BATON ROUGE, La. (BRPROUD) — After a long day of work, coming home to a happy pet can be extremely comforting.

In fact, scientists say that petting, holding, or cuddling an animal increases a person’s levels of feel-good, calming brain chemicals like serotonin and dopamine.  

If you’re looking to add some ‘feel-good’ to your life by adopting a pet, here are three things to consider before taking the leap:

#1 

How much time will I have available to spend with my pet?

Pets have social needs and if those aren’t met, animals can become depressed, anxious, or even angry. According to the American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), “dogs benefit from several hours of exercise and companionship every day. Cats are healthiest and happiest indoors and love to be treated to energetic play sessions. If your work demands that you travel often, or if you’re out of the house most days and evenings, this may not be the right time to adopt.”

#2

What type of animal is best suited to my lifestyle?

Do you have children? Or perhaps you have financial and/or space limitations. Are you a loner or more extraverted and gregarious? These are questions to consider when adopting a pet. For example, if you’re more of a loner and you don’t have time for daily walks, a highly active dog may not be the best fit for you. 

#3

Does my home have enough space for a pet? 

Animal experts say that even some smaller pets need plenty of space. To illustrate, guinea pigs require both a hutch and a place to store the animal’s belongings. Additionally, if you live in an apartment complex or a rented home, you’d need to inquire into and adhere to any rules related to pet sizes and housing.

Click here for additional questions to consider before adopting an animal companion.  

Some places to adopt a pet in Baton Rouge include:

Friends of the Animals Dog Adoption House

Address: 8476 Highland Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Capital Area Animal Welfare Society

Address: 6357 Quinn Dr. Baton Rouge, LA 70817

Companion Animal Alliance

Address: 2550 Gourrier Ave, Baton Rouge, LA 70820

Click here for more on the pet adoption process.