Although keeping pets is a big responsibility, pet owners wouldn’t give it up for the world. Why does everyone love pets? What benefits do they bring us? Why do some people treat their pets like royalty? While no one knows all the answers, here are some theories about why we love our pets and what they bring to our lives.
History and culture
Keeping pets goes back to the beginnings of human history. The relationship between animals and humans likely began with dogs in hunter-gatherer societies. Dogs provide humans with survival advantages by warning them of dangers while humans provide dogs with food and shelter.
Culture also plays a role. When our neighbors and friends have pets and love them, we tend to follow suit. Having pets becomes trendy in certain times and places.
According to John Bradshaw, author of The Animals Among Us: How Pets Make Us Human, wanting to make others happy is part of human nature. Pets help fill this role because they are easier and less complicated to please than people. They offer unconditional love and satisfy our instinct to nurture. They make us feel needed.
Pets bring happiness and joy
Looking at cute and fluffy cats and dogs with adorable facial expressions makes us feel happy. Pets can be entertaining and funny. Playing with them is fun and brings us joy.
Pets improve our moods by having a calming and relaxing effect. When you stroke a cat or dog, your body releases hormones that trigger feelings of love and happiness. The purring and kneading of cats have a healing effect. Pets warm you up inside and out when they curl up on your lap or cuddle up next to you.
Humans are a social species and like to feel needed. Pets provide us with the companionship and meaning we seek in our lives. Pets can help us relate to other people and attract friends and make us responsible and organized in our daily habits. Pets are good for kids because they teach about biology, empathy, and responsibility.
Do pets improve your health?
Many people believe that having pets makes you live longer and is good for your health. Possible health benefits are a decreased risk of strokes, lower blood pressure and heart rate, and a more active lifestyle. People with dogs, for example, walk much more than people without them. Still, the evidence for the health benefits of having pets is inconclusive.
How pets help with mental health
Emotional support animals and pet therapy can help with depression and anxiety. How pets help with depression is by making people feel less alone and providing them with acceptance, connection, and a sense of purpose.
Have you ever noticed your pet sitting with you when you're feeling down? Pets seem to understand human emotions and try to make you feel better when you’re sad. Oscar, a nursing home cat in Rhode Island, can predict when patients are nearing the end of life. When he senses death is coming, he goes to the patient's room, curls up next to them, and purrs soothingly.
Why do some people treat their pets like royalty?
Have you wondered why some people indulge their pets by buying them all sorts of luxury items? This trend goes back to earlier times when royalty pampered their pets. Today, some young couples delay having babies and fill in the time by adopting pets. It’s no surprise that they think of and treat their pets like children.