicing Partnering

If you’re having a hard time convincing your significant other that a pet is a worthwhile investment, consider emphasizing the relationship benefits. Sure, pets can put a strain on a relationship, but that’s because they test your partnering style. They help you learn how you deal as a team when confronted with health setbacks, behavior issues, and daily responsibilities to someone else. Pets can help you refine your communication and balance how you handle the load of caretaking before kids even arrive on the scene.

Those benefits are still applicable if you already have kids. Having a child take care of a pet is one of the best ways to teach responsibility and nurturing.

Couple with Labrador dog

Sweeten the Pot

If your partner is hesitant about a furry addition to your family, there are some things that you can do to address their concerns:

  1. Get your pet trained professionally. This minimizes the misbehavior disasters that could happen, and will certainly make pet ownership more fun for both of you.
  2. Get cleaning materials and occasional professional carpet-cleaning to keep the pet odors out of your house.
  3. Get a subscription to groom your pet regularly, which will further reduce the problems will smell and sanitation, as well as make your animal more fun to play with. It will also reduce allergy problems.

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