Right now as I type, my cat Loki is perched on my lap. Standing tall on his haunches, he looks like a strange, golden-eyed meerkat, and he’s licking my face with his sandpaper tongue.
It’s kind of scratchy and has a faint aroma of cat food, but I don’t mind so much. He basically does whatever he wants whenever he wants, probably because he’s a cat. The thing is, when he snuggles up next to me in the evening with his little kitty motor going full throttle, that right there is a sense of peace and contentment that’s hard to match. I’d actually be willing to stick my neck out and say it’s better than chocolate. Or icecream. Or even chocolate icecream… Sometimes, I squish his little squishy cat face right up beside my ear, as if listening for the sound of the ocean in a seashell. It’s calming. And science agrees with me.
For those of us that like animals, pets have incredible benefits.
Loki loves to smooch. And sometimes bite…
This point was really driven home for me last week when I thought maybe I was going to lose my best friend of 13 years (a story for another day). She’s really clever and fun, always up for a crazy adventure. And she’s always there for me when I need a shoulder to cry on. When I’m feeling lazy and thinking about crashing on the couch with a pack of chocolate biscuits, a coffee, and some trashy tv, she’s the one who talks me into getting outdoors and doing some exercise instead. And of course, she’s a dog.
Anika in the vet clinic last week, complete with IV fluids, a cushion from my couch and her fave toys.
When I was asked if I’d like to write a post celebrating the positives of pet ownership, I jumped at the chance. It’s something I’m super passionate about, because as a vet I see day in and day out just how much pets enrich and improve our lives. The relationship between a pet and their human is something so special, and for so many reasons. Like me though, you might find some of the health benefits surprising.
Mars Petcare have created their Pet Positives website with the aim of sharing decades of research into the benefits of pet ownership and human-animal interaction in a gorgeous format that is really enjoyable to read. If you or someone you know needs a little push to make the plunge into pet ownership, the stats are very convincing. And if you think you already know it all, try my little quiz!
Celebration of and protection of the human-animal bond is the reason small animal veterinarians exist. We wouldn’t have a job if people didn’t have profound emotional attachments to their pets, and we wouldn’t be vets if we didn’t also feel the same way.
This post was sponsored by Mars Petcare
All opinions and crappy jokes are my own, and I will only ever share information that I think is relevant and valuable to you guys. I really like the Pet Positives website because it:
- Aims to raise awareness of the positive experience of pet ownership supported by peer-reviewed academic research.
- Shares scientific research that backs up what we instinctively know – pets are good for us.
- Is loaded with the latest pet-related news, insights and trends, as well as valuable tips and tools, all celebrating the benefits of owning a pet.
So tell me, what’s the number one thing you love most about your pet?