Valentines Day is a celebration of love, a day to take a break from the to-do list, have fun and show friends and loved ones just how much they mean to you. So why not spend this special day with someone who is always there giving you unconditional love - your pet!
Whether you are single or part of a couple, here are five reasons why your pet makes the best valentine.
1. Unconditional Love and Snuggles
Whatever your mood, happy or sad, your pet is always there ready to snuggle, cuddle and lick you happy. “Simply petting an animal can decrease the level of the stress hormone cortisol and boost release of the neurotransmitter serotonin, resulting in lowered blood pressure and heart rate and, possibly, in elevated mood.” says Dr. Marwan Sabbagh of the Lou Ruvu Center for Brain Health.
Desiree Wiercyski, a life coach in Fort Wayne, IN agrees - "A pet can remind you that you're not alone. Pets offer unconditional love, which can be extraordinarily soothing (especially) when feeling isolated."
2. Loyal and Dependable
Coming home at the end of a long day, there is always someone who is happy to see you. I can come home to a house full of people yet the kids are on their phone or tablet, the husband is busy with work, but I always know that my dog will be eagerly waiting at the door wagging his tail in excitement as I come up the walk.
For some, having a pet means more than just having a loyal companion to greet them at the door - it means having someone they can rely on to help them navigate the every day, to live rich and fulfilling lives. In the United States approximately 500,000 service dogs are helping people with visual impairments navigate unfamiliar places, protect someone who is having a seizure from getting hurt, help with depression or post-traumatic stress disorder.
3. Your Best Friend
Your pet in not only your loyal companions, they are always ready and will adapt to whatever you have in mind. If you want to go for a hike, they'll be right by your side. If you want to travel far and wide, they make great travel companions. And if you just want to spend a lazy day in lounging around - they are always ready for that too.
And even when you are not in the mood to socialize or be in a crowd, who better than your pet to quietly listen and agree with whatever you have to say. They don't argue, they don't talk back, and they don't offer unwanted advice. It's like having your own therapist to confide to - and you don't even have to share your ice-cream with them.
4. Helpful and Inspiring
Over time and with good training, both cats and dogs can be taught to help out around the house. Everything from getting your slippers, to detecting smoke and warning of danger, to helping herd animals on the farm. Animals have even been taught to clean up toys, pick up garbage, sort laundry, close doors, turn off lights and even be your alarm clock. But did you know that pets can also help you to focus and stick with a task?
We already know that having a pet can help lower your blood pressure and releave stress, but they can also help us focus and motivate us to take better care of ourselves. A study conducted with children who were given a task to do found that the kids made fewer errors in a match-to-sample categorization task in the presence of a dog indicating that the dog serves as both a source of motivation and the right stimulation that allowed them to keep their attention to the task. Another program matched sedentary adults with therapy animals and had the participant be responsible for walking the dog. The program resulted in the patients increasing their activity over a 52 week period with the participants stating their motivation for adherence was “the dogs need us to walk them”.
5. Lots Of Fun To Have Around
Many people with one or even multiple pets would agree that having their fur babies around is just plain fun. Sometimes exasperating, sometimes hillarious, sometimes downright silly - but never dull and boring. Our pets can make us laugh with their antics, they lift up our mood, nudge us out of our thoughts,and even help us to interact and socialize with other people. When you talking to other pet owners you feel a special bond, and know that you are not the only one whose dog eats poo or whose cat snarles at and bosses the dog around.
Pets - whether dog or cat, bird or hampster, guinea pig or chicken, know us and understand us like no one else, and still love us! So this Valentine's Day, treat them to something special and just enjoy that unique bond with a valentine like no other (but save the chocolate for yourself 😊 ).