People love pets and most of us choose, or wish, to live with them at various stages of life. Many pet owners claim that their house became a home when they added a pet. Here are 5 ways that pets turn a house into a home.
1. Pets give you a welcome
When you enter your front door, you dog will be there to meet and greet you. No other family member is likely to give you such an enthusiastic greeting. Even your children, especially the teenage variety, find it difficult to interrupt their device viewing to welcome you. Your dog, however, will run, jump, bark, tail wag and genuinely make you feel that you are home.
Cats may not be quite as enthusiastic in their welcome. A few may run to the front door. A few may meow on seeing you. Most cats, however, will silently lift their head from their slumber, twitch their ears, then return to the all-important snoozing. Cat owners recognise that this is their cat’s way of welcoming you home.
2. Pets make use of space
While few of us have spare rooms these days, we still have areas of our homes that are under-utilised. Behind the sofa; the window sill; the top of the bookcase or the area above your curtains: All favourite areas for your pets to hang out.
Cats are especially good at using quieter areas of your home. Cats like to be high, as this gives them safety – and sometimes, even a superior air, as they look down on you! Creating spaces on benches, tables, window sills and bookshelves is important.
If, however, your pet decides to use your unused space as their toilet, you may need to block off these areas. Or you can start creating living spaces in these spots. Play with your pet in the spare bedroom, the unused dining room or behind the sofa, if this is the location of their toileting ‘accidents’. A living area is less likely to be used as a toilet!
3. Pets give you unconditional support
Do you ever feel that your home is not tidy enough? Or that you haven’t done your spring cleaning for many springs? This can make you feel guilty, depressed or ashamed in front of your family and friends.
Pets simply don’t care. They live with you in the tidiest, most palatial of homes or in the tiniest, dingiest apartments. They do not judge you. They do not care if you mop, sweep, vacuum or keep your pyjamas on all day. As long as you are there with them, they are happy.
4. Pets entertain you
Life is never dull with a pet around. Dogs helps us exercise. Most pets help us get out and appreciate our gardens. Dogs and cats sit with us while we watch television.
Having a pet is a little like having a toddler around the home. There will be mess. There will be toys to trip over. But there will be joy. Lots of it. In fact, pet owners often don’t need to watch TV or surf the net. They just watch their pets for entertainment. Watching your cats chase one another through tunnels or knock your ornaments off the shelf keeps you alert. Feeling your dog nudge your hand for yet another pat keeps you engaged.
5. Pets are family members
Whether you are part of a large family, a couple or you live alone, your pet becomes a special part of this familial arrangement. People consider their pets to be family. Millennials, especially, choose pets, often above people. Children tell their pets secrets. Seniors enjoy the company of an animal friend.
Pets are a huge responsibility and may be too much of a commitment for certain ages and stages of life. But, for the majority of our lives, pets add a lot of value. With their non-judgemental attitudes, their unconditional acceptance of who we are and their ability to have fun; our pets make our house a home.
About the author
Dr Jo Righetti is an animal behaviourist, helping people understand pets and solve any cat and dog behaviour problems. Her website Pet Problems Solved has lots of tips about pets and the human-animal relationship and you can join Dr Jo on any of the social networks.