Companionship is a centerpiece of life; millions of our planet’s species thrive on the strength of social bonds. Humans are no different; our social senses are so attuned that we notice faces even in inanimate objects. All humankind craves some degree of connection, so we’re lucky to live alongside a variety of lifeforms more than suited to play the part of our compatriots.
Pets keep us company, even when no one else is around. They communicate primarily in terms of affection, endear and entertain us with unique personality quirks, and hear without judgment whatever we’ve been bottling up, asking only for a bit of acknowledgment in return. Regardless of your preferred pet, there’s a slew of rationale as to why (if you haven’t already) you should look into finding for yourself the perfect non-human pal.
Pets build (impersonal) responsibility
If you’re an adult, you’re likely already familiar with what it takes to manage your own daily needs. Pets require a different breed of responsibility, where failing to provide may not cost you anything on a personal level, but will nonetheless cause great harm. You might be able to skip dinner if you don’t feel like cooking, but a pet doesn’t get the luxury of choice; your pet relies on you unconditionally for life’s necessities. Accepting the burden of a life not your own fuses duty and empathy into a stronger, wider sense of accountability, one which augments skills such as parenting and employee management.
Pets teach nonverbal cues
Regardless of how much they may understand, animals cannot speak our language. Recognizing what our pets are expressing means learning to interpret subtle movements, an exercise involving a specific part of our brain. Like any exercise, consistently working the nonverbal brain-area can fortify our ability to catch the unspoken cues of not just dogs, but people.
Pets introduce you to new people
No one is alone in their enthusiasm for a certain type of pet. Many pets require daily exercise in public places, where casual interactions between pet owners can easily spark new and fulfilling friendships. Additionally, people with a passion for pets frequently gather and mix through events such as community walks, charity drives, and more.
Pets prevent emotional distress
It seems only common sense that having a companion around would make the average person happier, even if that companion happens to have paws and a tail. However, increased general contentment wasn’t actually verified as a causal effect of pet ownership until recently. Recent research has established that on average, pet owners experience decreased loneliness, introversion, and social anxiety; they also have higher self-esteem, and even exercise more than those without pets.