We love animals. We care for them, feed them, train them, and bring them into our homes to share our lives. Caring for a pet may seem like an unwelcome burden to some, especially the parent continually saying no to a new puppy, but there are benefits that you can’t ignore. Your little one may be onto something when asking for a new pet. Need proof? Here are six ways that animals can help improve humans’ lives.
Here’s a big one: horses. Whether you find yourself loving them or fearing them, once you have become comfortable with riding a horse and guiding it where you want it to go, you’ll be standing tall with confidence. Admittedly, keeping horses can be expensive; providing shelter, saddlery, shoes or equine hoof boots, feed and a long list of other items. However, the pros to caring for a horse far outweigh the cons. The challenge and rewards of caring for these majestic, intelligent creatures is a fantastic way to boost self-esteem, too, for both you and your family.
We all know dogs are a man’s best friend, and the saying holds its weight. For centuries, humans have been living side by side with dogs for friendship. Owning a dog has been linked to longer life, but it isn’t just canines with which we share camaraderie. Other animals like birds and cats have long been touted as friends in our home and our hearts.
From seeing-eye dogs to helper monkeys for quadriplegics or miniature horses for patients with Parkinson’s Disease, there are a variety of animals trained to help humans. There is a growing trend to utilize all kinds of creatures as emotional support animals for the elderly, disabled or those suffering from psychiatric or intellectual disabilities.
Animals contain the unique ability to help cure loneliness in their human partners. They have no ulterior motives. They are just excited to be with you and give their love. For people diagnosed with severe disease or grief, animals have shown their ability to care and walk together through times of hardship.
Keeping a pet isn’t an “on a whim” event, and throughout the relationship, we have the chance to learn a great deal from our companions. Take the puppy for example. From the get-go, we are given opportunity after opportunity to develop our patience, ability to remain consistent and to play openly. These aren’t lessons you find in your typical classroom but are still essential to living a well-balanced life.
Cleaning up after us
No, I’m not talking about letting your pet eat the table scraps or clean plates. In a time of excess waste done by humans, friends in the animal kingdom are providing assistance. Research is currently being undertaken to the potential for Wax moth larva to consume used plastic. Meanwhile, tens of thousands of homes in the US utilize worm farms to recycle their kitchen waste and turn it into fertilizer. Apparently, we have bitten off more than we can chew in regards to polluting the planet, but with the help of these creepy-crawlies, we may just be able to start turning the ecological tide.
For years, humans have found rewards with our animal counterparts. From housing them as pets to enjoying and conserving them in their natural environments, we have been able to live side by side for improved well-being. With careful handling and care, we can continue to employ the unique characteristics of many species to enrich the human experience.