Americans love their pets. In 2019 alone, we spent $95.7 billion on everything from pet food to vet care, up $5.2 billion from 2018. And it’s no wonder! Pets benefit our lives in so many ways—whether you live in a house with a huge yard or in an apartment on the second floor. In honor of National Pet Month, here are four reasons why renters should consider an animal roommate:


1. Your Stress Reliever 

Feeling stressed? Search online and you’ll find millions of people willing to sell you the next big thing to relieve stress. But, before you walk down the path, why not try out a timeless classic: pet ownership? Studies have shown that engaging with animals can lower blood pressure, decrease stress, and boost your mood. 


2. Your Fitness Motivator

After a long day at work, going for a walk could be the last thing you want to do. Maybe you’d rather Netflix and chill with your uncles Ben and Jerry. But your animal best friends won’t be quite as into that activity. They’d rather go outside and get some fresh air. According to the New York Times, dog owners spend 300 minutes on average walking every week, 200 minutes more than those without pets. New and frequent opportunities to exercise are one of the many benefits of pet ownership.


3. Your Ice Breaker

If you’re new to an area or just looking to make new friends, a pet could be your perfect wingman. Having a pet gives you a chance to engage with other pet owners that share the same interests. From dogs to birds, from cats to lizards, you’re sure to find a group of like-minded people that love their pets as much as you do. Plus, joining you and your dog for a walk is a great first date with that cute neighbor of yours!


4. Your Loyal Supporter

Not all of us are lucky enough to have mom nearby when we need her. Fortunately, your pet is there. She doesn’t care if you’ve been good, bad, or anywhere in between. She loves you no matter what. Easy access to this kind of unconditional support is vital to anybody who is having a bad day. 


You don’t have to look far for research into why it’s a good idea to have a pet. They help relieve stress, they’re a great fitness motivator and ice breaker, and they offer support in times of need. Each of these reasons alone would be enough to consider a pet. But don’t forget the most important one of all—it’s just plain fun!