3 Reasons You Need A Furry Companion.
Why Pets Improve Mental State.
Before I begin, by furry, I mean dogs, cats, ferrets, gerbils (well, maybe not gerbils), and so on. I do not mean humans who dress as animals. I specifically mean the warm, loving, and adorable critters who fill our lives with love that sometimes we aren’t willing to give ourselves.
Also, I’d like to acknowledge that not every place allows pets, and that is honestly a crying shame. And I first hand apologize for landlords who happen to be a stick in the mud. (Sorry for all the cliches I’m attempting to avoid as many curse words as I possible can, ha!)
“Until one has loved an animal a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” — Anatole France
There is actual proven studies that show that a cat’s purr can improve depression and ease anxiety. And there is a reason why so many medical professionals will approve Emotional Support animals, as well as, the usual Support animals (Including: Seeing-Eye Dogs, PTSD support, and more).
With all that having been said, let’s get into the 3 Reasons You Need A Furry Companion:
Reason One: A Pet’s Love Is Unconditional.
Too often people put expectations on us. They think we need to act or be a certain way in order to deserve their love. This is true for a lot of people with their parents especially. I think it’s important for people, especially if you can’t give yourself the self-love you deserve right now, to have someone (a pet) that can provide that love to you and can fill that gap in the meanwhile.
And as a cat owner, I know what they say, “Cats don’t care about people.” Tell that to the cat owner who notices their furry buddy sitting in the same room, and watching you from the corner of their eye. Trust me, my cat cannot handle being more than 10 feet from me and he needs to be in the same room as me. I have a good friend who can’t even sit down at the computer without her cat needing her lap and her arms.
Even with our ferrets, whenever we wake up they sit at the foot of the bed, heads raised, excited to see us. That’s unconditional love, the “I see you everyday but still your face excites me whenever I see it.”
Reason Two: It Helps Your Mental Health.
As I stated previously, it helps your mental health. It’s more than just the affection given to you, it’s a bit of everything.
In a recent survey by the Human-Animal Bond Research Institute, 74% of pet owners said having a pet improved their mental health. Studies back this up and show that activities with animals help with symptoms of depression. — WebMD
Whether you are walking your dog, playing fetch, or making your cat chase after a laser pointer (they know someday they will get that red dot!), you’re going to feel far less lonely having their presence with you, and you’re going to be a bit more active as well, which helps body health — not becoming stagnant I mean.
Like children, animals maintain a sense of innocence that we don’t have because society and adulthood has jaded us. They are far more connected to the world around us, and to us specifically. They also completely depend on you, domesticated animals need you (need us) to wake up every morning and be dependable for breakfast, lunch, and dinner (or however you do you feedings for your furry friends).
It’s also proven that because of this connection, because of this innocence, animals can sense distress in their humans. They love you, they don’t want you in pain, and while I appreciate my cat wanting to lay on me when I hurt (sometimes it hurts me more! Like when I broke my ribs, ouch!), I also appreciate that he is trying to comfort me like he would another of his kin.
We’ve all encountered people who care more about themselves than how we’re feeling. It’s more important to them that you provide what they want from you, than them give anything in return. That’s on them, and that’s okay — it’s not on you to make people change. What I mean is, having someone (our pet) that is willing to give its all to us and only asks for the affection returned, is a reprieve. They don’t care if you cry all day when you’re sad — or devour an entire baker’s dozen of donuts in one sitting because it reminds you that everything in the world will be okay. They love you all the same.
Reason Three: Humans Need Something To Need Them.
Maybe you don’t want to admit it, but we like being needed. It makes us feel wanted, desired, and loved. We’re pack animals. We spend our entire lives wondering how we can be useful. Our furry companions need us, I know, especially when Sitka, one of our 3-year-old ferrets, lays down in front of the food bowl that normally gets wet food (raw meat) and looks at me with these big doe eyes. I know what he wants, he knows what he wants, and he knows just how to get it from me. (What can I say, he’s super adorable when he begs.)
This one also works with reason two in its own way. We need to be needed, it’s human nature. They need you, your pets, and you need them to need you.
Don’t believe me? Ask the Dalai Lama:
“However, the Dalai Lama believes man’s biggest need today, simply put, is the “need to be needed.” He says the biggest reason for so much misery in the world is a growing number of people feel they are no longer useful to anyone.”
Read more at World Religion News: “Humans “Need to be Needed,” Says Dalai Lama”
If you feel useless, and think you can afford and care for a pet, adopt one! (Please adopt, especially from Kill Shelters if you can, so that you can home a pet who is essentially on death row for doing nothing but existing and being unwanted by someone who didn’t need or want a pet and should have never gotten one. Or something drastic happened and they just couldn’t handle them any longer — you can help them and save them. So, please do.)
There is nothing more comforting in the world than knowing you’re needed. Also, many people with suicidal tendencies have reported refraining from taking their own lives because they knew their furry companions needed them.
While pet therapy may not be the only thing you need (if you are feeling suicidal please do what you can to find a therapist or someone you can trust to confide in and seek that lifeline to keep you on this Earth, trust me there is a reason you are here).
Having a furry companion in your home can change your life entirely. I don’t personally have children, but my ferrets and cat feel like more than a handful of toddlers on a good day! It’s okay to want to feel needed, and it is okay to hurt, just remember that self-care is important and if you can’t give yourself the self-love you need, ask a cute, furry face for some very wet kisses!
For more on adopting pets in your area check out: www.petfinder.com
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Johannus M. Steger is a Dallas, Texas blogger, vlogger, student, and fiction writer. He has a love for all things Fantasy and coffee, and leads a successful group of like-minded individuals in goal-and-task setting every Friday. He is published through The Huffington Post and a horror anthology, “Infinite Darkness”.
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