Pet Life Lessons: What Our Pets Teach Us Every Day
The health benefits of pets have been well studied. We now know that pet owners are less likely to have high blood pressure and heart disease than non-pet owners, and that living with a pet can reduce depression, anxiety, and increase our interactions with others.
The gifts our pets offer us go beyond good health, however. As it turns out, our pets are actually four-legged gurus, and the pet life lessons they impart can be applied to all areas of our human lives.
Be Here Now
Worry is often the result of concern over the past or the future, and it’s a state that plagues all humans to some degree. Pets, on the other hand, are mindfulness masters. They take each moment as it comes, fully delighting in the good times and taking problems as they arise. We could all benefit by pausing to savor the moment with our four-legged best friends.
Follow Your Instincts
It may seem silly to us when the dog barks at the UPS driver, or when the cat crams herself into a three-sizes-too-small cardboard box, but these behaviors are purely instinctual for our animal companions and they have evolved to survive and thrive using all the gifts mother nature has given them. As humans, we often ignore our instincts in favor of logic, research, and our own past experiences, but much could be gained if we followed those “gut feelings” more often.
Don’t Forget To Have Fun!
Does your pet ever pass up an opportunity to do something they enjoy, whether that’s a walk, a game of fetch or feather chase, or a tasty morsel dropped on the kitchen floor during dinner? We didn’t think so. Observing an animal’s uninhibited delight as they go about their day can be a wake-up call to those of us for whom “all work and no play” has become a way of life.
Pet Life Lessons For Kids
The lessons that kids can learn from pet ownership are among the most profound. Besides learning about the responsibilities associated with caring for another creature, living with a pet can help to cultivate compassion and empathy in kids. Often, a pet is a child’s best friend and someone they can spill their hearts out to without fear of judgement, which can help to lay the foundation for future trusting relationships.
The death of a pet may also be a child’s first experience with loss and bereavement. Learning how to grapple with grief is a touching life lesson that can lay the foundation for handling life’s difficulties.
Not only do our pets absolutely adore us, regardless of our looks, income, or histories, they love themselves unconditionally as well! You will never see your pet standing in the mirror bemoaning their love handles, or angrily wishing they had a nice car like the neighbors. When it comes to loving ourselves and others, our pets are our most powerful mentors.
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