Can anything be more powerful than the rush of love you feel when you walk through your front door after a hard day at work, and your dog ecstatically throws himself into your arms with sparkling eyes, squeals of delight and wagging tail? Or your cat winds herself around your legs, rubbing her head against you with rumbling purrs? Isn’t this the kind of welcome home we all love, making us feel all warm and toasty – the kind of welcome few family members give us? Can anything else match the benefits of being a pet parent?
True, there’s nothing to beat the unconditional love, adoration in fact, that our pets give us. And they ask for so little in return – a little food, a little love and safe shelter. Those who love animals, especially lovers of domestic pets, understand this so well. They know they have to give very little to get a lot in return – often more than they deserve.
So, when you succumb to the heart-melting eyes of a cuddly puppy, or the basilisk stare of a demanding, purring cat, know that you are in good company. Most loving pet parents would gladly devote all their spare time, sometimes even when there’s no time to spare, to their pets, because the joy and the benefits they get from being with their pets, is unparalleled.
The benefits of having pets
It has been proven time and again, that the presence of having a pet in your life can be very therapeutic. More so if you are a loner – because a pet can give you the sort of companionship few people can. A pet asks nothing of you but some love. You have no social obligations, you aren’t required to make small talk and you don’t have to pretend – because your pet will know if you’re being fake!
The unconditional love and warmth that your pet offers can motivate you to respond and communicate without feeling any pressure or stress to do so. You will find yourself reacting instinctively, in a loving and caring manner. People who are often brusque in their behavior or curt in the way they speak, have been known to become soft and gentle when they are with their pets – completely out of character. The love of a pet makes you a much better person, doesn’t it?
Taking care of a pet offers tremendous satisfaction. Something as small as ensuring your pets water bowl is always refilled, or indulging yourself (yes, yourself, not your pet!) by getting the best pet food from the pet store, or even taking your dog for a little walk late at night or at the crack of dawn – each of these activities is a source of joy for you, because you know how much joy this gives to your pet. Doesn’t it make you feel good to be a pet parent?
What else does your pet do for you?
- Keeps you fit – if you’re in a sedentary job, or don’t have time to workout at the gym, who do you think keeps you fit? Your pet, of course! Every time you take your pet for a walk, you are getting some much-needed exercise, that you probably wouldn’t otherwise. And if you run with your pet, that’s even better! Have you considered cycling with your pet alongside on the leash? Imagine burning those calories and boosting your metabolic rate! When your pet benefits, so do you.
- Keeps you safe and secure – you don’t need to have a trained guard dog to protect you. Your little Chihuahua would be just as protective and vociferous as a Doberman if anyone tries to harm you. The breed does not matter – your relationship with your pet is what matters. Even a cat is likely to display jealousy if anyone comes near you – imagine facing a hissing, clawing cat!
- Keeps you entertained – have you counted all the hours you’ve spent watching the crazy antics of your dog chasing its own tail or your cat entangled in a ball of wool? What about trying to give your dog a bath? And have you tried to train your parrot not to repeat swear words? Or have you chased your pet rabbit out of the carrot patch in your kitchen garden? Activities such as these are outside the sphere of what we consider ‘normal’ daily living – but they are amusing, relaxing and de-stressing, albeit exhausting!
- Keeps you motivated – if you have moments when you feel low, and the grind of daily life becomes too much for you, all you have to do is look into the shiny eyes of your pet, or feel the little lick on your face, and you know you just have to go on. That your pet needs you to survive – to be fed and sheltered and loved. And you know you also benefit because you will receive tenfold what you give. Can there possibly be a better reason to go on living with faith and hope in all that is good? In all that your pet is to you?
So, if you don’t have a pet yet, here’s good reason for you to get one. Or two. Just know that your life will never be the same again – that you will never be the same again once you become a pet parent. For the better.