(BPT) - If you're thinking of adding a four-legged friend to your family, adopting is a great way to go. Whether you find a purebreed or a mutt, an older dog or a puppy, you will be saving a life while adding immeasurably to your own.
Here are some more reasons to consider adoption:
Anyone who has ever adopted a dog will tell you that they feel like rescues know you are saving them from a life in a shelter (or worse). The gratitude in their eyes when you bring them home will melt your heart.
You're helping more than one animal.
According to the ASPCA®, shelters take in approximately 6.5 million companion animals every year. The fees you pay for your new best friend go toward helping other animals find their loving homes, too.
Great selfies. Everyone loves posting pet pics on social media, and this month, Haggar Clothing Co. is giving you another reason to do just that. For every pet post between Oct. 15 and 21, 2018, using the hashtag #HaggarHelps, the company will donate $5 to the ASPCA, up to $10,000. They're also donating an additional $50,000 and are accepting still more donations at all Haggar Outlet stores. That's a lot of lives they're saving.
It's heart healthy.
And not just because you'll love your new dog. The act of petting a dog helps to lower your heart rate and blood pressure, giving you a lower risk of coronary artery disease. You'll get more exercise, too.
Many shelter dogs are already house trained.
If you pick an adult dog, they'll often already know how to behave. Odds are, you won't have to go through the puppy phase of them chewing everything in sight, either.
You'll be happier.
Dog owners are less likely to suffer from depression than people who don't have a pet. The routine involved with caring for a dog - feeding them, making sure they have water, walking them - can help people who suffer from depression get up and get moving with a sense of purpose. The mere act of looking at your pet increases oxytocin in your brain, making you feel good. Having a companion in your household makes it less lonely, too.
Your children may be healthier. The presence of pet dander in your household will make your children less likely to develop allergies, asthma and even obesity later in life. According to a 2017 study published in the medical journal Microbiome, those benefits can even start when children are in the womb.
They'll likely be more empathetic, too.
A 2017 study looked at 7- to 10-year-olds and found that dog attachment promotes well-being, positive attitudes toward animals and empathy in children. Having a dog can even help kids regulate their emotions because dogs can trigger and respond to child attitudes and behavior.
You'll experience unconditional love.
There's nothing like coming home after a long day (or even a trip to the store) and getting the excited, overjoyed greeting that only your dog can give you.
For more information about Haggar Clothing Co.'s program to celebrate National Adopt a Shelter Dog Month, visit http://www.haggar.com/haggaraspca.