Wednesday, June 28, 2006


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Pet ownership is something to consider if you suffer from chronic pain. You just can't beat the effects of companionship in reducing stress and loneliness and helping to manage health conditions, such as hypertension and depression.

After years of renting, my husband and I recently bought our first home. My family always had at least one dog and one cat, and in the ten years I've been out on my own, I've missed this so much. I can hardly wait to head to the humane shelter and pick out a cat to bring home. Just going on-line and browsing the photos of available animals makes me feel so happy and peaceful. is a good place to find information about shelters in your area, the requirements for adoption, and those tempting photos of everyone who needs a good home.

If you're going to adopt a cat, you will need:
  • good cat food
  • clean water and food dishes
  • a litter box
  • good litter (I recommend Tidy Cats Clumping Litter for Multiple Cats, even if you will be a one-cat family.)
  • a safety collar
  • a comb and brush
  • a pet bed
  • a scratching post
  • a pet carrier
  • toys
If you are going to adopt a dog, you will need:
  • good dog food
  • clean water and food dishes
  • a collar and leash
  • a comb and brush
  • a pet bed
  • a pet carrier
  • toys (for both playing and chewing)
According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), the average lifespan of a cat is 13 to 17 years; it's 8 to 16 years for a dog. Bringing a pet into your family is a serious committment of time and resources for an extended length of time. Please keep this in mind when you're deciding whether adoption is right for you and your family.

I recommend you check out these websites for more information:

Responsible Cat Ownership

Responsible Dog Ownership

Pet Finder Library

ASPCA: Pet Care

Adopt a shelter cat in June and receive a free starter kit

You may even have a right, at least in California, to have a companion animal in your rental home:

'No pets'? Not when Fluffy is doctor's orders
Landlords have to put out the welcome mat for animals that help renters with depression or other disorders.

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