Humans and animals belong together. We love our pets and they love us. But this relationship goes beyond just having affection for each other. We are symbiotic. We help each other physically, emotionally, and socially.
Purdue University’s Center for the Human-Animal Bond has been conducting studies since 1982. Some of their findings are quite fascinating.
When people are in frequent contact with animals they experience reduced anxiety, a decrease in blood pressure and they just feel better.
As children interact and observe the behavior of their pets they often become more nurturing. Studies are still on-going but children with pets are possibly better parents when they start having their own children.
When animals have been introduced into nursing homes, hospices, prisons and even hospitals they have found a distinct therapeutic correlation. Animals sooth the patients and bring a calm to frazzled nerves or to the injured psyche. Recovery is faster or declines are slowed. Quality of life for the patient tends to be much better.
When people are around pets those people tend to be happier. They stop and enjoy the love that flows back to them from the animal. Both people and animals are social beings. We thrive best when we have interaction between other beings. Whether that interaction is between two people or a person and a pet does not appear to make a difference.
There have been extensive studies about the benefits of humans having pets. We know we are better off. Studies are just beginning to determine how the human interaction is beneficial to the animals. These studies are looking at not just domesticated animals but they are also looking at how wildlife and humans interact. These studies will be interesting to see how different species will show benefits or detriment from their human interactions.
Man and animals are on this earth together and we are finding that we are truly symbiotic. Mankind is happier when they interact with animals and animals are happier and live longer when they live with and interact with mankind.