This essay is about animals as pets and the opposing and conflicting views.
Many people think that pets are too much of a responsibility, as they require food, walked on a regular basis, trained properly and lots of love and care. Any pet that lives outside a cage has to be trained properly so that it does not soil the home. Without training dogs can be very destructive and even dangerous. Pets are also very expensive and their food, toys, and medical treatment cost a lot of money too.
Some pets are not looked after properly by their owners and sometimes the owner even loses interest. There were 40,879 humane destruction’s of dogs last year, 32,769 of cats and 18,816 of others. These figures include 29,610 dogs and cats too sick to live. People are cruel to pets and hurt them in al sorts of ways. In 1985 the RSPCA had to destroy 137,632 dogs cats and other pets, many were healthy but just too much for the RSPCA to find homes for. Inspectors from the RSPCA were called out to investigate 64,678 complaints last year. These are just some of the bad points of having a pet.
Others think of pets as trusted friends as they give us comfort and affection. Pets are tame animals kept for companionship or because they are attractive to look at. Pets are good fun and can teach children responsibilities in life. Pets in the UK are very popular below are the top ten pets in England and Wales.
In 1980 there was 5.6million dogs in the UK, this number increased by 1.8million in 1989. There were 2million more cats in the UK in 1989 than in 1980. The number of Budgies also increased by 0.1million in 1989.
The Royal Society for the prevention of cruelty to animals more commonly known as the RSPCA looks after animals that have been treated badly. Last year the RSPCA homed 105,079 animals including dogs, cats and many other animals.
If you don’t have a pet I would seriously consider buying one. Pets are very good company and almost any animal could be a pet. Unusual pets require special care and some knowledge and how they behave in the wild. Many pets need very little attention or space – there is room in the smallest home for a fish tank or a birdcage.
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Essay: Benefits of Owning a Pet
An Essay by Jeannine Moga, MSW, LGSW
Most people read and hear regularly about the importance of staying healthy and living longer through diet and exercise. While it’s definitely smart to follow that advice, you can do something else to help keep your mind and body in optimum condition. Connect with a critter — it goes a long way toward making you happy and healthy.
Studies have shown that forming a relationship with an animal can have important health and psychological benefits. Owning a pet or interacting regularly with animals can lower humans’ blood pressure, reduce anxiety and depression, and increase their social interaction. People who have dogs also tend to get more exercise from regular walks.
It doesn’t really matter what kind of pet you have, whether it’s a cat or a dog, a fish or a ferret, an iguana or a horse. What’s important is developing a relationship with an animal. Having a pet often provides people with a reason for enjoying life and connecting with others.
This can be especially critical for older adults, who sometimes get socially isolated or struggle with finding a sense of purpose. It commonly happens after seniors retire, their spouse dies, their children and grandchildren grow up, or their families move away.
Owning a pet serves as a wonderful way to rediscover a sense of purpose. It helps people feel needed and wanted. After all, most people can’t help but smile when their dog greets them with their tail wagging or their cat curls up cozily on their lap.
Providing for an animal’s needs by going to the pet store or taking a dog for a walk helps reduce seniors’ social isolation by encouraging them to get out into the world. They may meet new friends at a dog park or at the pet store when they go to buy more birdseed.
If a cat or dog is too expensive or needy, consider a more low-maintenance pet like a fish. Even these critters can provide mental and physical benefits. A study at Purdue University found that people with Alzheimer’s disease are calmer, focus better on eating, and digest their food more easily when they eat their meals in front of a fish tank.
However, before buying or adopting a pet, be sure to educate yourself about the animal’s specific needs for maintaining their health and wellness. You don’t want to take on more than you bargained for.
If you aren’t ready to commit to taking an animal into your home — it’s too expensive or too much of a commitment — there are other ways to benefit from the animal/human connection. Head into nature and look for birds or other wildlife. Another option is volunteering at an animal shelter or pet sitting for neighbors or family members who are going on vacation.
Animals are calming, accepting friends that offer unconditional love and kindness, as well as many health benefits. So think about bringing a pet into your life. You won’t regret it.
Jeannine Moga, MSW, LGSW, is director of the Social Work Program at the University of Minnesota’s Veterinary Medical Center. May 2007