Friends & Animals - True Love is more than Fur Deep

Our human instinct to love, be loved, to nurture, to belong to group, to bond with another being-- all needs quite often fulfilled by our animal companions who offer their loyalty, protection, and emotional support. For some of us, our longest relationships (excluding family of course!) are those we have had with our pets. They have endured all of life's ups and downs with us, faithfully by our side. In my own personal experience, my longest current relationship is at nineteen years and counting-- Not many other people can say they know me as well as my cat!

 With animal companions there are no break ups, no fighting, disappointments, heartache- it's a true friend until the very end. For some, pets are best friends forever, a sidekick, a wingman, a lil' homie... For others, pets are family members, more like children to childless people and couples, or an empty nest-filler for attentive parents. Either way you dissect it, our pets are the objects of our affections (and sometimes obsessions), as they enhance our lives in so many ways. True love?

A Bond with Benefits

A growing field of research routinely points to the positive effects of the human animal bond, with mounting evidence and case studies citing improvements in the health of people, contributing to our wellbeing, and impacting our physical, emotional, and social needs. All types of therapeutic outcomes from treating autism and kids with disabilities, to support for the elderly and victims of abuse, to treating veterans with PTSD, and including reducing your own stress. Wouldn’t you agree that your pets do improve your mood?  Studies have shown that a loved pet can exert a calming influence on blood pressure and heart rate when the owner is performing standard tasks designed to induce mental and physical stress (University of Buffalo). Although being a pet caregiver isn’t for everyone with the added expense and responsibilities that comes with pet care, for most people, the benefits of having a pet outweigh the drawbacks. Dogs and cats can reduce stress in your life and bring you support when times get tough…personally, I believe petting to the best remedy for a bad day and have no shortage of takers in our household. It’s a win-win for everybody!

Dating, Blended Families, and Furry New Additions

Learning to love the other species... can “dog people” and “cat people” really date? What if you don't like your girlfriend's cat or you're allergic...can the relationship survive? What happens when your pets and his pets are not a harmonious mix...can you socialize them into a peaceful pack? These can all be tricky situations to navigate, not just for our own comfort but also for the well being of our faithful animal friends. This can often be when that human animal bond gets tested the most, and the commitment you've made to that animal for love and life. To overcome these challenges as caregivers we must be willing to put in the work to learn, train, socialize, enrich, or ultimately do what's best for the animals since they rely on us to make decisions for them. If you had to choose between human and animal, which would you choose?

Our pets enrich our lives in so many ways. If you are a caregiver you know that each day is a new adventure- everything is possible. One thing that will always be for certain is that their love is unconditional and humankind is better for it for having loved an animal.

Love well!

LOVE is in the air and we are celebrating all sorts of fun during February with events for you and your furry Valentine.  Treat them to something special with our meaty treats, new toys, and flirty new seasonal gear. Love it or hate it, Valentine's Day is a special time to remember the unconditional LOVE your dogs and cats give YOU all year long. Ask our Pet Experts in-store for all the flirty details, including our cheeky ‘50 Shades of Fur’ themed promos and Mutt Mingles!

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