How to Boost Your Health by Adopting a Pet (or Beading one!)

October is the American Humane Society’s official Adopt-a-Dog Month. We know that adopting a pet can boost your health and your mood. So if you’re in the market for a furry friend, consider adopting a pet from a shelter. Or if you don’t have the space or resources for a new pet, try beading one instead!

Benefits of Adopting a Pet

Adopting a pet offers many benefits. The obvious upside is that you’re rescuing an animal. Often, pet owners surrender their animals when they move and can’t take them or because they simply can’t care for their animals any longer, either because of health issues or financial reasons. These pets are often already trained and housebroken — all they need is a new, forever home.

Adopting a pet can also provide psychological, emotional, and physical benefits. According to the Humane Society of the United States’ blog post “Top Reasons to Adopt a Pet,” “caring for a pet can provide a sense of purpose and fulfillment and lessen feelings of loneliness.” Likewise, the American Humane Society cites improved mood and improved health as benefits of pet adoption.

The Best Dog I Never Wanted

I’ve had a few dogs in my life, but in my late 30s I found myself dog-free and happy about it. I had young children by then, I had gotten divorced and gone back to work, and I was juggling a very busy schedule. I didn’t need the hassle of a pet. But then along came Avery, the best dog I never wanted.

Adopting a pet


Avery was about 2 years old when I started dating her owner. He had rescued her from a puppy mill pet store, and she had also been mistreated. She was surprisingly confident in certain situations, such as when we took her camping and did some target practice. She didn’t even flinch at the sound of a gun. But she was extremely skittish in other situations. For example, when I took her running she would dart toward the oncoming traffic rather than run next to a storm drain. She also disliked men. A lot.

Avery quickly bonded to me, and almost 9 years later she is definitely my dog. She still dislikes men, including my partner (her original owner!). She is also very protective of me. During a Cinco de Mayo party, she nipped at one of our neighbors while I was spinning him under the piñata.

Adopting a pet

Avery, my fierce protector

Although she barks when my partner comes home from work, she never barks when I come home. Or when any of our kids come and go from the house, regardless of how late it is. On top of that, she has only had one accident in our house, when she had an obvious intestinal issue in the middle of the night. And she was smart enough to do it on the bathroom floor rather than the bedroom carpet! I always say she’s the best dog I never wanted.

Beaded Pets Offer Health Benefits, Too!

If adopting a pet is out of the question, you can get many of the same health benefits from beading a pet instead. It’s true! Check out “How Beading and Creating Art Can Improve Your Health” to learn how bead weaving can help you reduce stress, fight aging, and increase your overall life satisfaction.

Adopting a pet

Noble Leafwing butterfly; brick-stitched pets; Marcella Pansy Daggerwing butterfly

Then, find instructions for making adorable beaded animals in “Learn How to Stitch Beaded Pets.” And of course no beaded animal collection would be complete without Karen Parker’s butterflies, from her eBooks Brick-Stitching Nature: Charts for Beaded Butterflies, Dragonflies, and a Honeybee and Brick-Stitch Beaded Butterflies: 12 Patterns Inspired By Nature.

Regardless of whether you decide on a furry or beaded friend, I hope you enjoy the benefits of pet ownership!

Lavon Peters
Managing Editor, Beadwork magazine

Featured Image: Beaded pets and Beadwork pets: Karen Parker’s Noble Leafwing butterfly and Marcella Pansy Daggerwing butterfly; Maddie Orth’s beaded pets; Lavon’s dog; Meredith’s cat; Connie’s dog; Tammy’s puppy

Find beaded pet projects in the Interweave Store!


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