Loneliness can be a harmful feeling for anyone across all walks of life. Most of the time when loneliness hits, the first thought is that it might be a good idea to go out and meet new people or form new friendships. However, sometimes the best kind of new friend isn’t human at all.
When craving companionship, instead of hanging around local places to pick up new acquaintances, head out to the local animal shelter and consider adopting a furry friend to curve the aches of feeling alone.
Here are six reasons why pets are better than friends.
1 – With a pet, you’ll never have any drama between the two of you.
Unless you consider the potential destruction of furniture and other household items “drama” you aren’t likely to experience any from your pet. These beautiful creatures live each day like it’s their only day to exist. They aren’t going to dwell on the past or care what happened just five minutes ago. They couldn’t care less whose boyfriend you stole last year or that you were the only family member to not chip in for your father’s birthday gift. None of the petty situations in life matter to your pets, creating a drama free environment for you to live in.
2 – Your pet will never leave you.
It can be extremely painful to lose a friend when he/she leaves town or just stops communicating all together. A pet will never do this because a) it’s probably trapped in a fence or house, but also because b) it loves its owner unconditionally. It relies on the caregiver for companionship, food, and water and will be eternally grateful for these selfless services. It will never take off to another state for a job opportunity, clean out its closet to go take care of its sick relative, or grow tired of you and leave without notice. After adopting a pet, the worry that the new trusty companion might leave will never be an issue. It will be faithful and loyal until the very end.
3 – Your pet absolutely depends on you.
The feeling of not being needed by our friends can cause serious self-worth, value, and esteem issues. A pet, however, will forever be alive due to the loving hands of its owner. It will need you from day one until your time together comes to a close. You are the most important person on the planet to your furry friends. Being valued can make anyone feel needed and necessary.
4 – Your pet will always be excited to see you.
It’s the best part of the work day when you’re free to go home and excite the senses of your eager pet. It will run to the door to greet you with a wagging tail, meowing voice, or a purring belly. Whether you are gone two minutes or two days, you can look forward to that pure, genuine excitement from your pet after being without you for any length of time. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that no matter how bad the work day may be, there will be an ecstatic little furball awaiting your homecoming with kisses and sweetness?
5 – You’re free to speak your mind without fear of judgement when venting to your pet.
Most often when we vent, we aren’t seeking advice or opinions, we just need someone to listen. Your secrets and views about the world will always be safe within the mind of your furry companion. It won’t judge you for feeling angry, sad, or even extremely happy. It will sit there with its sensitive ears and take in every single word you say to it. Who better to spill your darkest secrets to?
6 – Pets are not materialistic and will never ask for too much.
Friends might only hang around as long as you are the one paying for events. They might not want to hang out with you at all if you drive a rusty car, use a flip phone from 2008, or live in a sketchy apartment. Or your friends might just constantly judge your fashion styles and weird hobbies.
You know who will never even care about any of that stuff? Your pet. A pet can have entertainment for days with a cereal box it pulled out of the trash can. That’s the true meaning of “making the most of what you have.”
Feed the pets, give them water, take them to receive annual shots, and spend some time with them – that’s about it. They’re not going to ask for a brand new car, for a fancy dinner, for a cake on their birthdays (of course, you can if you prefer to celebrate the special occasion), and most of their toys can be made from random, cheap items around the house. No complaints, no snarky remarks, just you and your pet living each day with what you have.
If loneliness is beating down on you each night, stay out of the bars, clubs, and online dating sites. Check out the local animal shelter, save a life, and enjoy all the awesome benefits that come with taking care of an amazing animal. That pesky loneliness will go away and you will secure a lifelong, loyal companion.
Jacobs Bao, K. and Schreer, G. (2016) Pets and Happiness: Examining the Association
Between Pet Ownership and Wellbeing, Anthrzoös, 29:2, 283-296, DOI: 10.1080/08927936.2016.1152721 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08927936.2016.1152721>
Lifetime pet owners often preach about the happiness and comfort their pets bring them. Whether the pets are causing laughter with their odd, silly behavior or cuddling beside the owner when he/she is not feeling well, many pet owners truly believe their pets have positive effects on their health. However, for those who have never owned a cat, dog, hamster, bird, or any other type of animal, these statements can sound irrational and heavily biased.
There is good news for those who love their animal companions – research shows that pets can, in fact, help to improve the overall health of their human caretakers.
Heart Disease is the number one killer of U.S. adults, for both men and women of all different ethnicities.
Having high blood pressure (hypertension) is one of the major factors that can lead a person straight to chronic heart disease. Some studies have shown that owning a pet can cause a decrease in blood pressure and reduce the chances of heart related mortality.
Interactions with pets can also lower cholesterol and reduce the risk cardiovascular disease overall.
So in addition to having a furry buddy around to keep you company, you could potentially be lowering your blood pressure and reducing your risk for heart disease while simply hanging out with your pet.
Depression and Anxiety are two mental disparities that affect millions of people in the United States alone. Whether we are burdened by bad biology, constant daily stressors, or major life tragedies, these issues are extremely debilitating and can lead to added physical and mental health issues. Stress itself leads to high blood pressure, heart disease, and an overall reduction in quality of life.
A pet can potentially be a source of happiness and joy, and act as a stress reducer in a person’s life. There have been studies that show that pet owners are generally more happy and feel safer than non-pet owners. They can also be a nice and fun distraction from everyday routine life. Most people live day to day in a work-eat-sleep (no fun) pattern. Having a pet around can bring gratification, connection, and put a huge smile on a person’s face.
Taking the focus off of ourselves to focus on the care and interests of a pet is also a great way to escape the madness inside our own minds and pay attention to external activities.
Loneliness, a colossal component that can worsen the effects of anxiety and depression, can be alleviated by having a pet around. The companionship with and attachment to the pet can be almost as strong as the bond of a human relationship.
Improvements in Behavior
A sedentary lifestyle can lead to several health issues including obesity, diabetes, heart problems, high cholesterol, and many other complications. Owning a pet can be a major motivator to get out and exercise. Whether it’s direct – for example, walking a dog on a leash every morning, or indirect – wanting to improve one’s own physical condition in order to be able to better care for the animal, a little furry friend might be just what a person needs to get out of the house and start living a more active lifestyle.
Secondhand smoke can not only harm other people, but also animals that are often around the toxins. Owning an animal can provide the necessary motivation to put down the cigarettes for good and to ban them from the home altogether.
Pets come with responsibility, but the rewards can far outweigh the tasks of taking good care of a furry friend. If you want to lower your chances of heart disease, lighten your mood, and adopt healthy behaviors, a new pet might be exactly what you need.
Thanks for reading. My pets and I love you. ^_^
Hodgson, K., Barton, L., Darling, M., Antao, V., Kim, F.A., and Monavvari, A. (2015). Pets’ Impact on Your Patients’ Health: Leveraging Benefits and Mitigating Risk. Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine, 28 (4), 526-534. Retrieved from http://jabfm.org/content/28/4/526.full.pdf+html?sid=ed70df62-a624-40af-98fb-0ef7537c4289
Jacobs Bao, K. and Schreer, G. (2016) Pets and Happiness: Examining the Association Between Pet Ownership and Wellbeing, Anthrzoös, 29:2, 283-296, DOI: 10.1080/08927936.2016.1152721 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/08927936.2016.1152721>