The Importance of Animals in Our Lives
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The Importance of Animals in Our Lives

Owning a pet like a dog or cat has many health benefits for us humans. There are many benefits for all of us that pets can help us with. Not only health benefits but also being a service dog. Learn about the health benefits of owning a pet.

Animals have always been an intricate part of my life. Where once I did not have human friends to play with I was fortunate enough to have my animals.

While I was young we had dogs and now for the last several decades, we have had both cats and dogs. Addressing people who are not animal lovers, I would say it is very difficult to explain what joy an animal can bring to one's life.

For a lonely little girl, they are the friends she needs so urgently. For the elderly or shut-ins, an animal may be their last remaining friend on earth.

Animals provide joy, companionship, and laughter to our lives. When Loren (Caddo) came home from the army, he was greeted by his soon-to-become lifelong companion, Buck, a beautiful black lab. Buck assisted him in hunting and trapping and guarded the family farm while providing hours of sheer pleasure.

Border Collie / Pixabay

Seeing-eye dogs and other trained animals for handicapped individuals perform services by assisting their masters in their daily activities, from carrying large objects to directing a blind person through traffic.

Animals save our lives in many ways. For example, they guard our properties and perform heroic feats. Many still remember the canines that assisted and/or lost their lives during the 9/11 attack. Similarly, the police dog is considered a genuine officer and is given the same respect as any human officer in the force. This dog in turn, will give his/her life in the line of duty.

Furthermore, animals give their lives for the advancement of science. Lab rats are poked, prodded, injected with chemical substances and operated upon, all so that we may find new cures for the many diseases that threaten our quality of life. There are good arguments to support this line of research, especially if it means an animal's sacrifice saves the life of a human being. There are also good arguments to support the argument that much of the research done on animals is without justification. For example, rabbits were once sprayed in the eyes with perfume merely for the testing of cosmetic products.

The result of this kind of experimentation often led to the animal's blindness. Avon, once a company that adhered to these practices, has long since abandoned this inhumane form of research.

Research is now showing that animals enhance the lives of others. The sick and the elderly look forward to spending time with animals. People volunteer their dogs to go into nursing homes to visit with the elderly. Just petting an animal can have a calming effect upon the sick and the elderly.

Whether animals are house pets, working animals, therapeutic dogs, or used for experimentation they are very important to us and we need them as much as they need us.

Service dog / Pixabay

More Health Benefits of Owning a Pet

More and more research has found that just by stroking a cat or dog can lower a person’s blood pressure. This happens because by stroking or petting a cat or dog releases a relaxation hormone and cuts down on humans stress hormone.

By lowering a stress hormone and reducing high blood pressure, petting a cat or dog, can actually lower the risk for having a stroke.

More ways a pet can help include:

  • Service dogs: As mentioned above, dogs can help in many ways. There are dogs trained to help with the deaf, the blind and those that have problems walking. In addition, dogs can be trained to be companions for senior citizens.
  • Healthier heart: Dog owners are more likely to walk or jog with their dogs. Walking is a great exercise for everyone to get into shape, lose calories and keep from getting overweight.
  • Soothe stress: Petting your dog or car relieves stress and lowers blood pressure according to a study at Purdue University.
  • Social magnets: Just walking your dog can attract others to just say hi. Dog owners seem to be attracted to each other.
  • A better mood: Studies have shown that those that own pets, especially dogs, have a better mood and are less likely to go to the doctor for minor ailments.
  • Watchdog: Owning a bigger dog can be of great comfort. When that strange person knocks on the door and hears a dog barking, they are most likely to walk away, quickly.
  • Less Allergies: Studies have found that children in homes with dogs or cats were 70% less likely to develop allergies than children in homes without a pet.

Owning a pet can also teach children and teens responsibilities, like how to treat a pet properly and watch for them by walking them with a leash and taking care of the pet.

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Comments (22)

Awww... I love animals. I agree with you... I wouldn't want to live without an animal in my life. I get so much joy from the love they give.

Ranked #7 in Pets

charlene I cannot imagine a life without animals, they are my babies

Another great job, Carol. My first best friend was an old Collie by the name of Nelly. Actually she looked just like the original movie Lassie. As a young child, I use to ride Nelly all over the farm just as if she was a tiny pony. Nelly was my best friend and better than any human babysitter at keeping me safe and out of harms way. My first experience at handling grief came when Nelly died of cancer. She developed this huge cancerous tumor on her belly that slowly claimed her life. I watched her waste away, curled up in a fetal position on an old comforter that my uncle placed on the floor behind our old wood-burning stove. My uncle tried a number of times to take her out to the woods to put her down, but I threw such a fit every time he got his gun that he never did. Of course I didn't realize then how much pain I was causing her. When she finally died I cried for what seemed like for ever. It hasn't become easier for me with age either. I had to have one of my cats put down a few years ago because she developed lymph node cancer and I cried like a baby all the way home. I held her in my arms as she died in the vets. I held it together for her but as soon as I laid her lifeless body in the vets arms I lost it and started bawling like a baby. Somehow I manage to drive home on autopilot without killing myself, my wife, or someone else.

I can't imagine living without a dog or cat. Thanks, this is terrific:) Kez

Ranked #7 in Pets

thanks Jerry it is funny I have a cat story like that too, and even funnier but not is a funny why but a weird way is I submitted the story about my first dog Laddie, a collie and it disappeared I wrote factoidz and they told me to resubmit which I will today.

Ranked #7 in Pets

Kerry I cannot imagine living without a dog or cat either, we have 3 cats at the present time.

Ranked #7 in Pets

clairzie I want your pug, he is adorable, and our Junior, our black cat is a little off the mark too but he is the king of the house. My son was his midwife, his mother who passed on now, was unable to deliver and my son had to do it, with the vet on the phone mind you.

You only have to read the comments to see how important our pets are to us. They are our silent companions who know all our moods and love us unconditionally. They reduce our blood pressure, boost our morale, and are our friends for life. That's why there are 69 million households that own a pet in the U.S. - 63 percent of ALL households. This breaks down to approximately 73 million dogs, and 90 million cats. Thank God for pets!!

Ranked #7 in Pets

absolutely Marie, we love our animals

Ranked #27 in Pets

I love this article Carol. My home has always had pets.

Ranked #7 in Pets

me too Martha, a home is just not a home in my books without a pet or 2,

A really heartwarming article Carol. I have 4 rescue dogs and two cats and each has a unique character and all are companionable and loving in spite of their past experiences.

I am still tearing up over the warm and loving comments here. I do not currently have a pet but have had many cats over my life. I sometimes have my neighbor's dog here when they travel and she is a little white poodle mix that is hysterically funny. She makes me laugh so hard with her antics. Her name is Daisy but I call her "Daisy Daisy White Lightening Warrior Princess" She has such an outstanding personality and chutzpah. Thanks for sharing.

Ranked #7 in Pets

I love animals too Judith, I grew up with dogs, but now, we cannot have dogs in most rented places in Montreal, so I have had cats for the past 30 years.

Ranked #37 in Pets

Wonderful article. I also am an animal lover and appreciate their contributions to our lives.

Ranked #7 in Pets

thanks Jamie

Ranked #49 in Pets

I too craved love as a child and always wished for a dog. That finally happened when I became an adult. We rescued Tomlin for my daughter when he was a puppy. He serves her well as a working dog. Tomlin has adopted our whole family. He herds us to bed at night, amuses us with antics and brings great joy. People who aren't owned by a pet have no clue what they are missing.

Ranked #7 in Pets

yes Gayle that is so true

Your article is wonderful and so are all these comments. I've lost pets through the years and it's just heart-breaking. They have been my most faithful companions and really ask for so little in return for all that love and joy they give us.

Ranked #7 in Pets

thanks hon

Great work. Our children are grown and our baby now is Gizmo. He never complains and is always forgiving.

Ranked #7 in Pets

Thanks Stephanie, I have Rugby and Junia my two cats