Having a love for animals is an innately human quality. Throughout history, humanity has had a relationship with animals, despite the separation of being different species. We have observed that it is not uncommon for interspecies friendships to form in the animal kingdom, and humans are no exception. Humans have a long history of keeping animals as pets and companions. Studies have revealed that keeping an animal as a companion can have numerous health benefits for people, including reduced blood pressure, lowered anxiety and longevity. For this reason, having a pet has become a medical and mental health recommendation to those who are struggling in these areas.
People are very relationship oriented. We need closeness with one another and closeness with fellow creatures in order to feel good. Animals and people have an interesting relationship with one another. Because animals lack the cognitive and linguistic abilities that people possess, but still have emotional and relational capabilities, humans form a unique kind of relationship with animals. Humans and animals never have a full understanding of one another, yet they can still form a friendship around what they do understand about one another. Humans share a need for fun, sociability and affection with many types of animals, and caring for one can do a person a lot of good.
The ways that people are improved by relationships with animals are many. Animals teach people a number of relationship skills, such as how to care for a fellow creature and how to be responsible for another’s needs. The responsibility of providing for an animal gives people a sense of purpose and a reason for being. Through caring for an animal, a person will learn the basics of giving and receiving trust, respect and communication.
It has been found in many instances that caring for an animal improves a person’s mental health. Having an animal as company and as a responsibility gradually creates positivity within a person and subtly begins to treat their mental disorders. Where someone may have long been telling themselves that no one cared about them, the affection their animal has for them will change their thinking into a more positive self-talk.
It has even been found that caring for an animal can improve a person’s physical health. It has been documented that having the company of an animal, a creature that is naturally more light-hearted than a human, can improve a person’s blood pressure and circulation. There are even instances of a person’s cancer or heart condition being reduced when an animal enters the person’s life. The benefits of having a relationship with an animal are nothing short of miraculous.