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  • Writer's pictureLalita Dileep

Expanding our circle of Love: Including Pets and Enrichening Our Lives

The Value of Owing Pets

Pix Credit:Mehul@memories Studio featuring Dev, Gautham, Siberian Husky Prince, Divya and Nyra

Indelible Bonds

Pets are precious. With their silent love, soft fur and unquestioning devotion, they have the ability to melt even the most stoic of hearts. Forming a powerful bond of reliance, support and love with families that transcends even emotional human connections. The existing gigantic pool of pet lovers grew exponentially during the pandemic as families and individuals sought solace. Drawn by the unconditional affection and companionship offered by pets, scores more choose to become owners -forging unique kinships. Paring these alignments, the bonds grew stronger and empathetic. Viewed from afar, they might seem to be a one-way relationship, but science informs us that pets can decode our emotions and provide responsive sustenance.

Pets enrich our lives in a multitude of ways. By their mere presence, our hearts expand, our stress levels are controlled, heart rates stabilized and we seem more approachable and amiable. At my work, Mondays are fun, because Grace, a seeing eye dog in training visits us and melts our hearts as she makes her ways to our work spaces for a quick pet and friendly rub! Says Cory, her trainer and co-worker, “Grace is a wonderful addition to our office, her presence is a two- fold benefit. Not only is it important for Grace to experience new settings for her training in the Seeing Eye, but because of her presence staff love visiting her on their breaks, allowing for opportunities to decompress and connect with fellow coworkers – which is a morale booster”.

Pix Credit:Mehul@Memories Studio

Global Trend

Around pets we never feel lonely, as they are eager for a nuzzle, a lick or a quick walk around the block, keeping our hearts uplifted. Studies show that contacts with pets’ releases oxytocin and serotonin, the priceless calmness factor. Having pets in the household from birth, even keep young children from developing allergies. Pets can teach children valuable life lessons including patience, responsibility, and compassion. Their mutual interactions can range from high octane energetic fun and frolic to companion, buddy time. Dogs are also a key component of therapy, guide dogs for the visually impaired to horses for equine support for the autistic children. All relationships however, are not necessarily formal as substantial bonds can blossom between pets and their owners, based on daily interaction.

During the pandemic, more than 23 million American households adopted pets. This means nearly 1 in 5 nationwide opened their homes and hearts to a pet, according to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA). Indeed research shows us that it is a global trend for owners to consider their pets to be full- fledged members of their family, indulging them with no holds barred. It is estimated that Americans spent over 100 billion on their pets in 2021, which represents an increase of $6 billion over what was spent in 2020. One study shows that approximately 68% of households own pets.

People with pets tend to be more outgoing and social. Having the accountability of taking care of a pet makes them more likely to be well rounded personalities with a developed routine, since pets have their own clocks which cannot be ignored. This pays off for the pet owners having to cultivate their own healthy habit and focused priorities. No wonder indirectly Pets becomes mood enhancers, leading to less anxiety and depression – which is why so many decided to adopt pets during the pandemic.

Pix Credit: Rick Fischer

Bonding Structure

Pets improve our happiness quotient and thereby impact our sense of wellness and wellbeing. The companionship offered by dogs, cats and any pet cannot easily be summed up in a few words. Entering the space with pet toys, food bowls and other paraphernalia can be soothing. There is an “aha” moment of pure relaxation. Caring for an animal, instills a sense of being needed and takes away our focus from our own problems. Nothing can be more uplifting that the sight of a wagging tail or purring cat. Our hearts expand as we enrich our lives by letting pets into our lives.

Even as Pets bestow new meaning and joy in our lives, they are a big responsibility and an expensive commitment. How do my readers feel about their presence ? Do the rewards still outweigh the drawbacks? Would you ever trade the pure joy and unconditional love of a pet? I eagerly await swapping stories on our mutual journey of shared experiences.

Together we are stronger

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