Why We Love Our Pets
Every day in the Veterinary Industry we are reminded of the extraordinary relationship that exists between our pets and ourselves. Our lives seem busier and more complex than ever, but despite this the strength of our bond with our pets gets stronger and stronger.
The concept of family has changed considerably over the last 30-40 years. Mum and Dad, and 3 kids was the norm when I grew up, and our dog lived in the back yard. Now, in a modern family anything goes, but without a doubt one of the biggest changes is the way we see our pets. As another family member, they have similar status and rights to the rest of the family. They get presents at Christmas and birthdays, they get groomed and bathed, we feed them the best we can afford, care for their teeth, exercise them, and take them to the vet when we think they’re unwell. In short, we look after their health and welfare better than a lot of people.
This change in status is no accident. They provide us with a quality of life without which it just wouldn’t be the same. They are there to enjoy and have fun with us during the good times, and to console and mourn with us during the bad times. They don’t like it when we fight. They look after our health too. Not only do they nag us to take them for a walk which is good for both of us, but studies consistently show many and various human health benefits of owning a pet, whether it’s a reduction and strokes and heart attacks, or encouraging children to play without the need of gadgets and screens. People who own dogs are more active physically.
Pets have an enthusiasm for life that’s uncomplicated – simple things like the sound of the dog lead being picked up for a walk, or dry food falling into a food bowl cause unbridled joy day after day, even though it’s the same as yesterday. (My wife would shed tears of happiness if her daily meal offerings were greeted in such a way.)
They want to protect us to, even if they don’t need to. Isn’t it reassuring to know that you have a dog at home with the family, listening out for any strange sounds, and giving security to women and children out walking.
And they are always there to greet us at the end of a long day. Even when they’re not feeling well, they still get up to welcome us home.
Sure, they have a few bad habits, like occasionally not making it outside to the toilet, passing smelly wind, and barking in the middle of the night. Our cats sharpen their nails on the furniture, and like to nick food left on plates on the kitchen bench. But how many people do you know that never do anything wrong anyway?
And if our pets weren’t at least a bit naughty, we’d accuse them of being boring.
So in 2012, our pets mean more to us than ever before. They are essential for appreciating life to its fullest, and a wonderful addition to any family. Even if you’re single and speed-dating, there’s a pet-lovers category for people who want pets in their life.
Nowhere does the love we have for our pets become more apparent than when we have to say goodbye to them. For those of you who knew our beautiful Bullmastiff Tess, her loss to us from cancer this week has left us sad and empty. She will always be in our hearts.
It’s no wonder we love them like we do.