Faith - The Legend of the Candy Cane

Owning a Pet Removes the Health Impacts of Loneliness

By Brian Spilner

Loneliness is an illness that can strike practically any person at any time, but especially during the holiday season. Loneliness most often occurs when someone has experienced the loss of a loved one, the loss of a job, or someone who has moved alone to a new city for that job promotion. Many experts say the best antidote for loneliness is owning a pet.

If a person is lonely, a pet adds another being into their life. The close contact will form a bond and a relationship that will help cure loneliness. Before someone goes out and buys a pet, however, there are a few things they should consider. First, if a person lives in an apartment, they will need to find out what the complex’s rules are about owning a cat or a dog. Most apartment complexes require a pet deposit, and some even limit the weight and size of the dog. Usually the pet deposit depends on the size of the animal.

Next, a person will want to decide what kind of species of animal they want. The most popular choices are fish, cats, dogs, and birds, however rodents (hamsters, guinea pigs, and rabbits) are common as well. Most people choose to own a cat or a dog, and many agree that cats and dogs provide the most companionship. Though cats are often considered aloof and snobbish, they can be very loving creatures. Their owner just needs to understand that cats will do what they want, when they want. Dogs, on the other hand, are probably the most beneficial when it comes to loneliness. Though a person’s schedule may limit them from getting a dog, it really is a wonderful choice.

Dogs need more care than cats do; they need to be taken out on walks two to three times a day, and they need to be fed only at mealtimes (with cats, you can leave a day’s worth of food in their bowl and they munch on it throughout the day. If you did this with a dog, they’d eat it all up at once and become sick). Owning a dog gives a lonely person a sense of purpose. They have to keep going and keep depression at bay because they love their pet and want to take care of it. Also, taking dogs out on walks can be very energizing; fresh air is always good for the mind and body. Also, dogs are usually extremely affectionate and loving. If a person is experiencing loneliness, they want to feel loved, needed, and cared for. Dogs need affection, yet they also give it and are always sympathetic toward their owners if they sense something is upsetting them.

Though there are many benefits to owning pets, not all of them have been listed. Owning a pet provides a lonely person with purpose, and it affords them the affection and love they desire and need. Adopting a puppy, kitten or adult pet is a wonderful bonding experience, and gaining a new pet is gaining a new friend.