As any animal lover will tell you, having a pet or a street animal around can change your life. They not only give us company and comfort, but they also provide less obvious therapeutic advantages as well. Observing or interacting with animals is good for both our physical and emotional health. On an emotional level, they can help you to feel less alone, reduce general or social anxiety, and increase your happiness.
Animals are more than just cute, cuddly creatures that we enjoy spending time with. After all, there’s a reason pet people often describe their cat or dog as part of their family. To enjoy the company of animals without taking on the full responsibility of owning one, you could consider volunteering at an animal shelter, fostering an animal, or going to animal events like Pet Fed.
The human-animal bond is often used to describe the relationship shared between people and animals. Anyone who has ever been around an animal probably doesn’t need a scientific definition of the bond shared. Animals can sense our moods and have the capability to give enormous amount of happiness and peacefulness. I am a big-time animal lover. For me being around animals is like therapy. Whether it involves troubling my cat or playing with street dogs, these cute four-legged creatures are an important part of my life.
Now I would like to address certain aspects related to animals:
a) I have seen animals being treated so poorly and it breaks my heart into million pieces to see them suffer in the hands of humans. When people see an animal in distress, hurt or crying for help, they tend to ignore it quite often. I have seen people around the area where I live who just stand and listen to a street animal crying for help, but they don’t come forward to help or for that matter do anything at all.
WHY? Just because animals cannot speak, doesn’t mean that you will be merciless towards them. We should treat animals like our friends. We do not beat or mistreat our friends, we respect them, give them freedom and let them live without fear, they have their own families and their own lives. They deserve a happy life!
b) People adopt animals as babies and are then overwhelmed by vet and grocery bills. That is usually when the grown-up version is abandoned in some situations. The animals, having been fed and kept warm and comfortable during their baby years, don’t know how to survive outside. They can’t hunt and don’t know how to fight for shelter. They are basically left to die. That is a horrible death for any creature. If you feel that you are not able to take care of your pet, instead of abandoning them, get them adopted into a nice family where your pet can stay peacefully and will get the apt amount of love and care.
c) Even if you are the most conscientious driver, unfortunately, accidents can happen. If you have hit an animal while driving, your first instinct should be to help the animal and you should approach with caution. Make sure to check the animal. If the animal is still alive, call assistance and stay there until they arrive. If you can and if you believe it’s safe, move the animal so it’s not on the road, exposed to other crashes.
Here are a few points that explain the positive side of having an animal in your life:
- THEY BRING POSITIVE EFFECTS FOR YOUR HEALTH:
If you spend around 15 minutes petting an animal, your body will release the natural “feel good” hormones: oxytocin, prolactin and serotonin.
When you own a dog, you are more likely to walk more and generally get more exercise than if you have no pet at all, simply because dogs are more active and do require a bit more “active” interaction and attention than felines do. For those that own a cat, you don’t have to take a walk daily, but take time to interact with your favourite feline with a game of catch indoors or pull a ball around on a string and watch your cat chase it happily. If you have street dog or cat friends around you, go out and play with them for a while because street animals require the maximum amount of love.
2. THEY GIVE YOU UNCONDITIONAL LOVE
Animals do not ask for much in life, and most just need a warm, safe and sheltered place to live, as well as adequate food, water and exercise. In return they will give you unconditional love, loyalty, and companionship. Dogs are a little more well known to offer unconditional love; cats can be a little fickle. But having a furry friend means you will always have a little living being, waiting patiently for you at home (whether it is your pet or a street animal) and ready to welcome you with a wagging tail or a purr.
3. THEY OFFER EMOTIONAL SUPPORT:
An animal can help with loneliness, give you companionship and someone to talk to, and sit with you during the evenings. Animals can be lifesavers when it comes to depression and grief. They can give you a sense of purpose and a reason to get out of bed when you are feeling particularly depressed or anxious. Animals such as cats and dogs can have a deeply calming effect on humans and can often pick up on their owner’s moods: snuggling up to you when you are feeling sad or licking your hands if they sense that you have anxiety.
4. THEY ARE A FULL ENTERTAINMENT PACKAGE:
Animals can be extremely entertaining without even trying or knowing they are doing so, and without any special training too. Just think about watching your pup or a kitten chase their tail that always seems to stay one step ahead of them, or when they chase a fly or find a piece of string on the carpet and try to grab it. Their antics instantly make us laugh. How about that spectacular leap an animal makes catching a frisbee or the funny posture they take when leaping after a ball you’ve rolled their way. We enjoy watching these tricks they perform, and the happiness we derive from the laughter is great for our health and emotional well-being.
5. THEY ARE YOUR BEST FRIENDS:
Animals make the best friends! Many people automatically consider them a member of the family whether it’s a street animal or your pet. Unlike humans, animals always return affection unconditionally. They do not hold grudges, or question motives or have selfish reasons for interacting with us. Animals can sense when we are “not ourselves” and might need a hug. They enjoy the affection we show them and thrive on it just like we feel special when they wag their tails and show excitement when they see us.
I am dedicating this blog to one of my street doggo friend who passed away a few days ago (I miss him way too much) and to my cat Leo who is turning 4 this month 🙂