Anyone who has ever had a pet can vouch for the fact that seeing their loving little eager-to-please faces as you come home can really lift your spirits after a long day.
Even if they do destroy your home, keep you up with their crying all night or leave unwanted presents on your new carpet – you can’t help but love their butter-wouldn’t-melt-in-their-mouth faces!
Therefore, it’s not surprising that studies have confirmed that having a little furry friend does indeed do wonders for your overall happiness. Study researcher Allen McConnell, of Miami University in Ohio, said in a statement:
“We observed evidence that pet owners fared better, both in terms of well-being outcomes and individual differences, than non-owners on several dimensions.
“Specifically, pet owners had greater self-esteem, were more physically fit, tended to be less lonely, were more conscientious, were more extroverted, less fearful and less preoccupied than non-owners.”
On a deeper level, having a pet as a companion can also help mend the pain associated with loss, or during periods of loneliness or depression. They force you to care for another life – thus helping to take the focus off your own problems and provide you with unconditional love.
Everyone wants to be loved and needed – pets fulfill this nurturing role. This can be particularly important for middle-aged parents who may be suffering from “empty nest syndrome” after their children have moved out, or for the elderly who are alone and have limited family and friends.
Of course if you’re not an animal person, or you’re having trouble looking after yourself, having an animal will not be for you. However, if you’re in a position to care for a special little friend, getting a pet can be the best remedy for loneliness.
One of our favorite pet stories has to be the story of Faith, a dog born with deformed front legs. However, as a result of her owner’s love and determination, she not only averted the doggy lethal injection, but now also walks on her back legs!
Has your pet helped you get through a difficult time or increased your overall happiness? We’d love to hear your story and how they’ve made a difference in your life, or to someone you know!