It’s no secret that pet lovers spend a significant amount of quality time with their pets—dedicating approximately 7.5 hours a day to being with their furry friends. Experts from across the globe agree, especially during stressful times, your furry friends can be your saving grace in times of need. And, perhaps just what the doctor ordered to help cure loneliness. Here’s a personal reflection from a pup parent whose life-long four-legged friends have become more than just a part of her family. They’ve been there through thick and thin. Also, enjoy 10 reasons to get a paw-fect pal.
“How Pets Can Cure Loneliness”
I’ve never not had a pet. I grew up with a Bishon Frise named Benji who lived to 18 years old. He was with us through everything I can remember: grade school, high school, university, relationships, new houses, and even new friendships. He was a big part of our family.
My parents then had Tessa, Spencer, and Murphy. We were always a dog family. No cats or birds, just dogs. Then, as an adult I fell in love with French Bulldogs. The first one I “adopted” was Mikki, an impressive show dog born in Russia (raised in Canada) who came along with my husband. How could I resist? He lived until 15. Then, we got Maurice, a brindle Frenchie who we adored. And today, we have Two Ton Tessie.
Tessie is a black and white French Bulldog that we rescued from a puppy mill in Missouri. She came to us unexpectedly when I got a call from a rescue shelter in Boulder, Colorado.
We were only on their waiting list for a short time when we found out that she was in grave danger. The mill she had grown up in (she was only three years old when we got her) was about to euthanize her for no good reason—except that they were “done” with her service. She was a mama way too many times over, and way too young. We believe she just had puppies right before we got her. Her nipples were engorged and literally dragging on the ground. We had to have one removed because it got infected and she underwent a few more surgeries before she was considered on the mend.
Imagine, she was considered used goods. It was such a sad situation. The shelter told us that the owners would have either poisoned her food or taken her out in the field and shot her. It’s unthinkable what some people are capable of.
I cannot believe how some people treat animals. She was meant to be with us.
I was devastated to hear of her past; but so relieved that she found her way to our family. It was fate. We agreed to take her at first sight after her long 17-hour drive to Denver across state lines. There’s absolutely no way I would have turned her away. She needed us and we needed her. Tessie is now six years old and we love her more than anything. She is thriving. I can only pray that she has forgotten where she comes from and how she was treated.
Something I didn’t mention was that she came to us at the perfect time—shortly after losing my mom. I was lost and grieving and put our name on a list and almost immediately (3 days later) our miracle appeared. I swear Tessie is a reincarnation of my mom. She’s the angel who got me through the dark times.
I’m not really sure if we saved Tess—or did she save me?
To close, I believe pets choose us. They know when we are sad. When we need affection. They sense fear and happiness. They are innocent and need us, just as much as we need them. We love you, Tessie.
Statistics about our four-legged friends
New research by The Pet Health Club reveals that 9/10 (88%) of animal owners claim they bought a four-legged friend for companionship and three quarters (75%) for unconditional love. More than one in 10 (13%) also said they bought a pet instead of having a baby.
Top 10 reasons to get a paw-fect pal: For companionship Pets offer unconditional love To get fit/ exercise with a pet Pets are entertaining Pets are cute I bought a pet instead of having a baby My partner wanted a pet My children wanted a pet To teach my children responsibility I wanted to socialize via having a pet
An organization that’s doing dog gone good
To celebrate the emotional and practical role pets play in their owners’ lives, The Pet Health Club is launching a national competition to find the UK’s Pet Hero of the Year. Did your cat comfort you after the death of a loved one? Perhaps your rabbit alerted you to an intruder with their excellent hearing. Has your dog detected an illness that you weren’t aware of? Whatever it is that makes a pet extra special, The Pet Health Club has heard it all.
Ask the expert
TV Vet, Rory Cowlam, says our pets sit at the heart of families with half (49%) of us having a fluffy friend. “Our animals are there for us in good times and bad, always there to lend a helping paw when times get tough. It’s not a surprise to me that The Pet Health Club found that we think of pets as part of the family. I certainly think of my cat Tripod as mine.”
It’s no secret that pet lovers are spending significant quality time with pets nowadays, dedicating 7.5 hours a day to being with their furry friends. During this time 8% of pet owners tell all of their worries to their animal and 5% say they depend on their pet for support. Lastly, 78% of owners say they would rather buy a treat for their pet than themselves.
There are so many amazing animals that have done incredible things to help their owners. Perhaps you have a courageous cat, daring dog, or reassuring rabbit, too. Either way, we know you love them just as much as we do.
Research by the University of British Columbia found that when students are allowed to play with cuddle therapy dogs their stress levels plummet, and energy and happiness increase.
5 tips for keeping your pet in paw-some condition
Animals need lots of exercise to keep them fit and healthy. The amount of exercise needed is dependent on what type of pet you have and what breed they are. Be sure to research what activity your furry friend requires. Getting moving outdoors will help to keep you in top shape too.
To keep your beloved animal in pur-fect condition it’s important to ensure they have regular health checks and you keep up-to-date with their vaccinations. Monthly flea treatments every three months are also a must for paw-sitively healthy pets.
It can be hard to get your four-legged friend to stay still for long enough to brush their teeth. However, keeping on top of oral hygiene is key for healthy pets. If you find brushing your animal’s teeth too hard, try using chew toys or dental sticks to maintain pearly whites.
As much as we don’t want to admit it, pet owners can get carried away showing their fur babies how much they love them. Do you give your pets extra treats or too much food? Guilty! Animal obesity is a serious issue and can lead to health concerns for our best buds. So, remember, manage portion sizes and try to make treats only occasional.
Animals are just like us and get lonely too. Research has found that pet owners are spending 7.5 hours a day with their pet. Make sure you too are dedicating some time to playing with your fluffy pal each day.
Studies say that spending time with pets relieves stress and increases energy and happiness, so devoting some time to your cuddly friend will be beneficial to you as well.
About the Author:
Kerrie Lee Brown is a heart-health advocate, business coach, speaker, mom of two, and creator of RedLily®. To read her full heart story (including “10 Signs You Need to Slow Down”) check out her author profile and book on Amazon.
Also, find out why she created this platform for women just like you! There’s a method to her madness in helping women heal in all areas of their lives.
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