Quleen Kaur Bijral Bijral
Columnist, The Logical Indian
Image Source: barkerybath
How important a deal is it to have a pet? For protection? For company? For fun? These are the most commonplace reasons people go for a pet and they might sound trivial but they definitely are not. During morning walks, kids, adults and even old people are seen walking their dogs with upbeat joy and high spirits. Going for a picnic, a long ride or short visits here and there, little to big cuddly and furry dogs can be seen accompanying the entire family. Friends share stories about their pets in office to informal occasions, and they all seem quite excited and delighted to hear each other out. Whatever your age is, people lose their stress, and even their ego to walk a dog, pet it and take care of it. Don’t we all just connect to our cheerful, humane and optimistic side when it comes to playing with our pets! We laugh, jog with our pets, interact with others and socialize, and have a fun-filled time to break the monotony and drudgery of work pressure, school stress and daily overload of home chores. Just because of a pet be it a turtle or a bird or a snake for the most daring we sure feel thrilled and at peace.
Observing the anxiety people face due to enormous work load at home and office, from doctors to corporate houses are encouraging people to get a pet in order to cut this stress down. It’s a simple notion far better than popping pills to combat depression, taking rigorous gym sessions to stay fit, and sulking in loneliness when a pet can be your friend and help you make friends too. Having a pet is a recipe to encourage a positive outlook in your life and it does not mean it is the only way to do so. There are other ways too but seeing how having a pet is yet to be considered as a stress-buster, the article intends to highlight it and encourage people to give it a thought.
The Cool Companions
Undoubtedly, pets have a positive impact on the owners. They lessen anxiety and can make people more optimistic and gregarious towards each other.
Pet-owners show a lower degree of depression than those who do not have pets. Due to this offices are encouraging people to bring their pets to work. Some offices even have pets in the workplace to lessen the level of boredom and boost morale.
It has been studied that people with pets (exceptions might be there) are more willing to interact with other people and do not feel anxiety, apprehension or fright in doing so. So you get thumbs-up in your social life, enhance your social skills, and gain social network of friends.
You have got to walk the dog, right. And it is such an enjoyable activity that people not only walk the dog but also exercise along with it- running with the dog, for instance is not only making you fit but also is fun while you are at it.
There are scores of other doors which can open up by keeping a pet. Nevertheless, there are also things which need to be noted while doing so.
The Culture of Pet-owners and Animal Welfare
With great benefits as discussed above and more, having a pet is not only protection of homes from burglaries or unwanted people, but a boost to one’s overall health. However, another important factor also needs to be stressed upon which is proper training of the public especially the prospective pet-owners. Such training should be undertaken starting from schools to cultivate the responsibility of an ethical pet-owner. The general cause of nuisance behind a pet is that owners do not clean the pet wastes, or control their pets from threatening others, and how expensive it is to keep a pet etc which can put people in disagreement over the pet culture.
Keeping a pet requires responsibility and is not at all a casual thing which can be causally practiced. It has great benefits but this bond between the pet and the owner has to be mutually positive – human health is one thing but animal welfare is also very important and should not be ignored or undermined.
To ensure this does not happen, following things can be noted:
It’s a Mutual Companionship
Training of the owners and inspection of the environment is must to ensure that the pet is not being harmed by the owner or is kept without its wishes. Health of the pet should be the foremost ethical issue – Proper food, vaccine shots, habitable and appropriate environment, and etc should be taken care of.
We see many documentaries and ads showing how pets are first loved and when they grow up they are neglected and abandoned. If you cannot commit to your pet, then do not go for it. It is better than to desert them and leave them to the streets to suffer and die.
Keeping pets who you cannot control or those which should not be domesticated as they can only survive in the wild is wrong. So avoid. They can pose a danger to the society and to you too.
It is your pet and you should always pick up its poop and dispose of it properly. Otherwise not only will you upset the sanitation of the surroundings but also invite annoyance of the people towards pets and pet-lovers.
These are some of things which we need to bear in mind to ensure a happy and stable environment for the pet and the society as well. If the pets can alleviate your tension then you also have the onus to ensure they are not abused and exploited as well. The surroundings also should not be disturbed by your pet or your unethical pet-keeping. These are simple steps to make the best out of the pet-owner relationship for the mutual health of both and the society at large.
The Best Approach: Adopt a Pet
After reading how the animal activists are recommending the public to adopt a pet during Diwali, I think it is a great initiative. Of course the decision rests with you, to buy a pet from breeders or adopt one.
I have met people who have adopted a stray dog. I have read the news of people rescuing strays living on the brink of life and have also seen the before-after pictures of strays adopted. Before they looked starved, beaten, injured, diseased and broken but after being rescued the same pets are bustling with a fresh breeze of life and vitality! By giving these strays healthy homes, you can save these strays from torture, starvation and disease and in return have a pet for free. Or you can contact the NGOs which keep stray pets and make a big difference to the lives of the strays and your own life too. Adopt a pet then and only if you can commit.
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