Dr. Christina Brown joined us for these pshychological benefits of pet ownership:
Psychological Benefits of Pet Ownership, including lowered blood pressure, bonding and companionship, meaning (e.g. giving a person a reason to get out of bed every day), exercise motivation (e.g. taking dog for walk), decreased cortisol (stress hormone), increases in oxytocin, serotonin, and dopamine (linked to positive feelings)
Considerations for choosing a pet: activity level, children, time commitment, traveling, financial resources. For example, a young adult who like the outdoors and has lots of energy may want a larger dog who enjoys going running or paddleboarding; an older adult may want a smaller dog who sits in their lap; a person who travels a lot for work may want a more independent pet like a cat.
Also need to match personalities- even within types of animals or breeds, some are more affectionate, independent, or even aggressive.
Consider adopting a pet from a shelter, including middle-age or older pets. They can be very loving and affectionate and do not require housebreaking.