Pets are part of the family, and boy, do Americans love spoiling their animals. Last year, we spent almost $100 billion on visits to the vet, food, and other pet care essentials, up over $5 billion from 2018’s record.

Is it any surprise we spend so much? Our pets enrich our lives and our homes—be they large houses with spacious yards for chasing tails and playing fetch or fourth-story apartments perfect for cuddling close for a catnap. To honor National Pet Month, we’ve come up with four reasons why renters should consider another species for a roommate if they haven’t already:

1. Destresser 

Overwhelmed by work? Life got you pulling your hair out? Before you buy into the next big workout craze or try and find balance in retail therapy, consider the value of loyal companionship from a loving animal. Interacting with animals has been proven to reduce blood pressure, boost emotional well-being, and reduce overall anxiety.

2. Workout Buddy

After a grueling day at your 9-to-5, a workout is likely the furthest thing from your mind. Why squeeze into activewear when sweatpants, Netflix, and your favorite spot on the sofa are beckoning with their siren song? Fortunately, your pet will have an altogether different agenda; animals are good motivation to get outside and breathe some fresh air. According to The New York Times, dog owners spend three times as much time out walking per week than people without pets. Whether it’s a jog, a game of catch, or even a game of hide and seek,  pets provide new and frequent opportunities for physical activity.

3. Wingman

It can be hard to make in-roads when you’re new in town. In addition to being a powerful motivator for self-improvement and a loving companion, your pet can serve as a great conversation piece. Pet owners and animal lovers alike will come flocking to interact with your pet—and by extension—you. Dogs, cats, birds, lizards—any animal can attract initial attention and get a friendship off on the right foot.

4. Family

Some of us are required to live far away from parents and/or siblings. Fortunately, a pet can be a great companion to give you the unconditional love you enjoy and rely on. Your pet loves you, no matter what. Access to that level of emotional support is crucial when you’re feeling down or if you’ve had a rough day.

Even when renting an apartment, getting a pet is a no-brainer! They reduce stress, get you out and moving, open you up to larger social circles, and provide loving support when you need it most. Just one of these benefits is reason enough to get a pet. So if you’re looking for a roommate, give furry, feathered, or scaly a try.