With Valentine’s Day around the corner, often it’s a time to give thanks to those we love. However you see it, perhaps this year you can take a moment or a day to celebrate the one member of your family who constantly gives you silent, unconditional love... your pet. 

The simple pleasure of patting a dog or cat can release endorphins and invoke feelings of warmth and happiness similar to that of being in love. Studies have shown that interacting with pets does in fact make us happier by reducing stress, creating trust and developing feelings of empathy. So much so that now Animal Assisted Therapy is a common practice for example in hospitals and aged care facilities to help alleviate anxiety, depression and pain. 

Usually for a child, owning a first pet is a huge stepping stone in life. Teaching them responsibility for another being and encouraging emotional growth through compassion. Those feelings of love for a pet helped shape me into the person I am today and sparked a lifetime of dedication to those who give us unconditional love. So everybody can learn life lessons from the simple act of just being around animals. 

So, there is a reason that dogs are considered man’s best friend! Studies have also shown that single adults who own a dog have higher self esteem and cope better with social rejection and isolation. Who else greets you with that much enthusiasm when you come home from work?? 

This February, take some time to give your pet back some of the unconditional love they show us every day. Not only does it feel good but it’s also great for our health!! No one deserves to feel lonely this Valentines Day so even if you don’t own a pet, head to your local shelter to get a dose of some unconditional love. 

 

Dogtor Andy   xo