Tag Archives: pets

Can Owning a Pet Prepare You for Parenthood?

Preparing for Parenthood with Your Pet

Some say that looking after a pet can prepare you for parenthood, by helping you adjust to the responsibility of caring for another living thing and honing your parenting skills. Although nothing can make you fully ready to welcome a child into your life, with a pet you will experience similar obstacles and learning curves to better prepare you for becoming a parent.

family walks with running dog in park

A Lifestyle Change

The biggest challenge of having a child is getting your head around how much they will change your life. One minute it’s just you and then all of a sudden there’s someone new who your life revolves around. This situation is similar to getting a pet – you will need to adapt your lifestyle and establish a new daily routine to fit in with their needs. Feeding, exercising, grooming, playing and bedtime all have set times, giving your day structure. Learning to adjust your life to look after your pet will help lessen the shock of when a child comes into the picture.

Rachel Khan from London found her life changed drastically after getting her two rescue Labradors. Now expecting her first child, she’s found that taking care of her dogs has been great practice to prepare her for motherhood.

Rachel walking her dogs

Rachel walking her dogs

Rachel is soon to go on maternity leave from her busy work life as Head of VM UK and Ireland for Calvin Klein. She’s looking forward to being able to spend more time with her dogs and reflects on how she and her husband Omar have adapted to them.

“I guess the most obvious change is that our lives already revolve around another living thing – I think that’s a shock to non-pet people. I think that you have to be a bit selfless to have a pet and put it first, so that’s good preparation for a new born baby.”

Rachel told us that her rescue dog Don has regular temper tantrums so she’ll be well equipped to deal with those embarrassing moments in the supermarket when her infant throws his toys out of the pram.
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The Health Benefits of Owning Pets

Multiple Health Benefits from Owning a Pet

Owning a pet creates a lifelong bond between man and beast. Non-judgemental, unconditional in their love and always there to listen, animals can truly be man’s best friend. As well as companionship, animals bring numerous health benefits to their owners.

Better Mental Health

Dogs in particular are known to improve our mental health. Playing with them increases our serotonin levels, which balances our moods, and their affection makes us feel valued and appreciated.

dog playing

Having a pet also adds structure and routine to your day. Through their dependency on you, they teach the responsibility of caring for another creature.

Pets help to reduce loneliness and the symptoms of depression, and also encourage social, emotional and cognitive development in children.


Reduce Stress

Studies have shown that the act of stroking a dog or cat instantly reduces our stress levels and makes us more relaxed. This calming effect is caused by lowering levels of stress hormones like cortisol and elevating beneficial hormones like oxytocin, which is linked to relaxation.

Some people also experience greater outputs of endorphins, the brain’s ‘feel good’ chemical, along with lower blood pressure.

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