Queer Eye’s Karamo Brown Shares How Adopting and Fostering Animals Can Improve Your Outlook on Life
As the resident Culture Expert on the hit Netflix show Queer Eye, Karamo Brown is best known for his inspiring affirmations and poignant pep talks. But the author and self-love promoter knows first-hand how pet adoption can improve your life. He's a dog dad to a precious senior min-pin chihuahua mix named Logan Michael Patrick Brown. The two have shared a special bond together for the past 15 years.
"He's literally been the love of my life," Karamo told Daily Paws in an interview. "And I always tell people, if you have the chance to adopt or foster a pet, it's so great, whether it's a puppy or a senior dog. Because they're all so awesome."
Karamo says two of the biggest benefits of pet ownership—companionship and unconditional love—are especially important in uncertain times and difficult situations like the ones we're living in now.
"You walk through the world, and there could be things that just make you feel down, make you question, you know, What am I supposed to be doing in this time and moment?" Karamo says. "And the beauty of our pets, no matter what's going on out there, they're wagging their tail, they're rubbing up against you, saying 'I'm so happy you're here.'"
As a trained social worker, Karamo knows a thing or two about offering advice. He regularly coaches Queer Eye guests on ways to create healthy mental health habits and improve relationships. And science backs up his claims about the powers of pet parenthood. A 2011 study published by the American Psychological Association found that pets are important sources of social support, with pet ownership providing several positive physical and emotional benefits.
"It's really special to feel that unconditional love from your pet," he says. "It's one of the reasons that I always advocate for people to get pets because if you have space in your home and in your heart, you will not regret it."
As pet adoption rates reached new heights during the pandemic, more people are able to reap the benefits of having a loyal pet companion. Karamo has some advice for those who are new to pet parenting, starting with a little self-love.
"Be patient with yourselves. That's literally a lesson for life. [When] we take on new experiences, we sometimes feel that we have to know everything … [and] do everything right."
It's easy to get caught up in the timelines of training your pup, or the kinds of expectations you may have set in your mind when you decided to bring a cat or dog into your home. If you'd dreamed of long walks around the neighborhood together, but your pup's just not as excited as you are, that's OK! Or if you thought potty training would be over by now, and you're still cleaning up accidents—don't be too hard on yourself. "You have to just be patient with yourself," Karamo says. "Know that you're doing your best, and ask for help as much as you can."
To help the two of you fully enjoy the rewards of your relationship, Karamo recommends a few tips to help your pet be their happiest, healthiest selves:
- Keep your dog (or cat!) on a reliable schedule
- Feed them a nutritious diet that meets their specific needs
- Invest in their care with routine wellness visits.
Since regular vet and grooming appointments can add up fast, Karamo touts Petco's Vital Care as a way to help keep routine costs down. And remember: your pet needs you to help keep them happy and healthy. You're their advocate as well as their best friend!
"One of the things I know to be true about pets, especially my pet, is that what you're feeling, your pet is feeling," Karamo adds. "Anybody who has a pet ... knows that when you're down, they come and cuddle with you. So you want to make sure that you're there to really support your pet as well."
We couldn't agree more!