The Social Benefits Of Pet Ownership

BY | February 14 | COMMENTS PUBLISHED BY
The Social Benefits Of Pet Ownership

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A new study in the UK and the US has found that people who own pets have a higher chance at mixing and socializing with people that hose than donโ€™t. The study comes after it was reported that more than half of the households in both countries combined has some kind of pet. Having a pet has a lot of benefits. In terms of socializing, having a pet can instantly make one popular amongst other people. Other than that, it has a range of benefits that enhance the social image of a person.Hereโ€™s why owning a pet can boost your social image:

  1. The person is caringPeople who have pets are often looked upon as people who are caring. It is human psyche to mix with people who can invoke a sense of comfort and that often comes from people who own pets. Also, someone with a pet automatically becomes someone who knows how to deal with people easily. Therefore, all the more why he should have more friends.
  2. Easier to start a conversationIt is easier to start a conversation with someone who is hanging around with a pet. Sometimes, the pets do funny stuff and that in itself is a conversation starter. Other times itโ€™s simply irresistible to ignore a cute dog or a cat who attracts attention.
  3. Pet owners are healthy individualsIf reports are to be believed, then people who own pets are healthier than those that donโ€™t. All that walking around and running behind the pet finally pays off. Plus, healthier people find it easier to fit into a social gathering than those who arenโ€™t. Because everyone loves to be in the company of someone who maintains himself/herself.
  4. Pet owners become friends instantlyBirds of a feather flock together. In this case, the feathers are pets. There are countless groups on Facebook and otherwise who gather to discuss anything and everything related to their pets. Itโ€™s one of the best ways to socialize and pet owners therefore find it easier to meet new people. It also gives them an opportunity to spend their times doing something they love doing. Pets are the new cars as far as hobbies go!

Pet owners are more open towards socializing than people who donโ€™t own pets. Itโ€™s because they know the importance of company and the impact it has on their lives. Pet owners who have similar types of pet gel easily and are quick at starting conversations. They are also healthy individuals and therefore get their share of the limelight. And since pet owners are looked upon as caring people, it becomes easy to start a conversation with them.

Can social contagion explain our pet choices?

In 1975, a new kind of โ€˜petโ€™ came into the market โ€“โ€˜pet rocksโ€™. It started as a joke but these fuss-free โ€˜alternativeโ€™ to real pets became a rage. After six months, people moved on.Social contagion is the way a certain behavior or preference to something spreads rapidly across a group of people like a contagious disease. Within the span of a few days or months as the novelty fades, this craze dies, often giving way to some other trend.Animals too become the subjects of social contagion. There is a sudden flare in their popularity that dies just as quickly.

How does a pet fad start?

The sudden rise in popularity of certain animals Dalmatians, clown fishes, turtles, snowy owls can all be clearly identified with the release of movies. Also, when celebrities flaunt exotic animals like fashion accessories it gives rise to a new craze. What is more, online trading has opened up easy and illegal channels for procuring animals.

The chain of evil

Breeders often resort to unscrupulous means to meet the demand. Irresponsible breeding and improper handling often results in deformed or disease-prone offspring. Sometimes, animals captured from the wild are all sold off to naรฏve buyers.When it comes to exotic pets, lack of proper background information regarding their dietary, exercise and habitat requirements cause deficiencies and illnesses. To further complicate matters, it may be difficult to find a veterinarian familiar with the animal's medical and nutritional needs.Misinformation regarding an animalโ€™s nature is often circulated by pet traders, often intentionally. Vietnamese piglets were initially thought of as the ideal pets, small and docile. But they grew up to be massive and aggressive pigs, impossible for owners to manage.There is also a risk of the exotic breeds being the carrier of diseases that may get transferred to their human caretakers.When the task of taking care of these pets become just too much, owners release the animals โ€˜into the wildโ€™. While some abandoned pets die painful deaths, some others, like the feral green iguanas of Florida thrive at the cost of the local species. Shelters too get overwhelmed by the sheer number of the โ€˜discardedโ€™ pets.Adopting a pet is a very serious responsibility. Pets sometimes require the care and attention an infant needs. It is not a decision to be made on an impulse. Before we bring a pet home, it is best if we consult a vet or a responsible pet owner, preferably with the same species of pet that we wish to adopt. If we are ready for this big step after weighing in all the points, life will be a blessing, for us and our animal friend.

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