The eight most vital life lessons your pet teaches you

Having a dog or cat is a huge responsibility, difficult to assume with the rhythm that modern life imposes, but it also has great benefits

Although it is difficult to know exactly how many pets inhabit the US, studies tend to indicate that there are around 76 million dogs and almost 58 million cats, which are increasingly present in our homes.

There is something that everyone who lives with a pet knows and that is difficult for those who do not have one to understand: having a pet changes your life. Not only do you have a living being in your charge, who depends entirely on you, it will also condition your schedules, your trips, your friendships, your cleaning routines, your rest ... Having a dog or cat is an enormous responsibility, difficult to assuming the rhythm imposed by modern life –and more so in a city–, but it also entails important benefits.

It has been studied in depth how living with a pet can help overcome depression, lower blood pressure and improve our immune system. But there are certain things that are learned by living with a pet that, although they are more difficult to verify in a scientific study, are known to all adoptive parents of dogs and cats.

1. How to follow a routine

Thank you for watching Having a pet always forces you to follow a rigid routine. Dogs are especially demanding in this regard. Every day you have to have time to feed them, play with them and take them for a walk. You also have to wash them frequently, keep an eye on their vaccination schedule (and their menstruation), and cut their hair every summer. And what is good about this? After a while even the most disastrous person reaches a sense of responsibility that is impossible to achieve with other methods. And it is something especially beneficial for children (if we force them to be attentive to the needs of the dog and we do not do what they promised to do).

2. How to make a budget

Having a pet is not very expensive, but it costs money: you have to buy food, leashes, all kinds of accessories, land (in the case of cats), pay the vet ... Plus you always have to have Some cash on hand in case of an emergency. Imagine that your dog falls out of a window, his head is opened and you have to take him to the veterinary emergency. One thing is for sure, it won't come cheap. For pets, your wallet is their social security.

3. How to establish a bond with animals

Again, this is something very difficult to understand for someone who has never lived with an animal, but an emotional bond of enormous intensity is created between a pet and its owner. Suddenly, even if you like to go to the bulls and eat meat, you begin to develop another type of awareness towards animals. This does not mean that you are going to become a vegetarian, but you will never say something like that animals have no feelings, and you will start worrying about animal welfare issues that you previously did not care about.

4. How to make friends

With people who walk their pet in the park, the same thing happens with people who smoke at the door of work: a friendship is created that otherwise would never appear. The difference is that no one has died from walking the dog. Taking into account the neighborhood uprooting that exists in our cities, pet owners are the only ones who know what is going on in the neighborhood. In fact, they are the highest authority of these: they know which houses are for rent, which street lamp has stopped looking and which store you have to go to to find the best kind. If you are young but have a dog, you will soon start having “maruja” conversations. But it is not as bad as it seems: having a dog is the key to getting to know the forces of the neighborhood (you never know when you will have to resort to them) and, in addition, it is a good claim to flirt.

5. How to be patient

Let's be clear: a pet can drive anyone crazy. When you think that you have taught your dog not to relieve himself in the hallway, or at least not to do it in your bed - yes, it is very common for puppies to urinate on their owners' bed -, you find that he has had It's okay to defecate on the couch. And it doesn't matter what you scold him: he simply won't understand you. Raising a pet is a long, demanding and tedious process, but in return, it will teach you what patience really is.

6. How to be kind

For a long time, humans educated dogs with negative reinforcement: if they did something they shouldn't have, they would get kicked. But this way of "educating" doesn't make any sense when you have voluntarily chosen to live with a pet and want it to keep you company, not to wait in an enclosure until you go hunting. Today we don't want animals to be afraid of us, we want them to love us. To do this, you have to educate the animals with positive reinforcement: rewarding them when they do the right thing. To do this, you have to be kind and understandable with your dog, until a relationship of trust is established. Aggression will only make your pet aggressive, and no one likes that.

7. How to Play

Most adults stop playing when we grow up. We can play a game on the game console, compete in a soccer game or go for a run. But that is not playing, at least it is not the kind of game that children and dogs enjoy. When you have a pet –or you are a parent– we have to learn to play again, to have fun with a stick or a ball. And it's less stupid than it sounds. Playing with your pet is a relaxing activity that enriches his life, but also yours.

8. How to overcome the death of a loved one

Last but not least, no matter how well you treat your pet, no matter how much you take care of it and take it out for a walk, with almost total probability it will die before you. The average life of dogs ranges between 8 and 20 years of life, and that of cats between 16 and 21. To our knowledge, a dog has never lived more than 29 years, the age reached by Bluey, a sheepdog Australian who lived between 1910 and 1939. Watching your dog die is not easy, and no pet can replace another, but it teaches us to overcome pain and see life from a different perspective. It may sound harsh, but those who have experienced the death of their pet will experience the death of a near and dear person in a different way. Having a dog teaches us many things about life, but also about death.

Thought of other lessons pets teach us through out their lives? Share by commenting below.