Most pet owners don’t need to be told to pay attention to their pets.
However, the benefits of spending time with ones pet may not always be obvious.
There have actually been studies that show that people experience health
benefits when they pet their animals. Stress levels decrease, blood pressure
goes down, and pet owners tend to be in better health than non-pet owners.
For both cats and dogs human contact and attention is vital. At the most
basic level pets learn how to interact with people and it helps socialize
them. Dog are social animals, they see their owner as a member of their pack
and the attention they receive from their owner is not only crucial in forming
appropriate behavior, but is key to their happiness. Dogs long for the attention
provided by their owner. While cats don’t have the same social structure
as dogs, human contact is also vital to their development and happiness.
Even shy pets benefit from human contact. It may take longer for them to
warm up, and they may not be trusting of stranger, yet typically contact
with their owner helps them feel more connected and secure. Frequent contact
can also help pets stay healthy as owners are more likely to see early signs
of a health problem. Early detection in the case of numerous health problems
can lead to a quicker and easier cure or treatment. Exercise is an important
form of attention that can benefit both pets and people. This can come from
play, or a walk, or numerous other activities that one can engages in with
a pet. For dog owners exercise can be mutually beneficial as pet and person
who walk, jog, or play together both experience the health benefits of that
exercise. Playtime can be particularly important for indoor pets. Keeping
cats indoors is a great way to protect them from numerous outdoor hazards,
yet they will likely need some extra play and exercise as indoor pets are
likely to be less active unless some activities are created for them. Finally,
contact between pet and owner is the basis for the bond between the two.
Both benefit from this contact, and typically it is one of the best parts
of having a pet.