Pets as Family – Issues for Thought

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Should there be? Dogs & Cats are called ‘companion animals’ Are pets family members? Pets are present in 58 percent of American households & almost 80 percent of families with children have pets. Most people who own pets think of them as part of the family. A large majority of dog and cat owners refer to themselves as ‘mommy’ or ‘daddy’ with reference to their pets. At least for some urban dwellers, pets are inside the family circle, concludes a recent study of pet owners. (S. Cohen 2002).

A recent dramatic example of this attachment to the pets was the refusal of many pet owners to evacuate from New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina without their pets.

People talk to their pets and believe that they understand. An American Kennel Club study found that both dog owners and non-owners say a person is not alone if a dog is there. Stores carry greeting cards for pets to send to their humans on important family occasions and almost 6 million pet owners celebrate their dog’s birthday.

Some pet owners take their animals to day care, spas, psychotherapy, acupuncture, massage, swimming lessons and photo shoots. They vacation with them at hotels with expensive pet pampering facilities and of course give them gifts, often expensive.

Pet owners are willing to spend money on pet health care because losing a pet can be very painful. In some states, a bereaved owner may sue for emotional suffering or loss of companionship if a pet is accidentally or intentionally killed by a third party.

It is important to understand companion animals plays a vital role in mental health & emotional equilibrium of their owners in an era of work pressures and insecure family lives. As the tendency to think of pets as family continues and specially as spending on pets grows. Pets seem to occupy an overlapping but different space from humans in a family.

Sri Lanka has showed immense love for companion animals, the tradition and culture has made the bond even stronger. I would like to highlight mental happiness and work stress are something most Sri Lankans suffering from, a companion pet would make life much easier. Happy Family

Share your companion pet pics in the comments section, wait for more updates from Hullabaloo

Critical thinking – Do you think of pets as family members? Dogs, Cats, or any and all pets? Is it appropriate to broaden the definition of family to include other than humans? What changes in the family may have encouraged changes in our attitude about pets?

Mister MedPets as Family – Issues for Thought

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