Should You Get Your Pet a Pal?

There is wonderful research that proves what pet lovers have always thought; namely, that pets are good for people. For example, a study done at the University of Minnesota concluded that people who have cats stand a 40% less chance of having a heart attack.

Recently, the number of pets of all species that have signed on as pet therapists has grown considerably. They do an amazing job visiting the sick and the elderly and boosting their morale. This is not only heartwarming, but helpful: it has been proved that they can reduce stress and help people fight depression.

But there is another side to this human–animal bond, too. While we love our pets, they often, spend long hours alone at home. It’s the nature of the beast, if you will – after all, we have to work to earn the kibble!

Pets left home alone are lonely and bored. And that’s when they get into trouble, destroying things around the house –whether it’s the arm of the couch, or throwing the soil from the potted plants onto the floor. The list of pet-inspired home destruction is a long one. A bored cat or dog can be very inventive. The problem is that they get the blame when, in fact, it is every pet owner’s responsibility to compensate for the hours spent alone with toys and other activities.

For example, if you know you are going to be away for a long time, take your dog for a really long walk before you go. When you bring him home, he will be dog-tired (pun intended), and more than happy to sleep in your absence.

The same can be said for cats. Play some games before you go. Leave safe toys with catnip hidden for them to find and, of course, there are wonderful battery-operated toys that can be set to go off at regular intervals.

Further, putting your pet’s food in a puzzle toy means they will have to work to extract it and that will keep them busy.

There is another answer too: your pet needs a pal! We all need friends so this makes sense. Of course, you have to be able to financially afford a second pet. It also needs to be the right pal.

This is the message behind one of my favorite organizations called Pets Add Life. They get this information out there with some really fun videos.

Here is a link to the their latest video that outlines that the pal can be a cross-species friend too.

Enjoy and think about it. In the meantime, take a look at this video from Pets Add Life:

Dog Wants a Kitty

-Photo Credit: From flickr by Krebsmaus07

Editor’s Note: For an anxious pet, you should also try SENTRY Good Behavior products available at pet specialty stores nationwide. For more information about these phenomenal pheromone products visit: http://www.sentrypetcare.com/goodbehavior/.

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