There are many ways to change a pet’s life. Sixty-eight percent of U.S. households, or about 85 million families, own a pet1. National Change a Pet’s Life Day is on January 24th. Changing a pet’s life can do wonderful things for the pet, but it can also do wonders for you. Perhaps that same pet will change your life, too!

Here are some pretty great ways to change a pet’s life:

  1. Give a pet a forever home.

There are millions of pets looking for homes. Approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter U.S. animal shelters nationwide every year2. This statistic doesn’t include homeless or abandoned pets, which is a sad thought. Adopting a pet and loving them unconditionally will absolutely change lives, however, pet adoption is not to be taken lightly. Having a dog or cat is a big responsibility, as you already know.

Consider doing your research before adopting a dog or cat because you don’t want to be surprised by anything. Do you have a fenced-in backyard? Can you afford a pet at this time? Do you travel for work? Can you fit behavior training into your busy schedule? Certainly, every aspect of pet adoption should be explored before bringing home a pet. Pets need a home, but they also deserve a forever home.

  1. Give your dog or cat a healthy advantage.

Offer your pet ways to stay healthy and active. There are many different pet care products that offer solutions for problems like digestive issues, ear problems and even breeding solutions. Does your cat or dog take a daily multivitamin? Perhaps they should. There are several ways to get ahead of the possible ailments that a pet may face. Just like with our human family members, being proactive can save you a lot of grief or sadness in the future. And, of course, getting plenty of exercise and maintaining a healthy diet is crucial to the health and well-being of your pets!

  1. Love a pet with all your heart.

Loving a pet can make great things happen, even if that pet doesn’t reside in your home. There are many ways to make a pet feel special. For example, you can help them by making a contribution to the shelter they live in. Spoil your friend’s pet with extra cuddle time and toys when you come over. This type of adoration is contagious.

  1. Give them extra appreciation and attention.

Life can be busy. Like our human family members, sometimes we take them for granted and forget to show how much we appreciate them. When dogs are puppies they demand it, but pets become more self-sufficient as they get older. When is the last time you took a long walk with your Labrador Retriever? How often do you sit on the floor and pet your furry feline for longer than 5 minutes? Give your pet a little extra love and attention this week and see how it feels for the both of you.

  1. Volunteer your time.

Have you ever volunteered at an animal shelter? If pets are your passion and you enjoy helping them, give it a try!  You can learn so much. Warning: You will probably fall in love with a pet while you’re there because it’s hard not to!

There are many ways that you can help to change a pet’s life. You can adopt a pet, give them healthy options, show them love and appreciation, make a donation, or volunteer at a local shelter. Adoption might not be in the cards right now, but that’s OK! You can make an impact on a pet’s life simply by loving them! Just by reading this post you are helping a pet. Spread the word! The love of pets is a beautiful thing and always remember, a pet will change your life, too.


1 According to American Pet Products Association (APPA)

2 According to ASPCA