Millions of people around the globe have a variety of animals as pets. Most of these pet owners view these animals as more of an extension of their family rather than a simple life-form. When one dies, it can be nearly as tragic as losing a human loved one as the connections we make can run very deep. Each one has its own personality and can make all of the difference within the home. The affection that a pet has for the owner is unconditional and the loyalty of certain animals can make the world seem less of a chaotic mess.
1. Petting Your Animal – Studies have found that petting your animal release a hormone in the body called oxytocin. This hormone is known to reduce stress and increase elation. Although many studies link this hormone production to more of a sexual nature, it is from this that one decreases anxiety and can feel more at peace. The pleasure people get from petting animals has been on ongoing study for years and is why many organizations will use dogs, cats, and even horses in a variety of therapeutic instances including relaxing the elderly.
2. Great Listeners – Most animal lovers will have pets that seem to understand what you are going through. They will listen to every word you have to say and won’t talk about you behind your back. The pet can obviously keep a secret and many have found speaking to their dogs or cats to be greatly beneficial. Although they technically cannot understand what you are saying, they will continue to look at you as if they are trying to analyze what your message is.
3. Unconditional Love – A pet will love you regardless of situation or your personal circumstance. Your personal decisions, life-style, career choices, or even lack of hygiene doesn’t stop an animal from wanting to be near you. It doesn’t matter who you are or where you come from. The affection from a pet such as a dog or a cat is as unconditional as you can possibly get. They won’t call you names, be judgmental of your life-style, or steal your car. Many prefer the simplicity of this relationship over those with actual people for the love shared is completely unconditional.
4. Interaction – Dogs and cats are the two most common pets in households. They can be far more interactive than others such as fish or rabbits. These animals love to play in a variety of forms and can amaze you with their acrobatics. Children of all ages love playing with the cat using a string. Fetch can become an adventure if your dog likes to play keep-away with you. It doesn’t take much effort to entertain yourself vicariously through your pet and they are simple to please. Even just having them around you when you’re sitting at your desk can make the day seem a bit less hectic.
5. Psychological – Although a pet doesn’t understand everything you might be saying, his or her expressions sometimes makes you feel like they understand the emotion behind the context. A lot of pet owners will attest to the fact that their pets seem to know when the owner is upset, distraught, or depressed and will spend additional time within the owner’s presence as if to try and cheer him or her up. Whether this is true or not is irrelevant. What is relevant is the fact that the owner believes this is the case and it makes them feel better.
Not everyone is an animal lover, but those who are know the benefits of being loved unconditionally by one. No matter how bad the day turns out to be, your pet seems to understand your frustrations and does what it can to help you feel better. Do lower life-forms understand more about our nature than we do? Does our connection to nature through our pets enhance our life-style? Many owners would think so. It’s very easy to bond with just about any creature on this planet, although some may not wish to be captive. Dogs and cats are more common for the domestication of these animals has been an ongoing practice for thousands of years. Would we get the same affection if we had a pet alligator? Probably not. But certain animals seem to be prone to human interaction and many “wild” animals have been known to become entranced by our presence as we have with theirs.
Ken Myers is an expert advisor on in-home care & related family safety issues to many websites and groups. He is a regular contributor to www.gonannies.com. You can get in touch with him at firstname.lastname@example.org.