I try to avoid giving animals human emotions. Most of the time, I am very successful. These two little gals have gotten to me. I have actually started to think I can look at them and determine their thoughts.
Why do people have pets?
“Animals are such agreeable friends – they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms.” – George ElliotPets are fun, entertaining, loving and they bring joy. Pets can improve health as well as strengthen the immune system.
The Baker Medical Research Institute in Melbourne, Australia conducted a 3-year study with over 5,000 people, and found pet owners to have lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels than non-pet owners. The National Institute of Health noticed that pet owners make fewer doctor visits and in a 1999 study the Journal of the American Geriatric Society found that older pet owners are physically and mentally more fit.
Pets promote social interaction. We all know the cliché of the guy with the cute dog in the park, sitting on a bench and all the passing women stopping by to pet the pooch which inevitably leads to a chat with the owner. But hey, it’s a cliché for a reason – it works!
Pets encourage exercise. Some more than others but more especially rambunctious puppies encourage people to move, to exercise, to get off the couch.
Pets are non-judgmental. Dogs love you without condition. Cats….are a bit more finicky, but still love you if you treat them well. And neither will care what you look like or accomplished that day.
Pets encourage laughter. They’re playful, reminding us not to take life too seriously.
Pets help with depression and loneliness. Depression and loneliness come from an inward focus. A pet provides an outward emphasis with the promise of love and affection.
“There is no psychiatrist in the world like a puppy licking your face.” – Ben WilliamsChildren growing up with pets develop more empathy. Many times children view animals as peers and seem to understand them better than adults. Children can learn to read animals’ body language, and unlike adults, animals don’t pretend or play psychological games. Once they’ve grown, these children will better be able to read the body language of people, their learned empathy will also carry over.
Mental stimulation. Animals encourage social interaction which triggers memories and encourages communication.
Reduced blood pressure. Studies have found that having a pet actually reduces blood pressure and triglycerides.
Physical touch. Infants who are not touched enough, fail to develop well, both physically and emotionally. Touch is very important for the mind and spirit; however, many people are wary of touching even family members. Pets are a safer alternative for some.
Maybe it is time to get our fish tank going again. We had fish before we moved to California. It was mostly a good experience until I bought those snails to help with fighting algae. They ate my aquatic plants instead.
I am grateful for the pleasure pets have brought into my life. My dogs are wonderful, always happy to see me, always wanting to be next to me, always seeking my attention. They’re standing at the back door watching me type this right now. I am grateful for the good energy they bring into my life.