Pets Help Us as Much as We Help Them


I’m a cat person, but I believe all animals help us in ways we might not even understand. Both my wife and I are vegan, so yes, I love all animals. I wouldn’t have a pet snake, but if that’s your thing, why not? Pets are important. In our strange modern times, it can be more grounding than ever to have a non-human companion. Dogs just want to please. Cats just want to be pleased, but sometimes they will share affection that makes their sassiness worthwhile.

It might seem like we do a lot for our pets: taking them to the vet, buying their food, cleaning their poo and so on. Any species of pet can rack up a price tag, or keep you up at night. Sometimes it feels like the fine print of pet ownership is never-ending. But in truth, we are lucky to share this planet with animals.

Animals give joy and perspective not otherwise had. When I was single, it was harder to get lonely with my cat bugging me for food, snuggles or attention. After a hard day at work or school, walking in the door to a greeting from an animal friend could save anyone’s mood. Playing with an animal for five minutes can change your whole day.

Animals depend on us, but we depend on animals, too. “Emotional Support Animals” are becoming more popular (whether it’s an excuse people use to get their animals into airplane cabins or not) and I think it’s important. We should be grateful to our furry (or scale-y) friends, just as we should be grateful to anyone or anything that’s there for us.

Expressing gratitude is important, because you’re recognizing something of value in your life and how lucky you are to have it. Studies show that expressing more thanks and gratitude leads to a happier day-to-day existence.

There’s research exploring the deeper connections between pets and their owners. Some research says pets have literal good vibrations that help us heal, or relax, or sleep. Other research (sometimes referred to as Pseudo-science) says we might be “spiritually” connected to our pets in ways few understand. Whichever the case, or both, it’s important we recognize the symbiosis in our relationships with our animal friends.

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Adam Fitzgerald is a writer and musician. He lives with his wife and two cats in Edinburgh, Scotland. Adam has worked as a teacher, copywriter, editor and journalist. He is a cofounder and primary songwriter in the Detroit indie rock band Shady Groves and likes to share his passions of art, education and cats with the world through his writing.


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