Adopting a Pet During COVID-19: Resources for Veterans


This article is one of the many you will see in which we provide as a public service to Veterans.  Ms. Aurora James is our newest contributor. As all of you know, Cupcake and I have quite a menagerie of pets so Ms. James’ submissions will be a welcome addition during these trying times.

As evidenced by emptying rescue shelters across the country, the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many people to welcome furry friends into their homes. People are spending more time at home than ever before, so for many, this is a prime opportunity to adopt a pet and enjoy all of the wonderful benefits that accompany pet ownership. Veterans, in particular, have a lot to gain by bringing home a companion animal. Check out the following guide to learn more!

Why Adopt a Companion Animal?

For Veterans, adopting a pet can be a life-changing experience. Here are some ways a pet can improve your life and help you cope with mental health challenges. 

  • Dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, and even birds can help ward off loneliness during the coronavirus pandemic.
  • Pets offer unconditional love and support which can help reduce depression in Veterans.
  • Certain pets can also make you feel safe and help you cope with hypervigilance, nightmares, and other symptoms of PTSD.
  • Veterans who have recently retired from military life can benefit from the structure that a pet provides.
  • A pet that gets you out of the house, like a dog, can also help you rejoin society and make social connections.

How to Choose a Pet

Different species and breeds of pets have different needs. Make sure you choose an animal that will be a good fit for your household.

  • When choosing a pet type, remember to consider important factors like energy level, temperament, and common medical issues.
  • Inexpensive pets—like budgies, guinea pigs, and fish—may be better for people with limited financial means.
  • You also have to consider your ability to get out of the house and exercise your pet, especially if you have a disability.

Preparing Your Home

Before you bring your new pet home, make sure your home is set up with all the supplies you will need.

  • Be sure to pet-proof your home to protect your furry friend from household hazards.
  • You may have to replace some of your cleaning supplies with animal-friendly brands, like Dr. Bronner’s, Nature’s Miracle, and Simply Green.
  • Set up a quiet area of your home where your pet will feel safe and comfortable. 
  • To save money, steer clear of fancy pet-care gadgets and stick to the essentials.

Getting Settled

Whether you purchase a puppy from a breeder or adopt a cat from a shelter, your new animal will need some time to get settled into your home.

  • Try to limit the number of visitors for the first few days to avoid overwhelming your pet.
  • If your pet has anxiety, consider giving them calming snacks with CBD to reduce their stress.
  • Remember to make plans for pet care if you will have to return to work after the pandemic.

Giving a pet a home is a wonderful way to enrich your life with happiness and meaning. Whether you’re struggling to readjust to civilian life or just trying to get by during the coronavirus pandemic, a lovable animal can help. Start looking for your new furry friend today!

Author: Aurora James

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1 Response to Adopting a Pet During COVID-19: Resources for Veterans

  1. Kiedove says:

    Agree! Pets are a great comfort. Over 10 years ago, we’ve rescued five old beagles and one yellow lab; they became a jolly pack. Our many vet bills were often shocking. We now have one rescued rascal–a minpin named Capone. But because our budget is tight, we bought pet insurance for the first time; it will cover 90% of an injury or accident.
    As he ages, the premium rises a few dollars but we’ve already had claims. (It doesn’t pay for the annual exam/rabies.) Yes, it’s another bill but this means that if he gets hit by a car (he runs away sometimes), he could have surgery, meds, emergency hospitalization, etc..instead of having to be put down if we didn’t have the funds. That would be heartbreaking. It’s hard to compare the many plans but worth it. Our town installed a new dog park so when covid is mostly gone, we’ll take him there to run off lease.

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