We are a nation of pet lovers. We can’t resist our furry friends. More than that, we go above and beyond to make sure they’re happy as can be. Whether you’re a cat, dog, or reptile person, one thing we all have in common is that our pets have a special place in our hearts. And, so they should! When we bring an animal into our homes, they become a part of the family. And, like any other family member, we do everything we can to ensure they live the best life possible. In fact, we often do more than we would for a family member because our pets are entirely dependent on us! In other nations, those same animals are nothing but a nuisance. So, what is it about us Westerners that’s got us so pet crazy?
Like anything, a lot of it is cultural. We live in a society that has a lot of time for pets. Most of us had a pet of some sort when we were growing up. Or, if we didn’t, we knew someone who did. For centuries, pets have been a popular part of Western culture. And, we follow suit by getting pets of our own. The tradition may have started as a form of defense thousands of years ago. But, it has since become a matter of companionship. When we’re looking for a pet, we rarely look for a vicious animal that will see off threats. Instead, we look for pets that pull at the heartstrings. The cuter, the better, or at least for most of us!
That brings us to another reason for pet ownership. Animals are so darn cute! Who can resist having a little ball of fluff in their life? Even the hardest hearts melt at the sight of an adorable animal. Alongside the physical cuteness of animals is the dependence they have. The defencelessness of pets causes our maternal instincts to kick in. That’s partly why we go above and beyond to ensure our pet’s happiness. Helping a defenseless animal feels good! It satisfies a need we all have in us. From buying them top of the range toys to taking them for regular visits at vet clinics, pets make us feel good. They give us a reason. They depend on us throughout their lives. Better, we don’t have to worry about them growing up and moving on, or turning against us when their hormones kick in. If you have a loyal pet, they’ll be loyal for life. They have to be; you’re the one with the food!
And, of course, pets have an uncanny ability to cheer us up when we’re sad. Any pet owner knows the way an animal will pay attention to you when you’re crying or unhappy. They may not speak our language, but they’re excellent at reading our bodies! Companionship is, we think, the main and best reason for keeping pets. You’ll never be alone again when you have a trusty, fluffy sidekick!