How Pets Help Alleviate Loneliness

Dog with old man

People can be lonely for a variety of reasons. They may have moved away from friends or loved ones, be from a divorced family, or be someone who is grieving. People can also become extremely busy at work, leaving them little time for finding or making friends. And many people are disabled or retired, and spend much of their time at home, being too anxious about making new friends. Pets can be the best solution for loneliness.

Around twenty years ago it became universally acknowledged that dogs and cats are part of our family. Today, animal rights have increased, with many provinces and states enforcing strict fines and even jail sentences for those who abuse pets. In fact, people can grow even more attached to dogs and cats than their human family.

Dogs and cats also provide social support to their owners. This type of support can vary. It can be emotional support where love is exchanged. And it can be practical or tangible support when a service animal is assisting a human.

Dogs and cats love unconditionally. They don’t comment on your appearance, give their opinions, or tell you to do better. They simply expect love and affection, lots of attention, and good food.

Man hugging a dog
Man hugging his best friend

A pet still stays by your side all day long, even if most of that time is spent sleeping. But if you get up and leave the room, chances are they have their eyes and ears on you, and if you don’t return, they’ll get up and see what you’re up to.

Animals are a lot smarter than we think. Most pet owners can agree that there have been stressful times in their lives when their dog or cat has suddenly changed their routine to be closer to their human. Pets will stick close to their humans if they sense they’re in distress or even lonely.

Pets love to give and receive affection, while your human loved ones may simply “not have the time”. Dogs and cats certainly love to give cuddles right back.

There have been many studies published over the years about the complex relationship between human and pet, and how pets can ease loneliness. They can help to lift our spirits and help to decrease depression.

Pets can give us a reason to return home after a long hard day at work. They keep us responsible and even teach us to care for the world.

If you’re considering adopting a pet, you may be curious as to whether a dog or cat is right for you, or even adopting a bonded pair. If you haven’t had any animals in your life, spending time at the local animal shelter can help you to narrow your decision.

Just like humans, pets can also get lonely too. You may consider adopting two bonded pets at once: two cats, two dogs, or a dog and a cat. If you’re concerned that your pet may get lonely in your absence, consider finding a pet sitter through the Simple Puppy marketplace.

Featured image from Pixabay